Work & Family

WORK AND FAMILY POLICY AND SCHEMES

  1. Introduction
    1.1 Balancing our home and working lives is important for us all. The Work and Family Policy contains a number of schemes which facilitate this objective; helping employees to achieve the right balance between family, home and work commitments at different stages of their lives. The majority of the schemes are underpinned by legislation.
    1.2 The College will be as flexible as possible in the management of each scheme whilst ensuring, with the co-operation of employees, that service quality and delivery are not compromised in any way.
    1.3 The schemes are:
    • Maternity Leave
    • Adoption Leave
    • Paternity Leave
    • Parental Leave
    • Shared Parental Leave
    • Flexible Working
    • Time Off for Family and Dependants and Special Leave Scheme
    • Fertility Leave
    1.4 This document contains an overview of each scheme, highlighting the key provisions. Further details on each scheme are available from the HR Team.
    1.5 Applications for any of the above schemes must be made in writing using the prescribed College form, available from the HR Team.
  2. Maternity Leave Scheme
    2.1 When you take time off to have a baby you might be eligible for:
    • Statutory Maternity Leave
    • Statutory Maternity Pay
    • Paid time off for antenatal care
    2.2 There are rules on when and how to claim your paid leave and if you want to change the dates of your leave.
    2.3 If you have completed one year’s service with the College by the 15th week before your baby is due and you have passed your probationary period satisfactorily, you may also be entitled to enhanced maternity leave with pay. This is over and above the leave and pay you are entitled to in law.
    2.4 Leave – Statutory Maternity Leave is 52 weeks and is made up of:
    • 26 weeks of Ordinary Maternity Leave
    • 26 weeks of Additional Maternity Leave
    2.5 You do not have to take 52 weeks leave but you must by law take 2 weeks leave after your baby is born.
    2.6 You qualify for Statutory Maternity Leave if you give the College the correct notice irrespective of how long you have been with the College or how many hours you work or how much you get paid.
    2.7 Notice must be given at least 15 weeks before your due date, in writing, saying when the baby is due and when you want to start your maternity leave.
    2.8 The College will write to you within 28 days confirming your start date and the date you wish to return to work.
    2.9 Usually, the earliest your leave can start is 11 weeks before the expected week of childbirth. However leave will also start:
    • The day after the birth if the baby is early
    • Automatically if you have been off work for a pregnancy-related illness in the 4 weeks before the due date
    2.10 You must give the College at least 8 weeks’ notice if you want to change your return to work date.
    2.11 Pay – Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) is paid for up to 39 weeks at the rate of:
    • 90% of your average weekly earnings (before tax) for the first 6 weeks
    • The rate set by the government for the relevant tax year or 90% of your average weekly earnings before tax (whichever is lower) for the next 33 weeks
    2.12 SMP is paid in the same way as your wages with tax and national insurance deducted and is paid whether or not you decide to return to work after your maternity leave.
    2.13 To qualify for SMP you must:
    • Have worked for the College for at least 26 weeks up to the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth – known as the ‘qualifying week’
    • Earn the average weekly salary set by the Government each year
    • Give the correct notice
    • Give proof that you are pregnant
    2.14 You can still qualify for SMP if your baby is born early.
    2.15 SMP usually starts when you take your maternity leave. It starts automatically if you have been off work for a pregnancy-related illness in the 4 weeks before the due date.
    2.16 To claim SMP you should tell the College the date you want your SMP to start, giving at least 28 days’ notice in writing and proof that you are pregnant. This proof must be given within 21 days of your SMP start date (or as soon as possible if the baby is born early). Proof is by either:
    • A letter from your doctor or midwife
    • Your MATB1 certificate – doctors and midwives usually issue these 20 weeks before the due date
    2.17 The College will confirm, within 28 days, how much SMP you will get and when it will start and stop. If the College decides that you are not eligible, we will give you form SMP1 within 7 days of making our decision and explain why.
    2.18 Statutory Maternity Leave or SMP will still be paid in the unfortunate circumstances where a baby is either stillborn after 24 weeks of pregnancy or dies after being born.
