Family friendly policies

It is recognised by NHS Education for Scotland (NES) that parents have a joint responsibility for the care and upbringing of their children and that work and parenthood can create conflicting pressures for Trainees.  Parents need time with their children and time to create a supportive home in which their children can thrive.  The leave offered is therefore aimed at encouraging a culture of flexible working practices to allow Trainees who are parents to balance family and work commitments, thus improving their participation within the work place.

*The Policies are based on PIN Guidelines on Supporting the Work-life Balance and they have been developed taking into consideration the NES Equal Opportunities and Diversity in Employment Policy.

At A Glance

Maternity Leave - Further information

The NHS Scotland Maternity Policy and NHS Scotland Breastfeeding Policy sets out guidance in relation to Employee entitlements to maternity support leave and pay, and allows Managers to handle these issues in a consistent manner.  The procedure should be viewed by Practice Managers / Educational Supervisors and pregnant trainees as a first point of reference for the many questions facing trainees who are pregnant or acting as maternity supporters.  The procedures demonstrates NES's commitment to family friendly policies and are aimed at encouraging the retention of our skilled workforce.

Heather Blazejewski and Muriel Russell discuss the HR procedures for maternity leave in the video below:

Further information, including all the forms that require completion, can be found here.

At a glance

  • Parental Leave is in addition to flexible working, Maternity leave, Paternity leave and special leave.
  • To be eligible for Parental leave your trainee must be employed either full or part time, and must have one years qualifying service with the NHS and who have a child, up until the child's 14th birthday, or 18th birthday for a disabled child.  *Please note that LTFT Trainees will be entitled to parental leave on a pro-rata basis depending on the hours that they work.
  • Trainees are entitled to a total of 18 weeks parental leave for each child. Entitlement is 4 weeks paid and 14 weeks unpaid up until the child's 14th birthday, or 18th birthday for a disabled child. Please note that this is not a yearly entitlement. 

Parental Leave Process - Further information

A Trainee who wishes to request Parental Leave should firstly apply to their manager / supervisor in writing at least 21 days before they wish to commence parental leave using the Parental Leave application form.

The Trainee should provide appropriate documentation e.g. sight of the original birth certificate of the child for whom they are applying for parental leave, adoption papers or in the case of a disabled child, the award of disability living allowance for the child.

*Please note this information is only required on the first occasion of applying for parental leave.  If a Partner is applying for parental leave around the time of the birth of their child, they will be required to produce a copy of the MAT B1 certificate.

All applications will be considered and discussed between the trainee and supervisor to ensure the request meets the needs of the service. Please remember to contact the Deanery Team to discuss any potential training implications.

All completed and approved forms should be returned to your placement board contact (contact list here) if you are in a hospital post, and HR Trainee Services - Jira Service Management ( if you are in a GP Practice post.

For the full policy please click here, any questions regarding the policy and entitlement please contact medical staffing in your Placement Board.

 Further information, including all the forms that require completion, can be found here.



At a Glance
There are several types of Paternity leave:

Paternity Leave - Further information

NHS Scotland New Parent Support Policy

Entitlement to Ordinary Statutory Paternity Leave (OSPL)

All employees, irrespective of length of service, are entitled to two weeks Ordinary Statutory Paternity leave to care for their child and/or support the child's mother/adopter in the weeks following birth/adoption placement provided they have, or expect to have, a responsibility for the child's upbringing.

In order to qualify for this leave, Trainees must meet one of the following criteria:

Trainee must be the biological father of the child
Trainee must be married to the mother of the child, but not the biological father
Trainee must be the partner* of the mother, but not the child's biological father
Trainees must be the same-sex partner of the child's mother
Trainee must be the legal Guardian of the child


Trainee must be married to the child's adopter
Trainee must be the partner* of the child's adopter
Trainee must be the same-sex partner of the child's adopter
*in the case of a 'partner' as stated above, the trainee must be in an enduring family relationship, but is not a blood relative

Notification of intention to take OSPL

Trainees are requested to notify their Practice/Educational Supervisor as soon as is reasonably practicable of the expected date of birth of their baby and are required to give written notice of their intention to take OSPL in, or before, the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth (EWC). Where is possible, trainees are requested to give written notice as soon as is reasonably practicable.  The notice must specify:

The baby's EWC
Length of leave the trainee has chosen to take
Date the trainee has chosen to begin the leave in respect of the options available
Copy of the MATB1 form or a copy of the matching certificate from the adoption agency should also be provided
*please note that not all trainees will meet the criteria for paid leave, see policy for qualifying criteria

Entitlement to Additional Statutory Paternity Leave (ASPL)

Eligible trainees can apply for ASPL if they:

Meet the criteria for OSPL as detailed earlier
Have at least 26 weeks continuous service by the 15th week prior to the expected week childbirth/adoptive placement
Still employed by NES, or within the NHS, at the time when the ASPL is taken
Eligible trainees can take up to 26 weeks of ASPL, this is in addition to the two weeks of OSPL which must be completed within the 8 weeks following childbirth/adoptive placement.

The right to take ASPL can only be exercised if the child's mother/adopter is employed and returns to work without exhausting her entitlement to the maximum 52 weeks maternity/adoption leave.

Notification of intention to take ASPL

Trainees must request ASPL in writing to their practice at least 8 weeks before their chosen start date.  Trainees must provide the following documents to support their application:

Paternity Leave Application Form

Further information, including all the forms that require completion, can be found here.



At a glance  

Please ensure the Deanery Team are also notified of any leave requests.

Special Leave - Further information

NES recognises that many Staff balance the demands of work requirements with domestic responsibilities.  While each Member of Staff is responsible for ensuring that they have appropriate care mechanisms in place to meet their personal responsibilities, NES endeavours to assist in circumstances where these arrangements have unavoidably broken down, or where additional pressures, out with the norm, arise and for which time off work may be required.

The policy details the provisions for time off in relation to serious illness, bereavement, domestic emergencies, carer leave and other types of special leave.  The provisions of this policy are applicable to all Staff, irrespective of length of service, hours of work, or grade and no Employee will suffer any detriment as a result of making application for time off under these provisions.

*Please note that guidelines for managing travel difficulties/adverse weather conditions have also been put in place by NES and further details on these are attached at Appendix 1

In all circumstances special leave should be recorded on the Special Leave Form (Appendix 2) to enable monitoring of its fair application throughout NES.

Where unpaid leave is granted a  Notification of Change form is also required for payroll purposes in addition to the special leave form.  When completed the form (s) should be emailed to medical staffing in the Board you are on placement.