Maternity provision for fixed-term post-doctoral researchers

J Iqbal made this Freedom of Information request to Exeter College, Oxford as part of a batch sent to 74 authorities

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Dear Exeter College, Oxford,

I am trying to find out more about maternity provision for post-doctoral researchers in Cambridge and Oxford, and hope you can answer the following questions for me:

1) Does your college employ Junior Research Fellows, or have an equivalent paid fixed-term post-doctoral research position?

2) If so, are such researchers eligible for maternity leave and pay? Please give details of any existing policy, and whether it has been applied in the last five years.

3) If maternity leave is taken by a JRF or post-doctoral researcher on a fixed-term contract, is the duration of the position extended by an amount of time equivalent to the time taken as leave, so that research time and funding is not lost as a result of taking leave? Please provide any details.

Thanks in advance for any information you can give me.

Yours faithfully,

J Iqbal

Exeter College Freedom of Information, Exeter College, Oxford

Dear J Iqbal,

Thank you for your email of Sunday 6th January 2019.

Your request is being dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and will be answered within twenty working days.

With best wishes,

Academic Office
Exeter College
Oxford
OX1 3DP
+44 (0)1865 279665
Registered charity no. 1141333

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Exeter College Freedom of Information, Exeter College, Oxford

Dear J Iqbal,

Thank you for your email of Sunday 6th January 2018 requesting information, please find the answers to your FOI below:

1. Yes do employ career-development Fellows, and we are currently recruiting specifically to a Junior Research Fellowship in Pure Mathematics.

2. All employees are entitled to maternity leave from day 1 of their employment, regardless of their permanent or fixed-term status. JRFs would, therefore, be entitled to maternity leave in the normal way.

3. With regard to maternity pay, JRFs would have the same entitlement as other academic staff at the College, namely i. 26 weeks on full pay (inclusive of Statutory Maternity Pay), ii. 13 weeks on Statutory Maternity Pay, and iii. 13 weeks unpaid (provided that they have 26 weeks of continuous service at the beginning of the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth). Full details of the scheme can be found in Bylaw I (6), which is publicly available at https://www.exeter.ox.ac.uk/governance/

I cannot immediately recall that this has been applied to any career development Fellow within the last 5 years (i.e. since January 2014).

4. We do not automatically extend someone's fixed-term contract if they have had a period of maternity leave; however, we do expressly have the provision to consider increasing it, as laid down in Bylaw I (5.13). The relevant wording in that Bylaw is "... A member of staff who is on a fixed-term contract, and who meets the conditions above to qualify for the College maternity leave scheme, may have their contract extended by the number of terms of maternity leave taken, subject strictly to the teaching and/or research requirements of the College and by mutual agreement..."

If you are unhappy with how your request has been dealt with please email [email address] to request a review.

Best wishes,
Academic Office

Academic Office
Exeter College
Oxford
OX1 3DP
Tel: +44 (0)1865 279665
Exeter College is a Registered Charity Number 1141333

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