Information for Parents

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Whether you are planning to start a family, are expecting a child or already have children, the University has a range of family-friendly benefits. 

Maternity and Adoption Leave

The University of Oxford’s policy on maternity and adoption leave and pay is one of the most generous in UK higher education. Eligible parents are entitled to up to 26 weeks leave at the rate of full pay, followed by up to 13 weeks at the rate of statutory pay and 13 weeks unpaid leave.

Full details can be found at:

Shared Parental Leave

Shared Parental leave allows a couple to share the leave and pay available through the maternity and adoption leave schemes (aside from two weeks compulsory leave which must be taken by mothers/primary adopters).  Up to 50 weeks leave and up to 37 weeks statutory pay, and for University employees up to 24 weeks pay at the rate of full pay, are available to be shared if the mother or primary adopter chooses to convert their entitlement into Shared Parental Leave.  Shared Parental Leave can be taken in single or multiple and discontinuous blocks giving parents flexibility to arrange care for their new arrival in a way that best fits them. 

Paternity Leave

Fathers, or partners of new mothers or primary adopters, can take up to two weeks leave at the rate of full pay, within the first 56 days after the birth or placement of the child. Although referred to as 'Paternity' leave, the leave is available to partners of any gender as long as they have the main responsibility (apart from the birth mother/adopter) for bringing up the child, and intend to take the time off to look after the child.

Full details can be found at:

Fertility Treatment Leave

The University recognises the emotional and physical challenges which may arise from undergoing fertility treatment, and seeks to support staff who are going through this. The University’s Fertility Treatment Leave framework is intended to assist eligible staff members in the logistical and emotional aspects of undergoing treatment.

Full details can be found at:

Statutory Unpaid Parental Leave

As a parent, you have a right to take unpaid time off work to look after a child under the age of 18 or to make arrangements for the child's welfare, for example, to:

  • accompany a child during a stay in hospital;
  • check out new schools;
  • settle a child into new childcare arrangements;
  • enable family to spend more time together. For example, taking a child to stay with grandparents.

For information about eligibility and notification requirements see: Guidance on unpaid parental leave

Leave for Other Reasons

The University recognises that you may need to take occasional leave from work to fulfil caring responsibilities for dependants who are sick, or to deal with domestic emergencies; discretionary leave is available for these purposes.

Flexible Working

The University supports and encourages the use of flexible working practices, in order to enable employees to care for dependants or to strike a better balance between their work and family life. A flexible working arrangement can be any working pattern other than the normal working pattern in your department and may be a formal or informally agreed arrangment, and may be a temporary or permanent change to your contractual terms. 

Examples include part-time working, requesting additional annual leave, compressed hours, or homeworking. Any member of staff who would like to consider flexible working arrangements should discuss the matter with their departmental administrator or equivalent, in the first instance.

Further details can be found at:


The University is proud to be able to offer a comprehensive range of high quality childcare at affordable prices. It works closely with various professional bodies to continue to develop and enhance its provision.

For further information about nurseries please visit the University of Oxford Childcare Services.

If you would like to talk to someone about other childcare options, including nanny share, contact My Family Care

Framework for the management of family leave for research and academic staff

The purpose of the Framework is to minimise the impact of an extended period of family leave on a research project and wider team, and to ensure that the University is able to deliver on its research and teaching commitments.

If you are a researcher or have management responsibility for research staff, please refer to the Framework for the management of family leave for research and academic staff.