Pregnant woman with surrogate parents

The College recognises the demands of family life and is committed to supporting members of staff to obtain a good work life balance.  With this in mind, this note will guide you through the Surrogacy Leave procedure, what you may wish to consider and steps you need to take.

The College treats equality of opportunity seriously and has an equality framework to ensure equality of opportunity.  Implementation of the Adoption and Surrogacy policy must be clear and transparent and not subject to any unfair discriminatory practices by line managers.

This guidance has been designed to act as a point of reference.  For further details please refer to the full policy which can be downloaded from this page's sidebar.

 Where will Surrogacy Leave and Pay apply?

(Subject to the exceptions outlined below), where you will be the main/primary carer for a baby born through a surrogacy arrangement and intend to apply for a Parental Order in relation to the baby, you will be entitled to receive 52 weeks’ Statutory Adoption/Surrogacy Leave, regardless of your length of service with College. 

If you meet the Adoption / surrogacy eligibilty criteria [pdf]‌, you will be entitled to receive payment during your period of Surrogacy Leave in the form of Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP).  You may also be entitled to receive enhanced College Surrogacy Pay during your period of leave.

In what circumstances will Surrogacy Leave and Pay not be available to staff?

  • Where you are the partner of the primary/main carer, however you may be entitled to receive Paternity/Maternity Support leave.
  • Where you are giving birth on behalf of surrogate parents.  However you may be entitled to Maternity Leave and Pay.

What do I need to do?

Staff guidance

1. During the surrogacy process:

Surrogate parents While you are in the process of becoming a surrogate parent via a legal surrogacy agreement, you will be able to take up to three days’ paid leave to attend court proceedings relating to surrogacy*.  If you are a potential Parental Order applicant in relation to surrogacy, you will be able to accompany the surrogate mother to two antenatal appointments.*

*Your manager may ask you for confirmation of the time and date of the appointment, and to confirm the purpose of the appointment.

2. Before you give notice of your intention to take Surrogacy Leave and Pay:

Calendar a) Check the Adoption / surrogacy eligibilty criteria [pdf] for entitlements that would apply during your leave.
b) Consider how much Surrogacy Leave you want to take.  You will automatically qualify for 52 weeks’ Surrogacy Leave, regardless of your length of service with the College.
c) Think about when you want to start Surrogacy Leave:

  • Surrogacy Leave can commence on any day of the week.
  • Your leave can start on the day the child is born, or the day after
  • Discuss your plans with your manager as early as possible.
3. Give consideration to whether you may wish to:

Father with baby in harness a) Use a proportion of your annual leave entitlement before the start and/or after the end of your Surrogacy Leave*
b) (Where you and your partner meet the eligibility requirements) convert part of your Surrogacy Leave and Pay to Shared Parental Leave and Pay, for you and your partner to share between you*.
c) (For academic staff) apply for an Elsie Widdowson Fellowship*
d) Discuss any implications on your pension with the Pensions’ team if you intend to take a period of unpaid surrogacy leave.

*Discuss any plans in relation to the above areas with your manager as early as possible

4. Give notice of your intention to take Surrogacy Leave and Pay:

Tick boxes You can do this by sending an e-mail or letter to your manager and HR contact confirming when the baby who is the subject of the surrogacy agreement is due to be born and the date you intend to start your Surrogacy Leave.
a) You must provide this notice at least 28 days before you intend to start your leave.
b) You will also need to provide a copy of the MAT B1 Certificate issued to the mother (and, where the baby is the subject of a Parental Order following surrogacy, you will need to provide a copy of the Parental Order within six months of the baby’s birth).
Upon receipt of the information above, your HR representative will write to you to confirm your entitlements.

5. During your Surrogacy Leave:

Parent with child and laptop a) Your manager will keep in regular contact with you, for example updating you on what’s happening at work, and promotion opportunities.
b) With your manager’s agreement, you may also attend work or training for up to ten days during your Surrogacy Leave. For further details see the Keeping in Touch and Shared Parental Leave in Touch days - Guidance for Managers.

