Support prior to maternity, paternity or adoption leave
Guided by central university policies and processes, we are committed to providing appropriate support and promoting equality across all staff/student groups before, during and after all types of parental leave. After disclosure that such leave is required, staff are informed about:
developing a maternity plan and cover arrangements
required actions, such as health and safety risk assessments
support offered before, during and after the leave period, including time off for ante-natal appointments and the University nursery
the Warwick Academic Returners Fellowships for academics
Keeping In Touch (KIT) days
Support during leave
As a positive way of keeping up to date with both WMS and group/team activities, staff can take up to 10 paid Keeping In Touch (KIT) days while they're on leave. To make it as easy as possible for staff to get involved in meetings during KIT days they have the option of joining via Skype.
In addition to KIT days, parents may take up to 20 ‘shared parental leave in touch’ (SPLIT) days, which are paid at normal rates.
Support for those returning to work after maternity, paternity or adoption leave
Recognising the many challenges new parents often encounter on returning to work, we strive to ensure a smooth return.
Networks and support schemes
Line-managers and HR advisors welcome returners and provide information on the University's Returning Parent’s Network, the ‘Returning Parents Mentoring Scheme’, and a newly launched ‘Working Parents Staff Network Buddy Scheme’.
Family and reflection room
Since 2016, in response to the needs of our community, we established a Family and Reflection room - a private, comfortable space with refrigeration where women can express/store breast-milk at work, or have a rest. This has been a very popular and welcome addition to the school.
University of Warwick nursery and holiday schemes
The University of Warwick nursery (rated Outstanding by OFSTED) provides care from 6 months to 5 years, full time or part time from Monday to Friday (8.15am - 5.45pm). Holiday schemes are also facilitated via the nursery for children aged 5 to 16 years during week days in the school vacations. These are advertised on the website and internal newsletters and are promoted by line managers.
Returns awards and fellowships
We are committed to addressing the retention of excellent academic talent, and recognise that absence due to maternity/paternity/adoption leave can have a detrimental impact on research output. Since 2014, six members of staff have taken advantage of the university's ‘Conference Support Award’, supporting additional caring costs incurred whilst attending conferences/workshops/training events, and we will continue encourage uptake by staff. We also offer a 'Warwick Academic Returners Fellowship’, which provides financial support relieving staff of teaching and administrative duties to fully concentrate on research. This funding opportunity is advertised in the weekly WMS newsletter, emails and team briefings in addition to maternity leave planning and Personal Development Review career development discussions.
Bereavement working group
In 2019 we are in the process of establishing a new bereavement working group which will highlight difficulties and identify solutions to support bereaved staff members when returning to work.
Support for medical students with child caring responsibilities
Our MB ChB attracts mature students, many of whom have child-caring responsibilities. Where possible WMS endeavours to prioritise the needs of students with caring responsibilities with regards to the locality of clinical attachments and community placements (including GP placements). In recognising that childcare arrangements may fail at the last moment, we have worked with students to co-produce an online resource detailing essential information, including emergency childcare arrangements.