    2.19 Pay – The College’s Enhanced Maternity Pay – If you qualify for the College’s Enhanced Maternity Pay, as set out in Section 2.3 above, you will receive 16 weeks full pay and either a further 12 weeks full pay or 24 weeks half pay. You will need to tell the College in advance, and no later than the 15th week prior to your due date, which option you prefer. See also Section 2.26 below.
    2.20 Maternity Allowance – If you have less than 26 weeks service at the ‘qualifying week’ or earn less than the lower earnings limit for the payment of national insurance contributions set by the Government you may be eligible to claim Maternity Allowance from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).
    2.21 Time off for antenatal care – You are entitled to take paid time off during working hours to attend antenatal appointments. Time off for antenatal appointments must be requested in advance, and will not be unreasonably refused. Your partner is entitled to attend some antenatal appointments – for details refer to the Shared Parental Leave Scheme.
    2.22 Annual Leave – If the holiday year is due to end during your maternity leave, you will
    normally be expected to take your current full year’s entitlement before you start your maternity leave. If this is not possible, by prior agreement, annual leave may be carried forward into the next holiday year.
    2.23 Keeping in Touch – It is important that communication channels are kept open during maternity leave so that both the College and you are kept abreast of developments which may ultimately influence your successful return to work. The law allows you to have up to 10 ‘Keeping in Touch Days’ (KITS) without ending your maternity leave period or affecting maternity payments. You should contact the HR Team for more information on KITS.
    2.24 Employment rights when on leave – Your employment rights are protected while on Statutory Maternity Leave. This includes your right to:
    • Pay rises
    • Build up (accrue) holiday
    • Return to work
    2.25 Returning to work – You are expected to return to work on the date you originally told the College under Section 2.8 but if you wish to return before or after this date you should contact the HR Team who will advise you of the steps you will need to take. If you change your mind and decide you do not want to return to work for the College at all you should discuss this with your manager as early as possible and give written notice of your resignation in line with the terms of your employment contract. The HR Team will advise you further.
    2.26 If you do not return to work after your maternity leave or resign before you have completed 12 months service following your return, you will be required to repay any Enhanced Maternity Pay, in excess of your entitlement to SMP, as follows:
    • Failing to return or leaving the College within 6 months – 100%
    • Leaving the College between 6-12 months of returning – 50%
    2.27 If you return to work during or immediately after OML, you will be entitled to return to the same position you held before starting your leave, on the same terms and conditions of employment. If you have taken AML, or more than 4 weeks’ parental leave, you are entitled to return to the same job unless it is not reasonably practicable, in which case you will be offered a suitable alternative on terms that are no less favourable.
    2.28 If you have worked full-time prior to your maternity leave you have no automatic right to return to work on a part-time basis or to make other changes to your working pattern but you can make a request for flexible working under the College Flexible Working Scheme.
    2.29 Sickness – If you are unable to attend work at the end of your maternity leave due to sickness or injury, the College’s normal arrangements for sickness absence will apply. In any other case, late return without prior authorisation will be treated as unauthorised absence.
    2.30 Shared Parental Leave – If you wish to share caring responsibility for your child, and it is due on or after the 15th April 2015, you can shorten your maternity leave and you and your partner may take Shared Parental Leave (SPL) instead, if the eligibility criteria are met. Details of the Shared Parental Leave Scheme are set out in Section 5 below. The HR Team can also advise.
    2.31 Requests for maternity leave – For further details and other conditions relating to the Maternity Leave Scheme please contact the HR Team. Requests for maternity leave must be made on the prescribed College form available from the HR Team or from the College intranet.
  3. Adoption Leave Scheme
    3.1 When you take time off to adopt a child you might be eligible for:
    • Statutory Adoption Leave
    • Statutory Adoption Pay
    3.2 If you have completed one year’s service with the College by the week that you are notified in writing by an adoption agency of having being matched with a child and you have passed your probationary period, you may also receive enhanced adoption leave with pay. This is over and above the amounts you are entitled to receive in law.
