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Durham University

Human Resources & Organisational Development

Research Leave following Maternity, Adoption and Shared Parental Leave

As part of the University’s ongoing commitment to equality and diversity any member of staff employed on a contract of employment returning from a period of 26 weeks or more maternity, adoption or shared parental leave will be eligible to apply for a term of University research leave. The leave must be taken within 12 months of the member of staff returning to work.

The timing of the leave must be discussed and agreed with the Head of Department – there is no requirement that the period of leave requested should begin immediately after maternity, adoption ends. There is no guarantee that the research leave will be approved, the usual application process will apply.

There will only be one period of additional research leave granted per pregnancy/adoption i.e. multiple birth will not result in eligibility for more than one period of leave.

The following conditions will apply;

- The member of staff must have been continuously employed by the University for a minimum of 12 months before the expected week of childbirth or, in the case of adoption, 12 months prior to the date of placement.

- The member of staff must be a research active member of academic staff and eligible to apply for research leave.

- The member of staff must have followed the usual application process to have the leave agreed. The application may have to be made out of round depending on the timing of the notification of pregnancy.

- The period of leave must have a clearly defined and agreed scheme of research and outcomes in line with the usual application process.

- The period of leave should not be used as an extension to maternity or adoption leave or in order to provide childcare.

The opportunity to apply for an additional term of research leave will apply to all members of staff whose baby is born or, in the case of adoption, placed with them on or after 1 October 2015. Staff interested in taking the leave should meet with their Head of Department in first instance to discuss.

Requests from parents of babies born before this date should be discussed with the Head of Department, noting that the guidance allows for the leave to be taken within 12 months of the return to work.