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Parental Leave – University of Reading

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Parental Leave

Welcome to our School's parental leave page, which includes information for staff who are about to take maternity, parental, shared parental, childbirth or adoption leave. You will find a number of useful cases studies from staff, including academics and post-docs as well as PhD students who have all successfully taken maternity and parental leave whilst working in the School. We hope that this provides some useful insights about how to manage this important time and your work, and will support you in making arrangements for this family leave. You will also find links to guidelines for staff developed by the School and websites giving more information for students.

Professor Laurie Butler, Head of SPCLS

The University's Family leave pages include all the policies and forms for these planned absences, as well as contacts for the School's HR Partners for staff working in the School.

School policy on parental leave (PDF download, updated January 2016)


Website resources for students planning to take parental leave


Examples of parental leave within the School

Dr Helen Dodd, Associate Professor

I became pregnant with my second child in January 2014. During my pregnancy I met with a member of the HR team who answered all of my questions. The university research and enterprise services team supported me in applying to the ESRC to pause my funding whilst I was on maternity leave. I took all my KiT days during my maternity leave and have now returned to work part-time. I was also promoted to Associate Professor whilst I was on maternity leave. I am mentored by Professor Cathy Creswell, who has an extremely successful career as well as being a mother. It is such a great comfort and resource to be able to go to Cathy to discuss and work through the challenges of managing to have the time I want with my children and to achieve my goals at work. I also have an annual performance development review to promote and support my desired career progression. Regarding my flexible working arrangements, I feel so fortunate to have managers that trust me to manage my own time and fulfil my role. This allows me to be flexible and support my family when I need to.


Dr Lotte Meteyard, Lecturer

I became pregnant with our first child in Autumn 2014, and after notifying my line manager I contacted HR. They provided great support, meeting with me to talk over the paper-work and my options for adding on annual leave and taking KiT days. I also had excellent support from my colleagues. It was very helpful to speak with colleagues who had taken maternity leave and then transitioned back to work. At the time of my leave the School was formalising it's parental leave policy, which helped me to understand my options and how flexible I could make it. I took 10 months leave and returned to work in April 2016. I chose to take KiT days in the run up to my return to full-time work, my line manager was fully supportive of every choice I made which made things straightforward. On my return I had a reduced administrative work-load. I am sure that this made my first full-time teaching term much more manageable, and meant that I had the time to submit a grant application and a case for promotion.

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