    3.3 Leave – Statutory Adoption Leave is 52 weeks. It is made up of:
    • 26 weeks of Ordinary Adoption Leave (OAL)
    • 26 weeks of Additional Adoption Leave (AAL)
    3.4 Only one person in a couple can take adoption leave. The other partner could be eligible for paternity leave instead. Only one period of leave will be available in respect of an adoption arrangement. If more than one child is being adopted at the same time, this will not affect the length of your leave.
    3.5 You qualify for Statutory Adoption Leave irrespective of how long you have been with the College or how many hours you work or how much you get paid provided you:
    • Give the correct notice and proof of match date and date of placement e.g. by letter from the agency
    • Give proof of the adoption or name and address of the agency in the case of overseas adoptions and your official notification
    • Give the actual date that the child arrived in the UK in the case of overseas adoptions e.g. plane ticket
    • Sign form SC6 which confirms that you are not taking paternity leave or pay
    3.6 To claim your leave you must, within 7 days of being matched with a child, tell the College in writing:
    • How much leave you want
    • Your leave start date
    • The ‘date of placement’ i.e. the date the child is placed with you
    3.7 The College will confirm within 28 days your leave start and end dates.
    3.8 Leave can start:
    • For UK adoptions – up to 14 days before the date of placement (date the child starts living with you)
    • For overseas adoptions – when the child arrives in the UK or within 28 days of this date
    3.9 Wherever possible you should tell the College within 28 days if the date of a placement
    (or UK arrival date for overseas adoptions) changes, although the College may accept shorter notification if the adoption timescales are varied for reasons beyond your control.
    3.10 You will need to give the College at least 8 weeks’ notice if you want to change your return to work date.
    3.11 Pay – Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) – is paid at the rate set by the Government for
    the relevant tax year or 90% of your average weekly earnings before tax (whichever is
    lower). It is payable for 39 weeks in the same way as your wages, with Tax and
    National Insurance deducted.
    3.12 To get Statutory Adoption Pay you must have worked for the College for at least 26
    weeks up to the 15th week before the date of placement (or UK arrival date for
    overseas adoptions) and earn the average sum of money set by the Government each
    year. If eligible, your Statutory Adoption Pay starts when you take your adoption leave.
    3.13 Exceptions – You will not qualify for Statutory Adoption Leave or Pay if you:
    • Arrange a private adoption
    • Become a special guardian or kinship carer
    • Adopt a stepchild
    • Adopt a family member or stepchild
    3.14 If you are not eligible for SAP the College will give you form SAP1 explaining why you
    cannot get Statutory Adoption Pay.
    3.15 Pay – College Enhanced Adoption Pay – The College’s Enhanced Adoption Pay for
    eligible employees consists of 16 weeks full pay and either a further 12 weeks full pay
    or 24 weeks half pay. You will need to tell the College in advance, and no later than 7
    days of being matched with a child, which option you prefer. See Section 3.20 below.
    3.16 Annual leave – If the holiday year is due to end during your adoption leave, you will
    normally be expected to take your current full year’s entitlement before you start your
    adoption leave. If this is not possible, by prior agreement, annual leave may be carried
    forward into the next holiday year.
    3.17 Keeping in Touch – It is important to keep communication channels open during
    adoption leave so that both the College and you are kept abreast of developments
    which may ultimately influence your successful return to work. The law allows you to
    have up to 10 ‘Keeping in Touch Days’ (KITS) without ending your adoption leave
    period or affecting adoption payments. You should contact the HR Team for more
    information on KITS.
    3.18 Your employment rights when on leave – Your employment rights are protected
    while on Statutory Adoption Leave. This includes your right to:
    • Pay rises
    • Build up (accrue) holiday
    • Return to work
    3.19 Returning to work after adoption – You are expected to return to work on the date
    you originally told the College under Section 3.7 but if you wish to return before or after
    this date you should contact the HR Team who will advise you of the steps you will
    need to take. If you change your mind and decide you do not want to return to work for
    the College at all you should discuss this with your manager as early as possible and
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    give written notice of your resignation in line with the terms of your employment
    contract.
