Before becoming a parent
Whether it's your first child or not, preparing for a new baby and planning your leave can be daunting. Here you will find all the information you need to help you understand the options available so you can make the right choices for you.
We understand that you may have questions and concerns relating to your maternity/paternity rights and would encourage you to contact a member of the Human Resources Operational Services Team to discuss your individual circumstances.
We have developed a number of policies and procedures to set out the provisions and rights for members of staff wishing to start a family.
Pregnant and new mothers risk assessment
All pregnant members of staff are expected to have a risk assessment as soon as possible. Your line manager will carry out the risk assessment once you have notified them that you are pregnant.
You will be given an Expectant Mothers Risk Assessment form which should be completed through discussion between you and your manager.
During your leave
Keeping In Touch days
During your maternity leave, your manager can agree to up to 10 Keeping in Touch (KIT) Days during a period of maternity leave without bringing the maternity leave to an end.
During these days you may attend work, undertake training or keep in touch with work developments through other means.
There is no obligation on either the university or the member of staff to use any or all of these days.
Coming back to work
We recognise that staff have responsibilities and interests that have to be balanced with working life.
Our aim is to create a well-managed flexible working environment that supports staff, promotes welfare, maintains effective working practices, and provides a productive balance between work and life outside work.
All employees, not just parents and carers, have the legal right to request flexible working.
Flexible working agreements could be an alternative working pattern to the standard working hours or part-time working.
For staff with children, we are well placed for access to year-round childcare for under-fives, as well as holiday sports and play schemes for older children.
The Childcare Vouchers scheme is now closed to new applicants, although you can still receive and use the vouchers if you are already a member of the scheme. (via Busy Bees Benefits)
Tax-Free Childcare Scheme
The government has launched a new Tax-Free Childcare Scheme, offering eligible parents a new way to save on childcare costs. Childcare Choices offers government help with childcare costs to help you pay for:
- Registered childminders, nurseries and nannies
- Registered after-school clubs and playschemes
- Registered schools
- Home careworkers working for a registered home care agency
In addition to the tax-free childcare scheme, the Government provides 15 hours of free early education childcare for all 3 to 4 year olds in England. Working parents can now claim up to 30 hours per week, subject to eligibility. See the Government website for details.
Workplace Nursery Salary Exchange Scheme
The Oaks’ Workplace Nursery Salary Sacrifice Scheme enables eligible staff to opt to receive a lower salary – a salary exchange – in return for the University paying an equivalent amount of his/her nursery fees, via an amendment to contract. This arrangement means staff agree to receive a lower amount of gross pay and in return will be provided with a fully funded (or part thereof) workplace nursery place.
Child friendly benefits
As a Kent staff member, you can save up to 20% with local businesses, including:
- The Marlowe Theatre
- The Gulbenkian
- The Historic Dockyard
bOing! International family festival
bOing! is a brilliant weekend of performance and creativity for all ages run by Gulbenkian, Canterbury every August bank holiday weekend.
Holiday clubs and camps
Multi-activity courses and camps in Canterbury and Kent during half term and holiday time.