Family-Friendly Policies

Employees or students who are new to the Department of Earth Sciences and have children, or who are thinking about starting a family, will find a supportive attitude backed up by family-friendly policies and working practice.

The Department welcomes flexible working to assist parents with their childcare arrangements. The core hours in the department are 10.00 am until 3.00 pm.

Children are welcome at departmental social events. The Researcher’s Common Room within our building was explicitly modified during the design of our new building in order that it should be safe for children.

There are also baby changing and rest/private feeding facilities available within the department, accessible to both Mums and Dads.

The University is proud to offer a comprehensive range of high quality childcare at affordable prices. Details can be found via the University Childcare Services website ( Parents or prospective parents are advised to register as soon as possible with this service as waiting lists can be long.

Family leave

For Students: policies on family leave for students are available via the Student Parents part of the website.

For all staff (including post-docs): The University policies on Maternity, Paternity, Shared Parental Leave and adoption and parental emergency leave can be found on the Family leave section of the University Personnel Services website. This leave is applicable to all staff (Support and Academic) within the University. The information given on this website applies to all University staff. It details what an employee has to do before the birth, during maternity leave and after maternity leave. This is a very detailed website, if you have any questions please contact Emma Smith, HR Manager (

If you are employed by a college, your entitlements may be different from university employees. Each college has its own set of policies with respect to parental leave that may differ significantly from one another so it is advisable to contact your college as soon as possible.

Whether you are employed by the university or a college, you have statutory rights to maternity leave.

The Earth Sciences Carers Fund

We recognise that parents with young children, or those with caring responsibilities, can find it very difficult to take opportunities to attend seminars or present work at conferences, yet these are important things to do for research, teaching and career development, and to foster networking and collaboration opportunities. The Department of Earth Sciences is now offering discretionary funds of up to £250 (per event) to help towards increased caring costs resulting from such activities.

This is open to all members of staff and postgraduate students, particularly those in the early stages of their career, who are attending conferences, seminars and courses.

More information, including the carers fund application form, can be found on the SharePoint site.

Download our Family Fact Sheet