    3.20 If you do not return to work after your adoption leave or you resign before you have
    completed 12 months service following your return, you will be required to repay
    Enhanced Adoption Pay in excess of your entitlement to SAP as follows:
    • If you fail to return or leaving within 6 months – 100%
    • If you leave between 6-12 months of returning – 50%
    3.21 If you return to work during or immediately after OAL, you will be entitled to return to
    the same position you held before starting your leave, on the same terms and
    conditions of employment. If you have taken AAL, or more than 4 weeks’ parental
    leave, you are entitled to return to the same job unless it is not reasonably practicable,
    in which case you will be offered a suitable alternative on terms that are no less
    favourable.
    3.22 If you have worked full-time prior to your adoption leave you have no automatic right to
    return to work on a part-time basis or to make other changes to your working pattern
    but you can make a request for flexible working under the College Flexible Working
    Scheme.
    3.23 Shared Parental Leave – If you wish to share caring responsibility for your child, and
    it is placed for adoption on or after 15th April 2015, you can shorten your adoption leave
    and you or your partner may take Shared Parental Leave (SPL) instead if the eligibility
    criteria are met. The HR Team can advise.
    3.24 Further information and conditions – For further details of other conditions relating
    to the Adoption Leave Scheme please contact the HR Team. Requests for adoption
    leave must be made on the prescribed College form available from the HR Team or the
    College intranet.
  4. Parental Leave Scheme
    4.1 You may be eligible to take unpaid parental leave to look after your child’s welfare
    including to:
    • Have greater social interaction with your child(ren)
    • Look at new schools
    • Settle your child(ren) into new childcare arrangements
    • Spend more time with your family e.g. visiting grandparents
    4.2 Your employment rights e.g. to pay, holidays and returning to a job are protected
    during your parental leave.
    4.3 Up to 18 weeks unpaid parental leave is granted for each child up to their 18th birthday.
    4.4 The limit on how much parental leave you can take in a year is 4 weeks (unless the
    College agrees otherwise). A ‘week’ equals the length of time you normally work in a
    week.
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    4.5 Unless the College agrees otherwise, or the child is disabled, you should take your
    leave in blocks of one week.
    4.6 Carrying leave over from a previous job – Parental leave applies to the child not to
    an individual’s job. So if you have used 10 weeks with your previous employer you
    can use up to 8 weeks with the College if you are eligible, as set out in 4.7.
    4.7 Eligibility – You will qualify for parental leave if you satisfy all of these conditions:
    • You have been employed at the College for more than a year
    • You are named on the child’s birth or adoption certificate
    • You have or expect to have parental responsibility
    • You are not a foster parent (unless you have secured parental responsibility
    through the courts)
    • The child is under 18 years
    4.8 You must give 21 days’ notice before your intended start date. If you or your partner
    are having a baby or adopting, it is 21 days before the week the baby or child is
    expected/placed. You must confirm in writing the start and end dates in your notice.
    4.9 Delaying leave – The College may delay your parental leave if there is a ‘significant
    reason’ e.g. it would cause serious disruption to College business. However leave
    cannot be postponed (delayed) if:
    • It is being taken by the father or partner immediately after the birth or adoption of a
    child
    • It means you would no longer qualify for parental leave e.g. postponing it until
    after the child’s 18th birthday
    4.10 If leave is postponed, the College:
    • Will write to you explaining why within 7 days of the original request
    • Suggest a new start date which must be within 6 months of the requested start
    date
    4.11 Requests for parental leave must be made on the prescribed College form available
    from the HR Team or the College intranet.
  5. Shared Parental Leave
    5.1 Up to a maximum of 50 weeks Shared Parental Leave (SPL) is available to be shared
    between parental partners, where an eligible mother or adoptive parent brings their
    maternity or adoption leave to an end early. It is for the mother or adoptive parent to
    decide whether to solely use their maternity leave or adoption entitlement or use SPL
    at some point.
