Student visa holders planning to take maternity, paternity or maternity support leave must also take into account UKVI regulations that apply to absences from studies because they may affect sponsorship of Student visas.
Maternity and Adoption Leave
PhD researchers are entitled to 52 weeks’ maternity leave if the expected week of childbirth will occur during the period of their award. The earliest maternity leave can commence is 11 weeks before the expected week of childbirth. The first 26 weeks will be paid at full stipend rate. The following 13 weeks will be paid at a level commensurate with statutory maternity pay. The final 13 weeks are not paid.
The PhD researcher is required to provide a maternity certificate, form MATB1, obtained from a doctor or midwife, which includes the estimated due date (EDD).
Adoption leave will be granted on the same basis as maternity leave to one adopting parent only. The PhD researcher is required to provide a letter from the agency with the date of placement and matching certificate.
Periods of paid and unpaid maternity/adoption leave must be taken consecutively. If a PhD researcher chooses not to take the full 12 months at the time of pregnancy/adoption, then they will not be able to take the remaining period at a later date.
The total period of support will not be extended beyond the original duration of the scholarship plus the period of up to 12 months’ maternity/adoption leave, except where more than one maternity/adoption leave occurs during the period of the scholarship.
Maternity Support Leave
Partners of those taking maternity or adoption leave are entitled to up to two weeks’ paid maternity support leave on full stipend. This leave must be taken in one go. Maternity support leave cannot start before the birth and must end within 56 days of the birth. This period is regarded as additional leave of absence from studies and the award will not be extended. If the PhD researcher needs to take any further time, this must be taken as a suspension to the award. The PhD researcher should provide evidence of the birth including birth certificate(s).