Maternity and Pregnancy

From 1 October 2014, a new right for expectant fathers and partners to take time off to accompany a pregnant woman at antenatal appointments has been introduced.  Learn more.


Pregnancy and Maternity is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010.  The University of Leicester positively promotes equality of opportunity for all staff and will not discriminate unfairly on the basis of pregnancy and maternity.  The University will not tolerate any form of discrimination, harassment and victimisation directed at a woman because of pregnancy or maternity.

This commitment is consistent with the significant progress that the University has already made in this area.  For example, we hold the Athena Swan Bronze Award, which reflects a commitment to the advancement and promotion of the careers of women in Science, Engineering and Technology.

The University’s non-contractual Maternity Policy and Procedure provide information on rights and entitlements for staff wishing to take maternity leave.  We also run maternity workshops regularly for those who want to learn more about their entitlements (booked via the Staff Development Partnership).

New right for expectant fathers and partners to take time off to accompany a pregnant woman at antenatal appointments.

On 1 October 2014, changes to the law on time off for antenatal appointments came into force.  The changes mean that, from this date, all employees (from day one of their employment) have the right to take time off to accompany a pregnant woman with whom they are having a child at up to two antenatal appointments. This time off will be unpaid.

To be eligible to take this form of time off, you could be the husband or civil partner of the pregnant woman, or you could be living with the pregnant woman in an enduring family relationship.  In addition, you will be eligible for the time off if you are the biological father of the expected child.  We expect that normally no more than half a day is needed for an antenatal appointment, but your leave includes the time you need to travel to the appointment and any waiting time needed at the appointment, and can be for a maximum of six-and-a-half hours on each occasion.

If you would like to make a request for time off to accompany someone at an antenatal appointment, you should contact your line manager in the first instance.

The University’s Paternity Leave Policy and Procedure will be updated in due course to reflect this new right.  If you have any questions regarding the new right, please do not hesitate to contact HR.

Further guidance on maternity is available from a number of sources, including the full policy - see below for more details.

Adobe Acrobat (PDF) Maternity Policy (PDF, 337KB)
Adobe Acrobat (PDF) Maternity Procedure (PDF, 569KB)
Word Maternity Leave Notification Form (DOCX, 16KB)
Adobe Acrobat (PDF) Frequently asked questions - maternity and pregnancy (PDF, 223KB)
Adobe Acrobat (PDF) Breastfeeding Room Poster (PDF, 144KB)
Maternity Workshops

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