    5.2 SPL can be shared if:
    • The baby is due or adopted on or after 5th April 2015
    • The baby’s mother or adoptive parent has a specific relationship to their ‘partner’
    as defined in law
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    • The baby’s mother or adoptive parent elects to shorten their maternity or adoption
    leave
    5.3 Before taking any SPL a mother or adoptive parent must take a minimum of 2 weeks’
    maternity/adoption leave following the birth of her child or date of placement. SPL can
    be taken thereafter up until the child’s first birthday. SLP cannot be taken before the
    baby is born.
    5.4 Eligibility – SPL can only be used by two people:
    • The mother/adopter; and either
    • The father of the child (in the case of birth); or
    • The spouse, civil partner or partner of the child’s mother/ adopter
    5.5 Both parents must share the main responsibility for the care of the child at the time of
    the birth/placement for adoption.
    5.6 Additionally an employee seeking to take SPL must satisfy each of the following
    criteria:
    • The mother/adopter of the child must be/have been entitled to statutory
    maternity/adoption leave or if not entitled to statutory maternity /adoption leave
    they must be/have been entitled to statutory maternity/adoption pay or maternity
    allowance and must have ended or given notice to reduce any maternity/adoption
    entitlements.
    • The employee must still be working for the College at the start of each period of
    SPL.
    • The employee must pass the ‘continuity test’ requiring them to have a minimum of
    26 weeks’ service at the end of the 15th week before the child’s expected due
    date/matching date.
    • The employee’s partner must meet the ‘employment and earnings test’ requiring
    them in the 66 weeks leading up to the child’s expected due date/matching date
    have worked for at least 26 weeks and earned an average of the amount of money
    set by the government each year in any 13 of those weeks.
    • The employee must correctly notify the organisation of their entitlement and
    provide evidence as required.
    5.7 It is the employee’s responsibility to check they are eligible for SPL and make a written
    declaration to this effect.
    5.8 Shared parental pay (ShPP) qualifying conditions – Up to 37 weeks ShPP is
    available, subject to the following:
    • The qualifying requirements for SPL set out in 5.6 above must be met.
    • The mother/adopter must be/have been entitled to statutory maternity/ adoption
    pay or maternity allowance and must have reduced their maternity/adoption pay
    period or maternity allowance period.
    • The employee must intend to care for the child during the week in which ShPP is
    payable.
    • The employee must have an average weekly earnings for the period of eight
    weeks leading up to and including the 15th week before the child’s expected due
    date/matching date are not less than the lower earnings limit in force for national
    insurance contributions.
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    • The employee must remain in continuous employment until the first week of ShPP
    has begun.
    • The employee must give proper notification in accordance with the rules set out
    below.
    5.9 Rate of ShPP – ShPP is paid at the rate set by the government each year or 90% of
    average weekly earnings, whichever is lower. This is the same as Statutory Maternity
    Pay (SMP) except that during the first 6 weeks SMP is paid at 90% of earnings (with
    no maximum).
    5.10 Starting leave – The employee or their partner can only start SPL once the child has
    been born or adopted and the mother or adopter has either:
    • Ended any maternity or adoption leave by returning to work or
    • Given ‘binding notice’ (a decision that cannot normally be changed) to the College
    of the date when they plan to end any maternity or adoption leave or
    • Ended maternity pay or Maternity Allowance
    5.11 Notice must be given using the prescribed form and include:
    • The partner’s name
    • Start and end dates for maternity or adoption leave and pay
    • The total amount of SPL and ShPP available and how much the employee and
    their partner intend to take
    • Confirmation that they are sharing childcare responsibility with their partner
    5.12 The partner must also sign the prescribed form stating:
    • Their name, address and National Insurance number
    • That they satisfy the qualifying requirements for SPL and ShPP
    • That they agree to the taking of SPL and ShPP
    5.13 The mother or adoptive parent should also provide a copy of the child’s birth certifciate/
    adoption certificate and the name and address of their partner’s employer.
