maternityleave

Maternity Leave

Maternity leave / student absence. Who do you need to inform and which forms do you need to complete?

On finding out that you are pregnant or about to become a parent, there are several steps that you will need to put in place. The Welfare and Equality at the Students Union will be able to assist you with each step. Please follow the steps below alongside the Student Maternity and Student Parents - Policy Statement and supplementary guidance.

• Step 1
Consult your GP, Midwife and other appropriate services and consider disclosing your pregnancy to your School/Faculty. You must do this if elements of your programme of study present risk to the health and safety of either you or child.

• Step 2
You will need to request a meeting with your personal tutor/course supervisor, or other trusted member of staff, to discuss the implications of your pregnancy for your programme of study.

• Step 3
The member of staff considers the implications of the pregnancy for the course of study – and ensures that any appropriate risk assessment(s) are completed for any potentially hazardous elements of the programme of study, including course placements, study abroad and fieldwork. More information can be found here http://www.hse.gov.uk/mothers/

• Step 4
You will need to explore any potential implications of agreed flexibility on payment of tuition fees. More information can be obtained from here https://my.ncl.ac.uk/students/money

• Step 5
The School/Faculty prepares a written statement detailing agreed flexibility and sends a copy to you

• Step 6
Responsible member of staff communicates written agreement to all relevant staff/exam boards along with, where appropriate, a Personal and Extenuating Circumstances form. More information can be obtained from the Student Progress website

• Step 7
A member of staff and yourself jointly monitor agreement and any risk assessments through pregnancy and agree further adjustments if the need arises.

 

If you are a current student parent, there are several steps that can be taken to support you as a student who has parental responsibilities. The Welfare and Equality Officer at the Students’ Union will be able to assist you with each step.

• Step 1
You need to consider whether your caring responsibilities might have an impact on your attendance and/or assessments. If yes, you will need to request a meeting with your personal tutor or other trusted member of staff in your school. If applicable, a Personal and Extenuating Circumstances form may need to be completed. More information can be found here

• Step 2
The member of staff responds, meets with yourself and considers the implications of the caring responsibilities for all elements of the programme of study, including course placements, study abroad and field work.

• Step 3
The School/Faculty prepares a written statement detailing the agreed flexibility and sends a copy to you.

• Step 4
The responsible member of staff communicates written agreement to relevant others e.g. personal tutor, exam boards along with, where appropriate, a mitigating circumstances form.

• Step 5
The member of staff and yourself jointly monitor the agreement and agree further adjustments if the need arises.

Finance during your maternity leave

Student loan/grants

If you are a full time UK undergraduate student and have to take time out due to pregnancy or caring responsibilities you may be able to request that your student finance continues to be paid during your period of suspension. This is a decision entirely at the discretion of your assessment authority (e.g. Student Finance England).  If you wish to pursue this you should contact your assessment authority for further advice.

You will probably be asked to make a written request asking for your student finance to continue to be paid to you during your suspension.  It may be beneficial if you are able to provide supporting evidence outlining the financial difficulties or hardship you would experience if your student finance payments ceased as well as outlining why you are unable to find alternative sources of income.   You should also provide evidence of any ongoing financial commitments you have (e.g. mortgage or rent payments).

Hardship Fund

If you are full-time UK student and have to take time out due to pregnancy or caring responsibilities you may be eligible to apply to the discretionary Hardship Fund if you experience financial difficulties.  If you submit a hardship application you should provide evidence outlining the reasons for your suspension as well as evidence from your School confirming the date you are expected to resume your studies.  Undergraduate students would also need to demonstrate that they have tried to access their student finance during their period of suspension (see above).

Please note you can only apply for the above support if you are on suspension of studies with a return date to your course. If you withdraw from your course you will no longer be classed as a student and will become ineligible for financial support.