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 Family Leave

The University has a central information point regarding family leave, including maternity, paternity and adoption leave, shared parental leave and unpaid parental leave. All staff planning to take such leave are encouraged to discuss with their line manager and meet with a member of their local HR admin team at the earliest opportunity.

Unlike other types of family leave that are often taken before or at the arrival of a new child/dependent, unpaid parental leave can be taken at any point, given that the qualifying criteria are met. The leave is taken in week blocks, up to 4 weeks per year and 18 weeks total per child/dependent. If you have any questions regarding unpaid parental leave, please go to the university webpage on unpaid parental leave or contact your local HR admin team.

Shared Parental Leave (SPL)

SPL has replaced the arrangements under Additional Paternity Leave and Pay and applies to eligible parents whose children are born or placed for adoption after 5 April 2015. The SPL system enables eligible parents, if they so wish, to share a period of leave and pay in the 52 weeks immediately following the birth or adoption of their child. The existing statutory rights to maternity leave, adoption leave, ordinary paternity leave and unpaid parental leave remain unchanged.

The arrangements for the SPL scheme are complex. If you are considering applying for SPL you are advised to consult with your local HR admin team at the earliest opportunity.

My Family Care

My Family Care is a benefit the University provides for all employees, offering access to emergency back-up childcare and adultcare, a 'speak to an expert' phone line and a wide range of guides and webinars through a website called the Work + Family space.

Flexible working

Flexible working arrangements can take many forms from the traditional part-time arrangements to compressed hours, job-sharing, staggered hours, term-time only working, or working from home ("teleworking"). Information regarding these arrangements can be found here. Please discuss with your line manager and contact your local HR admin team to discuss any potential request for flexible working in more detail. Flexible working can now be requested by all employees, not just those with parental or carers responsibilities.

University Childcare

The University offers a comprehensive range of childcare services. For full information on this, together with details of the various schemes offered visit the Childcare Services website. Please note that nursery places are very limited, so you are advised to get your name on the waiting lists as early as possible. A map of nurseries in the Oxford area is available here.

Clinical staff holding honorary NHS contracts may also apply for a place in one of the Trust Nurseries. For further details on this please contact your local HR admin team.

RDM Sponsored Nursery Places

The University has a scheme that enables colleges and departments to nominate staff or students for a priority place on the nursery waiting list (called a “sponsored place”). RDM was allocated three sponsored places for 2021-23 and is now closed. Please note that a sponsored place does not guarantee a nursery place, and recipients of sponsored places will be liable to pay all nursery fees. For full details of eligibility and how to apply for an RDM sponsored nursery place, please see policy and application form below:

RDM policy for allocation of sponsored nursery places

Application Form

If you are on the University’s nursery waiting list at the moment and you wish to be considered for a sponsored space, please complete the application form and return to Felicity Green.

Childcare Voucher Scheme & Nursery Fee Salary Sacrifice Scheme

Computershare Childcare Vouchers can be used for registered childcare facilities such as non-University nursery fees, before and after school clubs, holiday playschemes, childminders, nannies and crèche facilities and also some swimming pools, gyms and supermarkets.

Employees of Oxford University using the University's in-house or private workplace day nursery provision can use the Nursery Fee Salary Sacrifice Scheme to help with the cost of childcare.

Holiday Playschemes

The University works in partnership with playscheme providers to support families during the school holiday periods. A list of the current schemes can be found here.

Other holiday playschemes can also be found on the Oxfordshire County Council website.

ParentsNet Forum

The ParentsNet Forum aims to put parents around the Medical Sciences Division in contact, and to give the opportunity to share ideas and exchange goods. The forum has been developed by the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics (DPAG), in consultation with the Medical Sciences Division Athena SWAN team. Parents are able to post to and follow posts in any of the categories below:

  • Childcare
  • Looking for a new home (Offered, for sale & wanted): Equipment; toys; etc.
  • Is this normal? Parents' offload - Here is where you ask for reassurance that you will sleep again, that teething doesn't last forever, that your teenager will merge into a reasonable adult; etc.
  • Work/life balance: How do you manage? Tips for working mums and dads.
  • Events

ParentsNet is hosted on Weblearn and is subscription-based only. If you would like to sign up to the forum, please email: (Disclaimer: ParentsNet cannot accept responsibility for the quality or suitability of information posted in the Childcare section.)


Sources of information to consider when thinking about schools and childcare in and around Oxfordshire.

Information for parents and carers

The University recognises that caring is an important role, and seeks to support staff with caring responsibilities wherever possible. 

For more information on the support available, visit the information for parents and carers pages. 


OCDEM (Churchill Hospital site) holds a parent/carers group for all staff/students who have recently returned from maternity/paternity leave, are due to go on maternity/paternity leave, or any staff who have children or caring responsibilities.  All staff/students are welcome and encouraged to come along. If anyone is interested in running a similar group on the John Radcliffe site, we'd be delighted to hear from you. Please contact