    5.14 Notice period for leave – The mother/adoptive parent can choose to end their
    maternity/adoption leave at any point but must give at least 8 weeks’ notice of any
    leave they wish to take, which must be taken within a year of the birth/adoption. If a
    child is born more than 8 weeks early, this notice period can be shorter.
    5.15 Cancelling the decision to end maternity or adoption leave – Once notice is given
    to end maternity/adoption leave it is binding and cannot be withdrawn unless within 8
    weeks of submitting the notice it transpires that neither the mother/adoptive parent or
    the partner qualifies for SPL or ShPP; or, when notice was given before the birth, it can
    be withdrawn without a reason for up to 6 weeks following the birth; or where the
    mother dies. There are other rules applying in this situation and advice is available
    from the HR Team.
    5.16 Blocks of leave – Leave can be booked in up to 3 separate blocks instead of taking it
    all in one go, even if it is not being shared with the partner. The date and period is of
    the employees choosing but blocks must be of at least one week. If the partner is
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    eligible for SPL, the mother/adoptive parent can take leave at different times or both at
    the same time and can vary it subject to proper notification. The combined Maternity
    leave and SPL should not however exceed 52 weeks.
    5.17 Shared Parental Leave in Touch (SPLIT) days – The law allows up to 20 ‘Shared
    Parental Leave in Touch’ (or SPLIT) days which can be shared. These days are in
    addition to the 10 ‘Keeping in Touch’ (or KIT) days already available to those on
    maternity or adoption leave. These days help keep communication channels open
    during leave so that both the College and employee are kept abreast of developments
    which may ultimately influence a successful return to work.
    5.18 Employment rights when on leave – Employment rights are protected while the
    employee is on SPL. This includes the right to:
    • Pay rises
    • Build up (accrue) holiday
    • Return to work
    5.19 Returning to work – An employee who takes SPL is entitled to return to the same job
    following their return to work if the combined leave period maternity/ paternity/ adoption
    and SPL has totalled 26 weeks or less. This is unaffected by unpaid parental leave of
    up to 4 weeks. In cases where the number of weeks of aggregated leave exceeds 26
    weeks or the total number of unpaid parental leave exceeds 4 weeks, the mother/
    adoptive parent is entitled to return to the same job unless it is not reasonably
    practicable, in which case an offer of a suitable alternative will be made on terms that
    are no less favourable.
    5.20 Attending antenatal appointments – Fathers and partners are entitled by law to take
    unpaid time off work to accompany pregnant partners to two antenatal appointments,
    up to maximum of 6½ hours per appointment.
  6. Paternity Leave Scheme
    6.1 The College Scheme has an occupational paternity leave scheme which permits you to
    take 2 weeks paid paternity leave from the first day of your employment, when your
    partner is having a baby or adopting a child, if you meet the eligibility criteria set out
    below.
    6.2 Paternity leave is time off to look after the child and is granted if you are the:
    • Father
    • Husband or partner of the mother (or adopter)
    • Child’s adopter
    6.3 Taking your occupational paternity leave – You must take your leave in one block of
    2 weeks or in two separate one week blocks, unless the College agrees otherwise. A
    week is the same amount of days that you normally work in a week e.g. if you only
    work Monday and Tuesdays a week is 2 days.
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    6.4 Leave cannot start before the birth and may be taken at any time during the 4 month
    period immediately following the date of childbirth. In the case of adoption, leave can
    start on the date of placement; or and agreed number of days after the date of
    placement; or on the date the child arrives into the UK in the case of overseas
    adoptions.
    6.5 You will receive your normal rate of pay during your paternity leave.
    6.6 Note: Additional Paternity Leave remains an entitlement for any child born or adopted
    before 5th April 2015. For babies born or adopted after this date Additional Paternity
    Leave is replaced by the Shared Parental Leave Scheme. If you believe you are
    affected by the change in statutory provision contact the HR Team.
  7. Flexible Working Scheme
    7.1 Flexible working is a way of working that enables you to balance your home and work
    needs and responsibilities.
    7.2 All employees may apply for flexible working, which is known as ‘making a statutory
    application’.
