The University has a number of family friendly policies and procedures including maternity, paternity, shared parental and adoption leave.

Please find below key information and answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. 

Planning to become a parent

Entitlements including Maternity, Adoption, Paternity and Shared Parental Leave

Choose the leave type that applies to you. 

During your Leave

How can I keep in touch during my leave?

  • Before you go on leave you will have the opportunity to discuss with your manager how you will stay in touch, if you wish to do so, during your leave.
  • It may be helpful for your manager to contact you during your leave to update you on what is happening at work, promotion opportunities, training opportunities, or to discuss plans for your return to work.
  • You may wish to talk about how often you will be in contact with each other and what form the contact will take. You may also want to provide preferred contact details and to discuss the possibility of ‘keeping in touch’ days.
  • We understand that once your leave begins, your preferences may change. You should just let your manager know.


What are Keeping in Touch (KIT) and Shared parental Leave in Touch (SPLIT) days?
  • People on maternity or adoption or surrogacy leave are able, in agreement with their line manager, to take up to 10 keeping in touch (KIT) days without their leave being brought to an end.
  • People on shared parental leave are able, in agreement with their line manager, to take up to 20 SPLIT days (Shared parental leave in touch days) between them without their leave being brought to an end.
  • KIT and SPLIT days are designed to enable you to carry out work or attend training or events during your leave without the leave being brought to an end. These will be paid at your normal rate of pay.

Keeping in Touch Days Online Training

Will I be paid for KIT / SPLIT days?
  • The amount of pay for these days depends on whether the day falls within periods when you are receiving paid or unpaid leave.
  • If you are receiving full pay, then you will not receive additional payment for KIT/SPLIT days. If you are receiving half pay, then you will receive a payment equal to half a day’s pay for each day worked, and if you are taking unpaid leave then you will receive payment equal to a day’s pay for each day worked. 
How can I apply for KIT / SPLIT days?
  • You should discuss your KIT / SPLIT day requirement with your line manager, who will need to approve them.
  • Your line manager will then complete a KIT/SPLIT day form and send this to payroll so that payment can be made. The form can be found here
Returning from Leave

Flexible Working

Can I make a flexible working request?

You have the statutory right to make flexible working request after 26 weeks continuous service. Details can be found in the Flexible Working Policy.

What kind of work requests will be considered?

  • A change to the hours that you work
  • A change to the times that you are required to work
  • Working from home
  • A change to your working pattern

What is the procedure?

  • Make an application to your head of department or executive Dean using the flexible working request form.
  • Bear in mind that you can only make one request in a 12 month period.
  • The University has three months to consider your request, discuss it with you and notify you of the outcome.
  • If you are dissatisfied with the response you can appeal within 14 days of being notified of the decision.

Caring for your Dependants in an emergency

What is the provision for emergency care of dependants?

  • Details of compassionate leave/emergency care of dependants leave can be found in the policy document here.
  • The following allowances of leave are considered reasonable:
    • 1-2 days to deal with an emergency involving a dependant or in the event of an urgent domestic/personal problem
    • 3 days upon the bereavement of a close relative where you are responsible for funeral arrangements. This includes 1 day for attendance at the funeral.
    • 1 day upon the bereavement of a more distant relative to enable attendance at the funeral.

Will my compassionate leave/emergency care for dependants leave be paid?

Approved leave in line with the allowances that are deemed reasonable will be paid.

How do I organise compassionate/emergency care of dependants leave?

  • You are required to notify your Head of Department or Executive Dean of the reason for your absence and its likely duration as soon as is reasonable practicable.
  • There may be circumstances where you are not able to do this until you return. In this case it is recommended that you keep your line manager informed.

Parental Leave

Please refer to our main Parental Leave Page for more information.

Facilities at Aston  

What facilities are there for nursing/baby changing at Aston?

There are baby changing facilities located in the disabled toilet behind the great hall. 

We will be opening a dedicated infant feeding room in MBG35B over the coming months. If you need access to a room in the interim, please contact your HRBP in the first instance. You may also discuss local requirements with your line manager.

General FAQs

What will happen to my pension scheme when I'm on maternity leave/adoption leave/shared parental leave?

If you are in the Scottish Widows pension scheme the % contributions during this period will be based on your actual pay during this period.

If you are in the USS scheme and you qualify for occupational pay for any of these schemes then the % contributions during the period (where you are receiving pay) will be paid by the employee and employer as normal. To take account of any reduction in pay, the member pays contributions based on actual pay during this period, and the employer will pay the balance of the employees and the employers contribution. 

During the period of no pay, there will be no employees' or employers' contributions made. Employees will be given the option to pay these contributions (during the unpaid period) on their return. If you choose to pay these contributions, then in this event Aston University will pay the employer contributions.

For further information regarding your pension, please contact Peter Brookes, Pensions and Benefits Officer or 0121 204 4582. 

Is there any financial support towards childcare?

The government have a tax free child care scheme, please see the Government website for further information on this and other child care provision.

Is there any confidential support, help, guidance or assistance that the University can provide?

You can speak to your line manager, HR or your trade union representative if you have any concerns. The University also offers a free, confidential, employee assistance programme. The service is available 24 7, 365 days per year. For further information and contact details, please visit our wellbeing at Aston web page for further information at Aston University's Wellbeing Pages

What happens to my car parking whilst I am on maternity/SPL/Paternity?

If you are taking a long period of leave you may want to suspend your car park payments until you return.  In order to do this, you will need to email payroll at and Maria Anderson. You will need to confirm before the start of the month that you wish to suspend payments. When you return to the University, you should email payroll and Maria Anderson again to reinstate your payment and parking. This should be done in advance of your return to avoid any disruption.

Carers in the workplace - Lived Experience Videos


  • Nicola talks about the challenges of looking after her step-father who suffers from Alzheimer’s. Watch the video here.
  • Dawn talks about the lengths she had to go to in order to get a diagnosis for her disabled daughter, and the inspiring ways her daughter deals with her own disabilities.  Watch the video here. 
  • Roger talks about caring for his wife who has multiple sclerosis, the impact the disease has on her mental health, and his own, and how he achieved a balance between his work and caring responsibilities.  Watch the video here.
  • Claire talks about caring for her two boys who are neurodivergent, the challenges that came with that, and how those caring responsibilities impacted on her career in the police force.  Whatch the video here.
  • Ruth talks about her father who has dementia, the challenges that his condition has brought, and the many ways that she and her family have supported him emotionally and physically through this difficult process.  Watch the video here. 

The Parents & Carers Staff Network

The Parents & Carers Staff Network was set up by and for colleagues from both academic and professional services to support colleagues through the work-life balance, challenges and complexities of parenting and caring. We run regular, informal and friendly virtual sessions and organise a yearly, in-person networking event with specially selected guest speakers.

  • Group I: 0-4 yrs. old children
  • Group II: 5-11 yrs. old children
  • Group III: 12+ yrs. old / teenagers
  • Group IV: Single Parents
  • Group V: Carers *looking after a family member, partner or friend who needs help because of their illness, frailty, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction and cannot cope without their support.

The network is open to all staff members and PhD students. If you have any queries about the network or you would like to join us, please contact us.

Queries about Maternity, Paternity, Adoption or Shared Parental Leave?

Contact your HR Business Partner