Supporting families

At Kent, we are committed to supporting expectant parents and parents with children of any age to ensure a good work life balance.

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. 

Key contacts

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.

Family-friendly leave

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

Work-life balance

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.

Flexible working

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. 

Childcare facilites

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.

Childcare vouchers

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.

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