How to contact us

HR Division
Lionel Robbins Building (5th Floor)
10 Portugal Street
London WC2A 2HD

Office hours:
Monday: 9.30 - 5.30
Tuesday: 9.30 - 5.30
Wednesday: 9.30 - 5.30
Thursday: 9.30 - 5.30
Friday: 9.30 - 5.30 

HR who's who


Tel: +44 (0)20 7955 6659
Fax: +44 (0)20 7242 3967


Staff support leave

Further information about staff leave is listed below,

  1. Compassionate leave
  2. Parental leave policy and procedure
  3. Unpaid leave
  4. Time off for emergencies involving a dependant

Compassionate leave

Members of staff are allowed paid leave for two days for the death and attendance at the funeral of immediate family members, other close relatives or other people with whom they had a close continuing relationship. If members of staff are responsible for making funeral arrangements, up to a total of five working days\' paid leave for planning and attendance may be given. Applications for all compassionate leave in these circumstances should be made to line managers. Line managers may exercise discretion in approving compassionate leave above the normal allowance as each request needs to be judged on the circumstances of the case - such discretion should be exercised in consultation with their HR Partner.

Paid leave may also be given when a close relative is terminally ill or when, in the absence of other nursing arrangements, members of staff are responsible for care. The total amount of leave should normally be not more that 15 working days. If members of staff need to apply to their line manager for such leave, wherever possible they should do so in advance.

Parental leave


The School aims to recruit, retain and motivate the best possible employees and, as part of this objective, wants to support employees to combine work with family commitments. The aim of parental leave is to allow employees the opportunity to take time off to care for a child. Reasons why a member of employee may wish to take unpaid parental leave include wanting to:

  • spend more time with his or her young child and achieve a better balance between their work and family commitments
  • be with the child during the initial stages of new childcare arrangements
  • accompany a child during a planned hospital stay.

Parental leave, which is unpaid, is a legal entitlement for both men and women who are the parents of children aged under five (or under 18 if the child is disabled).


Parental leave can be applied for by an employee who, by the time of the proposed start of the parental leave, has completed a years' continuous service and:

  • is a named parent on the birth certificate of a child aged under the age of five (or under 18 if the child is disabled)
  • or, has adopted a child (the cut-off point for this is the fifth anniversary of the adoption or whenever the child reaches the age of 18, whichever is the earlier except in the case of a child entitled to disability living allowance)
  • or, has or is expected to have formal parental responsibility under the Children Act 1989 or Children (Scotland) Act 1995
  • or, is the step-parent of a child aged under the age of five (or under 18 if the child is disabled) and is living with that child.

In the case of multiple births or the adoption of more than one child as part of the same placement, the employee has a statutory right to take unpaid parental leave in respect of each child.

Foster parents are not eligible for parental leave.

Amount of parental leave

The statutory right of employees to parental leave is a maximum of 18 weeks unpaid leave. The entitlement for parental leave applies for each child. The maximum amount of parental leave that may be taken in any one year in respect of a child is four weeks\' parental leave in blocks of not less than one week, except where the child is disabled, in which case it may be taken one day at a time.

The School offers more flexibility, i.e. staff who are eligible for parental leave can request the following:

  • one complete block of four weeks;
  • several one-week periods;
  • shorter working weeks.

For the purpose of this policy a year is the period of 12 months beginning when the employee first becomes entitled to parental leave in respect of the child in question, and each successive period of 12 months beginning on the anniversary of that date.

If the dates requested for taking a block of leave would substantially prejudice the School\'s work, then the leave may be postponed but not indefinitely and not usually for more than three months. The School cannot postpone parental leave requested to immediately follow childbirth or adoption.

Change of employer

An employee\'s total entitlement to parental leave is limited to 18 weeks per child, irrespective of whether he or she changes employer. If, for example, an employee has taken four weeks\' parental leave (out of a total entitlement of 18 weeks) during his or her current employment, the employee will have 14 weeks\' parental leave outstanding on moving to new employment. The employee will, however, have to work for a full year with the new employer before becoming eligible to take any of his or her entitlement.

Documentary evidence of eligibility

A line manager may, at his or her discretion, request documentary evidence from an employee to support a request for parental leave. This might take the form of:

  • sight of the child\'s birth certificate, in order to ascertain that the child is under five years old
  • sight of a certificate of adoption
  • where the employee is exercising a right in relation to a disabled child, evidence of the child\'s entitlement to Disability Living Allowance
  • a signed declaration from the employee that the purpose of the requested period of leave is to care for the child.

A line manager may also wish to check whether an employee requesting parental leave has previously taken any periods of parental leave while working for a previous employer and, if so, how many weeks\' leave were taken. Line managers should note, however, that there is no legal duty on employers to provide this information.

Notification requirements

The statutory requirements are that employees must give at least 21 days\' notice of the period of parental leave that they wish to take and the notice must specify the dates on which the period of parental leave is to begin and end. Additionally, the School requests that the notice be in writing.

A father who wishes to take a period of parental leave beginning when their child is born, must give notice at least 21 days before the expected week of childbirth, and must specify the expected week of childbirth and the duration of the period of parental leave requested. Additionally, the School requests that notice of the intention to take parental leave should be given together with notice of the intention to take paid paternity leave.

Similarly, where parental leave is requested to begin on an adopted child\'s placement, the employee\'s notice must be given at least 21 days before the beginning of the week in which the child is to be placed for adoption, or as soon as is reasonably practicable thereafter. The notice must specify the week in which the adoption placement is expected to occur and the duration of the period of parental leave requested.