    7.3 Types of flexible working – There are different ways of working flexibly:
    • Job sharing – Two people do one job and split the hours
    • Working from home – Doing some or all of your work from home
    • Part time – Working less than full-time hours (usually by working fewer days)
    • Compressed hours – Working full-time hours but over fewer days
    • Flexi time – Choosing when to start and end work (within agreed limits) but
    working certain ‘core hours’, e.g. 10.00 am to 4.00 pm every day
    • Annualised hours – Working a certain number of hours over the year but having
    some flexibility about when you work. This may include ‘core hours’ which you
    would regularly work each week, and you would work the rest of your hours
    flexibly or when there is extra demand at work.
    • Staggered hours – Having a different start, finish and break times from other
    employees
    • Phased retirement – Choosing when you want to retire and maybe reducing your
    hours and, for example, working part-time
    7.4 Applying for flexible working – Requests should be made using the prescribed form
    available on the College intranet, which must:
    • Be dated
    • Give details about how you want to work flexibly and when you would like the
    arrangements to start
    • Explain how the change to your working arrangements will affect the way you do
    your job; how your job duties and responsibilities can continue to be delivered
    under the new working arrangements; whether the change will have any impact on
    the work of your colleagues or team members; whether any change will have an
    effect on learners or service users or any third party; whether there any positive
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    benefits to your proposed new working arrangements; whether there any practical
    issues which will need to be considered and any potential solutions
    • Confirm whether you are making a statutory request and whether you have made
    a previous application in the last 12 months. Note: Only one application is
    permitted by law in a 12 month period.
    • State whether your request is being made in relation to the Equality Act 2010, for
    example as a reasonable adjustment.
    7.5 Meeting to discuss the application – A meeting will be set up promptly to discuss
    your application. This will include discussion of the details of your request; the
    advantages and disadvantages of your proposals; any possible modifications to the
    request; and when any changes may best be implemented.
    7.6 If you are unable to attend the meeting for good reason, it will be rearranged but the
    College reserves the right to determine the final date. If you fail to attend the rearranged meeting without good reason the College can treat your application as
    withdrawn and you will be notified in writing.
    7.7 Bringing someone to the meeting – You can bring a work colleague or trade union
    representative to the meeting. The representative can discuss things but they cannot
    answer questions on your behalf
    7.8 If the colleague or representative cannot make the meeting, it will be rearranged but
    the College reserves the right to determine the final date.
    7.9 Withdrawing an application – If you wish to withdraw your application, you should tell
    the College in writing as soon as possible. In law you are not permitted to make
    another request for 12 months in these circumstances.
    7.10 If you do not provide the information that the College needs to make a decision, the
    application might be treated as withdrawn.
    7.11 The outcome of your application – Requests and appeals will be considered and
    decided upon within three months of receipt of your request, unless a longer period is
    agreed. The College will consider your request carefully looking at the benefits of your
    request for you and the College against any adverse business impact of implementing
    the changes. You will be notified in writing of the outcome of your application.
    7.12 Agreeing the application – If the College agrees, you will be notified in writing of the
    contractual change within 28 days, confirming the date the flexible working will start.
    7.13 Rejecting an application – If your request is rejected you will be notified in writing, by
    letter, setting out the business reasons for rejecting the application.
    7.14 The College may reject an application for one of the following statutory business
    reasons:
    • The burden of extra costs
    • The inability to re-organise work amongst existing staff
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    • The inability to recruit extra staff
    • There would be a detrimental impact on quality
    • There would be a detrimental impact on performance
    • There would be a detrimental effect on the ability to meet customer demand
    • There is insufficient work for the periods you propose to work
    • There are planned structural changes to the business e.g. staffing restructuring or
    service transfers
    7.15 Trial period – The College may agree a trial period before making a final decision,
    during which time the working arrangements will be monitored. At the end of the trial
    period the College will take a final decision on your request, as set out in Section 7.11-
    7.14 above.