 

6. At the end of your Surrogacy Leave:

Work and family sign a) Where you return to work on your intended return date, you do not need to provide any other notice of your return.
b) If you wish to return to work in advance of your intended return date; or (having taken less than 52 weeks’ Surrogacy Leave) you wish to return on a date later than that you originally intended you will need to provide your manager and HR representative with written notice of your new return date at least eight weeks before your new return date or at least eight weeks before your original return date (whichever is the earlier).
c) If you decide that you do not wish to return to work following your Surrogacy Leave, you will need to give notice as outlined in your terms and conditions of service.
d) You may need to repay the enhanced element of your Surrogacy Pay if you do not return to work and continue in employment for at least three months following the end of your Surrogacy Leave (where applicable).
e) If you wish to change your working hours and return to work on a part-time or flexible basis, discuss this with you manager as soon as possible to give time for consideration of your request.  The Flexible Working Policy provides further information making such a request.

Support for you:

HR and magnifying glass Your HR representative will be able to assist with any questions you have about Adoption/Surrogacy Leave.
Details of other initiatives for prospective and new parents  can be accessed via the Parenting Network  site.

 

Managers' guidance

1. When your member of staff advises you they are going through a surrogacy process, they have the following entitlements (as applicable):

Diary

 a) While they are in the process of becoming a surrogate parent via a legal surrogacy agreement, they will be able to take up to three days’ paid leave to attend court proceedings relating to the surrogacy.
b) Both men and women who are potential applicants for a Parental Order in relation to surrogacy, will be able to accompany the pregnant woman to two antenatal appointments, which could include medical examinations and parenting classes.*

 *You may request confirmation of the time and date of the appointment, and the purpose of the appointment.

 2. Discuss your member of staff’s plans with them as early as possible:

Manager and staff member talking This will provide an opportunity to explore their Surrogacy Leave plans with them, including:
a) Whether they are considering using a proportion of their annual leave entitlement before the start and/or after the end of their Surrogacy Leave?
b) (Where they and their partner satisfy the eligibility requirements) they may wish to consider converting part of their Surrogacy leave and Pay to Shared Parental Leave and Pay.
c) (For academic staff) whether they are aware of the Elsie Widdowson Fellowship.

 3. Providing formal notice of an intention to take Surrogacy Leave

email concept Your member of staff will need to:
a) Send an e-mail or letter to you and their HR contact confirming when the baby who is the subject of the surrogate agreement is due to be born; and the date they intend to start their Surrogacy Leave.
b) They must provide this notice at least 28 days before they intend to start their leave.  They will also need to provide a copy of the MAT B1 Certificate issued to the surrogate mother*

*Where the baby is the subject of a Parental Order following surrogacy, in addition to a copy of the MATB1 certificated, a copy of the Parental Order must also be provided within six months of the baby’s birth

 Your HR contact will:

HR on keyboard a) Provide written confirmation of entitlement and advise Pay Office, Pensions and Research Contracts (if applicable).
b) Be available to provide policy advice and support to you and your staff member if you have any questions about their Surrogacy Leave entitlements.

4. During Surrogacy Leave:

Keep intouch on keyboard

a) Before your staff member starts Surrogacy Leave discuss with them arrangements for keeping in touch (for example the best way to make contact, and how often), and the types of things they want to be kept up to date about.
b) With your agreement, your staff member may also attend work or training for up to ten days during their Surrogacy Leave.  For further details see the Keeping in Touch and Shared Parental Leave in Touch days – Guidance for Managers.

5. At the end of Surrogacy Leave:

Road sign with family on a) Where your member of staff returns to work on the date originally intended, they do not need to provide you with any other notice of their return.
b) If they wish to return to work in advance of their intended return date; or (having taken less than 52 weeks’ Surrogacy Leave) they  wish to return on a date later than that originally intended:

  • They will need to provide you with written notice of their new return date at least eight weeks before the new return date or at least eight weeks before the original return date (whichever is the earlier).
  • If your member of staff decides that they do not wish to return to work following their Surrogacy Leave, they will need to provide you with notice as outlined in their terms and conditions of service.
    • They may need to repay the enhanced element of their surrogacy pay if they  do not return to work and continue in employment for at least three months following the end of their Surrogacy Leave (where applicable).
  • If your member of staff requests to return to work on a part-time or flexible basis, you should consider this positively, accommodating their request where possible.  The Flexible Working policy provides further information.  Your HR representative will also be available to provide advice and guidance on considering such requests. 
Support for you:
  • Your HR representative will be able to provide advice and will assist you with administration related to Surrogacy Leave

Support for your staff member: