Planning for the return

The following guidance should be read in conjunction with the University’s Maternity Leave Policy and Procedure.

  • To ensure a smooth transition back into the workplace, following the period of leave, it is important that both the staff member and their manager plan appropriately to support this. This will involve discussions leading up to the return to work from the period of leave.

The information and guidance below is provided to assist with the planning process and also to highlight some of the provisions provided by the University, that may be of interest.

FamilyMaternity Planning Checklist for Staff

The following checklist is provided to assist the staff member to plan for the period of leave.

FamilyMaternity Planning Checklist for Managers

The following checklist is provided to assist the manager to plan for the period of leave.

FamilyRe-Induction to work

It is recommended that a re-induction programme is organised, for the staff member to be informally and formally welcomed back to work. This may include one-to-one meetings with key colleagues, and formal and informal communications to colleagues and key stakeholders.

Further information can be found at the link below:

FamilyContact During Family Leave

Making advance arrangements for contact during family leave can be very beneficial.

It is important that contact arrangements, which may include up to 10 Keeping-In-Touch (KIT) days, are in place in advance of the leave, to ensure reasonable contact between the staff member and the University during the period of leave.

Further information can be found at the link below:

FamilyFlexible Working

The University values flexibility within its workforce and recognises the importance of helping its employees to balance their work and personal life.

Further information can be found at the link below:

FamilyBreastfeeding & Risk Assessments

The University has a legal duty of care to remove any hazards to breastfeeding mothers and therefore, a risk assessment should be conducted, using the form below.

Staff who wish to breastfeed following their return to work, should inform their line manager to discuss arrangements for a private, healthy and safe environment to be made available for the nursing mother to express and store milk. The staff member should also be provided with reasonable time to do this.

Further information in relation to new mothers at work can be found at the links below:

FamilyPay Plus for Childcare (Childcare Vouchers)

Pay plus for childcare is the University's salary sacrifice scheme for childcare ‎vouchers. The scheme can help to reduce childcare costs, as childcare ‎vouchers are exempt from income tax and National Insurance (NI), up to a maximum ‎amount per month. The vouchers can be used as payment towards a variety of ‎childcare provisions.

Further information about pay plus for childcare can be found at the link below:

FamilyParental Leave

The University´s Parental Leave policy and procedure allows staff to take up unpaid leave to look after a child or make arrangements for a child's welfare.

FamilyWomen Academic Returners' Programme (WARP)

The Women Academic Returners´ Programme (WARP) provides additional support, if needed upon return to work, to minimise the impact of extended leave on research activities.

Further information can be found at the link below:


The Parents@TUoS Network was launched in 2012 and aims to be a conduit for information about parental leave, offering a range of support to all staff and students through career breaks and share best practice and "how to" tips.

Further information can be found at the link below:

Further guidance and support 

FamilyFrequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you have any questions relating to all aspects of family leave, the FAQs below have been developed to support and guide both staff and managers.

FamilyFamily Leave

If you need information, guidance and support relating any of the family leave provisions available to staff at the University of Sheffield, this can be found at the link below.

FamilyCharities & Support Networks

The following links provide details of charities and support networks which may be helpful to both staff and managers.

JuiceJuice, Everyday Health & Wellbeing

Juice helps you take care of your everyday health and wellbeing at work, bringing together a range of services, guidance and activities, creating a remarkable place to work and further information can be found at the link below.

Looking for something else?

There is a wealth of information, guidance and support available from Human Resources relating to all aspects of employment and supporting policies and procedures. An index of information can be found at:

Alternatively, if you are unable to find the information you require, please contact your HR Team contact