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The University of Southampton

Pregnancy and maternity

We recognise that bringing a child into the world can be a challenging time for any parent. The University offers several schemes to support expectant and new parents, and services to enable you to get back to work or study quickly.

Staff leave for expectant parents

As well as statutory maternity and paternity pay, we offer an additional maternity and paternity scheme: up to 26 weeks of additional maternity pay, and up to 26 weeks paternity leave. Paternity leave is available for all father figures, regardless of marriage, and female same-sex or civil partners. Maternity also includes a scheme for transferring remaining leave to the other partner if the mother returns early, and both parents work for the University.

We also offer adoption leave to support parents expecting to adopt a newly-matched child or have a child through surrogacy. This allows parents up to 52 weeks leave, with 39 weeks statutory pay and 26 weeks additional pay.

Full details of support for parents are available from the HR website and through the Pregnancy and Maternity Policy.

Expecting a child during your studies

We recognise that students may become pregnant or choose to adopt a child during their studies, and that this can be disruptive to students' learning. Student Services host a policy which provides guidance to personal tutors and other staff, covering maternity, paternity and adoption leave, possible financial support, health and safety and other related topics. If you are a student expecting a child, you are strongly encouraged to read this document thoroughly and follow its recommendations to ensure minimum disruption to your studies.

Childcare support

The University has an Early Years Centre on Highfield campus, which is available for the use of staff and students with children aged four months to five years. Financial support for this facility is available from the Students' Union for students who are not eligible for the Access to Learning Funds (ALF).

Until September 2018, the University offered childcare vouchers as a salary sacrifice scheme for staff with children up to age 16. That scheme is now closed to new members (although existing members can continue to receive the benefit). Staff may now be eligible for Tax-Free Childcare instead. Full details are available from the HR website or contact the Reward and Recognition Team for support.

Flexible working and study arrangements

Following a course of maternity, paternity or adoption leave, parents should consider the options available for flexible working if they require more time to care for their child or children. Details of leave available to parents are available on the HR website.

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