Shaping our University together: outcome of maternity pay options review



Following feedback gathered from last year's Staff Survey, we initiated a review of the UK Maternity Pay Options which included a variety of focus groups as well as an online questionnaire to allow UK colleagues to take part. 

We were delighted with the response and feedback that we received and would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who took part in the process. 

Your views have been extremely useful and have informed our plans and approach to maternity pay going forward. A full report with recommendations was submitted to the University Executive (UE).

The outcome of the feedback strongly favoured the reintroduction of Option 1. UE were also supportive of this approach and subsequently have given their approval to reintroduce Option 1 with immediate effect and subsequently the University will now offer two Enhanced Maternity Pay Options.  

Two enhanced maternity pay options 

Option 1

  • Weeks 1–8: Full pay
  • Weeks 9–26 Half pay plus SMP
  • Weeks 26–39: SMP
  • Weeks 40–52: Nil

Option 2

  • Weeks 1–17: Full pay
  • Weeks 18–39: SMP
  • Weeks 40–52: Nil  

Selecting Maternity Pay Options

We are currently working on updating the guidance and FAQs and have recently amended the Supporting Family Life Overarching Policy to include details of the two enhanced maternity pay options.

If you are selecting maternity pay options and would like help calculating your entitlement or want to speak to someone about which options best suits your circumstances, please contact a member of the HR admin team at  

Links to the updated policies and other guidance/ information is available on the Work-life Balance SharePoint page. 

Changes to Adoption Leave 

With immediate effect, UK staff who are taking adoption leave are now entitled to paid time off to attend adoption appointments similar to staff who attend ante-natal appointments. The above policy has been updated to include these changes also.      

Please note that the above changes are applicable to UK staff only.  Dubai and Malaysia should continue with their own maternity and adoption pay and benefits which they have agreed locally.  

Next steps 

We are currently updating guidance on the Maternity Options and preparing some FAQ's which will help explain how the various options apply.  We will also provide a simple online calculator to help you calculate and work out your maternity pay. We'll keep you posted on progress about this. 

If you have any questions about the review or the maternity pay options please contact Linda Cooper at