    7.16 Appeals – You can appeal against the decision to refuse your request to work flexibly.
    You cannot however appeal on the basis that you simply disagree with the business
    reason given but can, for example, because you believe that your application has not
    been dealt with in a reasonable manner or has been rejected based on inaccurate
    facts. You should clearly set out your grounds of appeal in writing to the Director of
    HR.
    7.17 Holding an appeal meeting – A meeting will be set up promptly to discuss your
    appeal. If you are unable to attend on the date notified for good reason it will be
    rearranged but the College reserves the right to determine the final date of the appeal
    meeting. If you fail to attend the re-arranged appeal meeting without good reason the
    College can treat your application as withdrawn and you will be notified in writing. You
    can bring a work colleague or union representative with you to the meeting under the
    same terms set out in 7.8.
    7.18 Following the appeal meeting the College will write to you with the outcome. This is
    the final stage in the process.
  8. Time off for Family and Dependants Scheme and Special Leave Scheme
    8.1 Time off – By law you are entitled ‘reasonable’ unpaid time off to deal with an
    emergency involving a dependant.
    8.2 What is a dependant? – A dependent is defined in law as a:
    • Husband or wife
    • Partner
    • Child
    • Parent
    • Friend or family member who lives with you but does not pay rent
    • Someone who relies upon you to care for them
    8.3 What is an emergency? – Emergencies include, but are not limited to, situations
    where your dependent goes into labour unexpectedly and they rely upon you to take
    them to hospital; a nursing home or nursery closes unexpectedly; your child minder or
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    carer does not turn up; your child is suspended from school; your dependent is
    mugged and you need time off work to comfort or help them or arrange for their care.
    8.4 You cannot apply for time off if you knew about the situation beforehand as this leave
    is for unforeseen emergencies only.
    8.5 Pay – There is no legal right to be paid for leave under this statutory Scheme.
    8.6 Making an application – Requests should be made using the prescribed form
    available on the College intranet.
    8.7. College Special Leave Scheme – Care for Sick Dependants or Serious Illness or
    Death of a Relative. The College also has an occupational Special Leave Scheme
    which provides leave with pay if you are required to care for a sick dependant or to
    care for a relative who is seriously ill or upon their death.
    8.8 Sick Dependant – The Special Leave Scheme allows up to 10 days paid special leave
    to be granted in any rolling period of 12 months (pro rata for part time staff) to care for
    a sick dependent, subject to approval. Each case is considered on its merits. The 10
    days total includes any days granted under the Time Off for Family and Dependents
    Scheme.
    8.9 A doctor’s certificate stating that you were required to be absent from work for the
    purpose of caring for your sick dependent is required to cover the 4th consecutive
    working day onwards. The costs of the doctor’s certificate may be reimbursed by the
    College as necessary.
    8.10 Serious illness/death – The Special Leave Scheme also allows up to 10 days paid
    special leave to be granted in the case of serious illness of a partner, parent, child,
    sibling or other member of the household; and in the case of the death of a relative or
    close friend in order to make funeral arrangements, subject to approval. One day’s
    paid special leave may also be granted for an employee to attend the funeral of a
    relative or close friend.
    8.11 Additional special leave – An employee can apply to the Senior Management Group
    members for additional unpaid leave or to the Vice Principal for up to a further 5 days
    paid leave. No more than 15 days special leave can be granted in any rolling twelve
    month period. This total includes any time off granted under the Time off for Families
    and Dependents Scheme set out in 8.1 above.
    8.12 All applications for leave under 8.7 – 8.10 should be made on the prescribed form
    available on the College intranet.
  9. Fertility Treatment Leave Scheme
    9.1 Fertility treatment leave – You may be granted paid leave to attend appointments
    and treatment related to fertility.
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    9.2 Who is eligible? – All employees.
    9.3 How is leave requested? – You should make your request in writing to your manager
    using the prescribed form. You may be asked to produce verification for medical
    appointments made.
    9.4 The College will not unreasonably refuse a request for fertility treatment leave but if
    you can control the timings of your appointments/treatment you should take account of
    the needs of the College when making arrangements.