In case where it is not possible to give notice of 21 days, e.g. if the child is born prematurely or where less than 21 days\' notice is given that a child is to be placed with the employee for adoption, then the employee should give notice as soon as possible.

Where a person\'s manager is not agreeable to allow him or her to take parental leave at the time or times notified, the parties shall attempt to reach agreement on an alternative time or times when leave will be taken. Where they are unable to agree, and the employee is an academic member of staff, the matter shall be referred to the Vice-Chairman of the Academic Board for a decision within ten working days.

It is the responsibility of the person and the manager to keep a record of any leave requested, agreed and taken. A copy of the record should be sent to HR Services so that staff receive the correct salary payments and there is proper management information so that future requests for parental leave can be properly managed and administered.

 A proper record will enable the employer to show, if necessary, that it has granted employees the full periods of parental leave to which they are entitled. Clear records will also enable employers to cooperate with other employers in providing information, on request, about how much parental leave an ex-employee has already taken, although there is no legal duty to provide such information

Return to work

There is no statutory requirement for employees to give any specific notice of their return from parental leave, as the return date will have been agreed at the outset. Therefore, the member of staff should simply turn up for work in the usual way on the appropriate date.

Return to work to the same job is guaranteed if the leave is for a period of four weeks or less. If the leave is for a longer period, and it is not reasonably practicable to go back to the same job, then the return may be to a similar, alternative job with the same or better status, terms and conditions that is both suitable and appropriate. This means that seniority, pension rights and other similar benefits must be the same as they would have been if the employee had worked normally during the period when he or she took parental leave. Similarly, if parental leave of any length is taken immediately after additional maternity leave, additional adoption leave or additional paternity leave, the employee is entitled to return to the same job or, if that is not reasonably practicable, another job that is suitable and appropriate for the employee to do in the circumstances .

Application of terms and conditions during leave

The School is entitled from the employee of the usual application of terms and conditions about notice of termination, disclosure of confidential information, receipt of gifts or benefits, and participation in any other business. The employee can expect the School to meet its obligation of trust and confidence, and terms and conditions about notice of termination, redundancy compensation, and disciplinary and grievance procedures.

Annual leave

An employee continues to accrue their statutory paid holiday entitlement during parental leave, but not their contractual paid holiday entitlement. HR Services can give advice on how to calculate leave.

Pension contributions

Employees who wish to maintain the full level of pension contributions should advise the Superannuation Officer as soon in advance of the leave period as possible. In such circumstances, the School shall also make pension contributions.

Other types of leave

Paternity leave

It should be noted that parental differs from paternity leave. Paternity leave is paid leave (ten working days, pro rata for less than full time employment) to be taken before and around the time of childbirth or adoption, or within a reasonable time period afterwards. It also differs from additional paternity, maternity or adoption leave.

Time off for emergencies involving a dependent

For employees who need to care for a dependant who becomes suddenly ill or injured, or if usual care arrangements break down.

Compassionate leave

Paid leave may be given when a close relative is terminally ill or when, in the absence of other nursing arrangements, the employee is responsible for care.

Further information

If you have any further queries please refer them to your HR adviser. 

Unpaid leave

Support Staff may apply for unpaid leave in certain circumstances, for example unpaid leave can be requested for periods of exam revision, personal issues etc. This leave must have the full support of your Head of Department and Manager. A request to work flexibly form should be sent to the HR Division, briefly explaining the reasons for the leave and the period of leave requested. The application should be made as soon as possible. Please refer to our guidance on requests for flexible working for further information.

Time off for emergencies involving a dependant

Time off

The main carer for the dependant (defined as the individual\'s parent, partner, child or someone who lives as a family member) can apply for time off to deal with an emergency involving a dependent for the following reasons to:

  • provide assistance when a dependant falls ill, gives birth or is injured or assaulted
  • to make arrangements for the provision of care for an ill or injured dependant
  • because of the unexpected disruption or termination of arrangements for the care of a dependant
  • to deal with an incident that involves their child and occurs unexpectedly while the child is at school/other educational establishment

Also, time off can be agreed for care of a person who is not a dependant but relies on the employee if suddenly ill or injured.

Information on the statutory right to take a reasonable amount of unpaid time off to deal with certain unexpected or sudden emergencies and to make any longer term arrangements is available on and   

Paid time off  

Up to two discretionary paid days a year for circumstances not covered by compassionate leave. (Compassionate leave may be given when a close relative is terminally ill or when, in the absence of other nursing arrangements, the employee is responsible for care. The total amount of leave should normally be not more that 15 working days. If an employee wishes to apply to their line manager for such leave, wherever possible they should do so in advance).

Requests for annual leave can also be made.

Unpaid time off

Requests for additional unpaid leave can also be made. 

Short-term flexible working

As an alternative to taking paid or unpaid time off, employees could request arranging to work additional hours on another day e.g. where time off is less than half a day or changing working patterns e.g. working from home or swapping lectures or shifts.

Notification and documentation requirements

A request for time off to deal with an emergency should be made to the manager at the start of the working day and followed by a brief written explanation with a copy sent to HR Services. It is understood that there may be situations where it may not be possible for the employee to provide notice of time off, should this be the case, the employee, or where this is not possible, someone on their behalf should inform the manager.

It is the responsibility of the person and the manager to keep a record of any time off agreed and taken.


Please contact your HR Adviser if you have any queries.