Family friendly working in MDS

The College Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee are always striving to make our workplace more family friendly. This webpage outlines some of the ways in which we do this.

A lot of information about our policies and support is summarised in our Information for staff going on family leave pack and our Information for staff with caring responsibilities pack. You can also find general information in the University's parents and carers' resources. Additional information is in the below FAQs, and don't forget to get in touch at with questions or feedback!

Find out more about equality, diversity, and inclusion in the College on our EDI webpage.


How do I request flexible working arrangements?

Information about flexible working and an application form can be found at Flexible Working.

Am I entitled to family leave, and how can I access it?

All staff who are going to become parents are entitled to family leave as follows:

  • If you are pregnant, you are required by law to take 2 weeks of leave following childbirth, and you are entitled to 52 weeks of leave in total. For further information including pay arrangements, see Maternity leave.
  • If your partner is pregnant, you may be entitled to 2 weeks of leave at full pay.
  • If you are adopting or having a baby through surrogacy as a couple, one partner is entitled to 52 weeks of leave and the other may be entitled to 2 weeks of leave. (Note that this does not include adoption of a stepchild.) For further information including pay arrangements, see Adoption and surrogacy.
  • If you are adopting or having a baby through surrogacy by yourself, you are entitled to 52 weeks of leave. For further information including pay arrangements, see Adoption and surrogacy.
  • If your partner is entitled to 52 weeks of maternity or adoption leave, you may be eligible to share their leave. For further information including eligibility and pay arrangements, see Shared Parental Leave.

To arrange most types of family leave and request further information about your leave entitlement, you should formally notify HR of your intention to take leave through the HR Service Portal or by calling 0121 415 8425 (internal extension 58425) with the following minimum notice periods:

  • Maternity leave – 15 weeks before your expected due date.
  • Adoption leave – Within 7 days of being matched to a child (UK adoptions) or within 28 days of being approved as an adoptive parent (overseas adoptions).
  • Shared parental leave – 8 weeks before the start of your leave.

If your partner is pregnant and you are not taking shared parental leave, you do not need to contact HR to arrange your 2 weeks of leave – you can arrange this directly with your line manager a minimum of 15 weeks before your partner’s expected due date.

Am I entitled to workload remission?

If you have been on family leave for 6 months or longer and you are on a three-legged academic contract, you are entitled to workload remission. This means that you can focus on two of the three aspects of your contract for a fixed term – the exact details should be discussed with your Institute Director before your return to work.

Where are the breastfeeding/expressing rooms?

  • The Medical School breastfeeding room is CF14 – this is on the first floor in the central part of the building, close to the top of the stairs just past reception.
  • The Dental Hospital breastfeeding room is on level 1 within the paediatric dentistry area.
  • The Murray Learning Centre has a "Privacy Pod" which IAHR staff can use for breastfeeding in room 103.
  • MDS staff can also use the breastfeeding rooms in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Birmingham Women's Hospital.

What childcare options are available on campus?

Information about the University’s nurseries for children under 5 is available at Discounted rates are available for staff, and it can be paid for through salary sacrifice.

Will being a parent and/or carer disadvantage me if I apply for academic promotion?

No. Parental and caring responsibilities, including any associated leave that you have taken, are mandatory discussion points at each stage of the decision making process for academic promotions. As long as you mention these responsibilities in your paperwork, they will be taken into consideration by the promotion panels to ensure that you are not negatively impacted.