Maternity, paternity, shared parental and adoption leave

We offer maternity, paternity, shared parental and adoption leave.

We value our hard working staff and recognise that time off when you are starting, or extending, your family is important.

Maternity leave

All staff, regardless of their length of NHS service or the number of hours worked are entitled to take 52 weeks of maternity leave whether or not they return to NHS employment following the birth of their child.

The level of pay will depend on length of NHS service, working hours and current rate of pay.

You will also be entitled to take reasonable time off with pay to attend antenatal appointments, providing you can give reasonable notice of the appointments.

Paternity leave

Irrespective of how long you have worked with us, you are entitled to two weeks of ordinary statutory paternity leave following the birth or adoption of a child.

Ordinary statutory paternity leave can only be taken in blocks of one week which may be consecutive. Leave cannot be taken as single days. If leave is taken as two separate weeks the full entitlement must be taken within eight weeks from the first day of the week of the birth/adoption.

To qualify for statutory paternity pay, employees must have completed 26 weeks continuous service with the NHS by the 15th week before the baby is due, or by the date in which notification of adoption is given.

You are entitled to two weeks full NHS paternity pay if you are on Agenda for Change terms and conditions of employment and have completed one year’s continuous service within the NHS by the beginning of the week in which the baby is due or the date when the child is placed for adoption.

Shared parental leave

Both mum and dad are entitled to take parental leave but it cannot be transferred between parents.

Parental leave can be added to a period of maternity and paternity leave or can be used at another time if you need to:

  • Spend more time with a child in their early years
  • Accompany a child during a stay in hospital
  • Check out new schools
  • Settle a child into new childcare arrangements 

We offer unpaid parental leave to staff employed with a minimum length of service of one year in the NHS.

Eligible parents are entitled to 13 weeks unpaid leave (18 weeks for a child with a disability).

Adoption Leave

All employees, regardless of their length of service or hours of work, wishing to adopt a child are entitled to take 52 weeks adoption leave. This includes ordinary adoption leave of 26 weeks and additional adoption leave of a further 26 weeks and there must be no gap between the two.

Eligible employees are entitled to 39 weeks of ordinary adoption leave and pay. This is known as occupational adoption leave.

Additional unpaid adoption leave of 13 weeks is also available to all employees

Reasonable paid time off to attend official meetings in the adoption process will be given where the child is initially unknown to the adoptive parents. Other requests for time off will be considered on a discretionary basis.