Policy

For full details on this leave type please refer to the special leave policy.

Special Leave [pdf]

Submit leave

Parental leave is available to enable parents to take time off work to look after a child or to make arrangements for the child’s welfare. Parents can use it to spend more time with their children and strike a better balance between their work and family commitments. Parental leave is unpaid and is available in addition to maternity and maternity/paternity support leave.

Eligibility

The following conditions need to be met to qualify for parental leave:

  • You are named on the child’s birth or adoption certificate or have, or expect to have, parental responsibility for a child
  • You have completed one full year’s service with the College by the time they wish to take the leave
  • If you are a foster parent, you have secured parental responsibility through the courts.

You do not have to be living with the child in order to be eligible for parental leave.

Requesting parental leave

Staff guidance

You must tell your manager as soon as practicable and inform them of the reason for the absence and estimate the length of time away from work. 

Your line manager will update your absence records on your behalf.

Immediately after the birth or adoption of a child

For supporting your partner following the birth of a baby or adopting a child.

Submit your request to take leave to your manager at least 21 days prior to the expected week of birth or placement. If this is not possible, an adoptive parent should give the notice as soon as is reasonably practicable.

Once the request is submitted it is automatically approved and cannot be postponed.

At the end of a period of maternity leave

You should submit your request at the same time as you notify of your arrangements to return to work [see Maternity Policy section 1.10 – ‘Do I need to provide notice of when I intend to return to work?’]

Once your line manager has approved your application for parental leave, they will liaise with HR and update TeamSeer accordingly.

At any other time

Submit in writing to your line manager at least 28 days in advance of the start of your intended leave.

You will need to supply a copy of the child's birth certificate, which will be retained on file to verify eligibility for any future parental leave applications.

Your leave may be postponed

Your requested leave cannot be postponed for leave immediately following the birth or adoption of a child. 

A department or division may postpone your request for leave if it may cause severe disruptions to normal operation. The reasons and length of postponement will be discussed with you within 7 days of the request to take leave. Leave cannot be postponed for more than 6 months from the date your leave was originally requested. 

Your department or division may not postpone your requested leave if immediately following the birth or adoption of a child. 

Returning to the same job after parental leave

For parental leave less than 4 weeks, you have the right to return to the same job you had before leave, unless a redundancy situation arises. For women returning from less than 4 weeks parental leave directly following 26 weeks maternity leave, you are entitled to return to the same job unless redundancy arises. 

For parental leave more than 4 weeks, or if parental leave is taken from weeks 27 onwards, you may return to a similar role of equal terms and conditions if returning to the same role is not reasonably practicable. Please see the Special Leave [pdf] policy for more information. 

Manager guidance

Ensure you check the following before approving parental leave:

  • Your staff member is eligible for parental leave (see above)
  • How much parental leave your staff member is eligible for
  • Read the Special Leave [pdf] policyto understand your role in and familiarise yourself with the procedure.

Immediately after the birth or adoption of a child

For staff supporting their partner following the birth of a baby or for adopting a child. Leave must be requested at least 21 days prior to the expected week of childbirth or the expected week of placement if adopting a child. If this is not possible, an adoptive parent should give the notice as soon as is reasonably possible. Once the request is submitted it must be approved and cannot be postponed.

At the end of a period of maternity leave

Requests for parental leave should be sent at the same time as your staff member notifies of their arrangements to return to work [see Maternity Policy section 1.10 – ‘Do I need to provide notice of when I intend to return to work?’]

Approve the application as reasonably practicable and forward a copy of the request, along with confirmation of the parental leave dates, to the Staff Hub. HR will then liaise with payroll to ensure the correct salary payment is made for this period and update TeamSeer accordingly.

At any other time

Must be received at least 28 days in advance of the start of intended leave. At the first request for parental leave by a member of staff, the line manager is required to obtain a copy of the child's birth certificate which should then be retained on file to verify eligibility for any future parental leave applications. 

Once the parental leave is approved, forward a copy of the request, along with confirmation of the parental leave dates, to the Staff Hub. HR will then liaise with payroll to ensure the correct salary payment is made for this period and update the individual’s TeamSeer absence management record accordingly.

Postponing leave

Requested leave cannot be postponed for leave immediately following the birth or adoption of a child. 

Parental leave may be postponed if it may cause severe disruptions to normal operation. Leave cannot be postponed for more than 6 months from the date parental leave was originally requested.

You will need to arrange to discuss the reasons and length of postponement with your member of staff within 7 days of the request to take leave. 

Examples of severe disruptions include:

  • where work is at seasonal peak
  • staff's absence would undermine operational effectiveness
  • other members of staff have requested leave at the same time

Staff returning to the same job after parental leave

For parental leave less than 4 weeks, staff have the right to return to the same job they had before leave, unless a redundancy situation arises. For women returning from less than 4 weeks parental leave directly following 26 weeks maternity leave, they are entitled to return to the same job unless redundancy arises. 

If more than 4 weeks have been taken for parental leave and it is not reasonably practicable for a member of staff to return to the same job, then they have the right to return to a similar job with terms and conditions which are not less favourable than the old job, unless a redundancy situation arises.

For parental leave more than 4 weeks, or if parental leave is taken from weeks 27 onwards, staff may return to a similar role of equal terms and conditions if returning to the same role is not reasonably practicable.

Accessible documents

Some of the downloadable documents linked to on this page are not accessible. For accessible versions, please contact hrpolicy@imperial.ac.uk.