Trainee Pregnancy Policy
Code Your Future policy and practice regarding trainee pregnancy, maternity and paternity
The Equality Act 2010 includes students in relation to pregnancy, maternity and paternity. Code Your Future acts within the legal framework to guard against any possible discrimination in this area and actively supports all students effected in succeeding in their studies.
Scope of the Policy
This policy covers any trainee who has been accepted onto the CYF Fundamental or Sofware Development programme (i) who is currently pregnant or becomes pregnant during their studies; (ii) whose partner is pregnant or becomes a parent during their studies; or (iii) who is becoming a parent (e.g. through adoption or fostering). This policy provides advice and guidance in relation to studying, health and safety, and finance.
Measures introduced in The Equality Act 2010 apply to students in Higher Education for the first time, meaning that Code Your Future has an obligation to provide appropriate support to pregnant students. Moreover Code Your Future believes that becoming a parent or caring for a child should not, in itself, prevent any trainee from succeeding in their studies.
Code Your Future is committed to being as flexible as possible to ensure that no trainee is disadvantaged due to pregnancy, maternity or paternity, whilst ensuring academic standards are not compromised. The health and safety of a pregnant trainee is of paramount importance at all times, and all students covered by this policy should be treated in a sensitive, non judgemental and confidential manner.
Only members of staff who need to be informed for valid reasons will be notified of a student’s circumstances and this should be done only with the student’s prior consent.
Details of the Policy
The details outlined below are broadly the provisions of the Equality Act 2010 legislation; however there may be small numbers of students who will have more specific requirements.
Maternity Leave of Absence
Students are entitled to take up to 52 weeks Maternity Leave of Absence from their course of study .
Maternity Leave of Absence can begin at any time from the start of the 11th week before the expected week of childbirth up to the day the childbirth occurs. Students are required to take two weeks compulsory leave of absence immediately following childbirth. Once the details of Maternity Leave have been agreed, a Leave of Absence form should be completed, stating ‘personal’ reasons for absence and sent to the City Coordinator so that their record can be updated (pregnancy will not be stated as the reason for absence).
This document should be signed by the trainee and approved by The Head of Personal Development or City Coordinator.
The document should not be shared without the student’s prior consent.
Notifying the Organisation
Students are required to notify Code Your Future about their pregnancy through their Personal Development mentor (or other designated member of staff). (Students entitled to Paternity Leave should do likewise). This should be at least 8 weeks before the due date so that we can put in place additional support.
If a trainee decides not to continue with their pregnancy there is no need for any staff and students in Code Your Future to be made aware of this. However, if a trainee is absent from classes they are advised to inform their Personal Development mentor that they will be away for ‘medical reasons’.
The student’s Personal Development mentor should meet with the trainee to discuss how the pregnancy is likely to impact on their study. There may need to be an interruption of studies, depending on when the baby is due.
The trainee should discuss with their City Coordinator, Personal Development and Education mentors their intentions regarding Maternity Leave and discuss the possible implications of this on the academic requirements of the student’s course.
The trainee should meet regularly with their Personal Development mentor during the pregnancy to ensure that any special arrangements that have been put in place are working effectively and making any adjustments where necessary.
A trainee whose baby is due near to The Final Project Period might require confirmation from their doctor that they are fit to participate in Demo Day. Time off might also be needed for medical appointments.
All taught students on a Leave of Absence are contacted prior to their scheduled return to study date by the Head of Personal Development. The trainee will have the opportunity to discuss any concerns they have about returning to study.
Health and Safety measures may need to be put in place in order to protect the trainee and their unborn child. This will be particularly relevant in certain circumstances, for example face to face classes, study groups or events where a trainee might have to travel on public transport . Once a trainee has informed their Personal Development mentor of their pregnancy, a Risk Assessment must be carried out by the City Coordinator. This will identify any risks that may be present which could harm the trainee or their baby, and detail any steps that need to be put in place to alleviate or minimise these risks. It should also include any risks that may arise from any work placement period due to be undertaken.
Maternity Pay and Financial Support
Students should note that financial support may stop when a leave of absence begins.
Students whose partner is pregnant (including same sex couples) or adopting
Any trainee whose partner is pregnant will be entitled to request a leave of absence. This is likely to include time off for medical appointments prior to and after the birth, as well as a period of paternity leave/ maternity support leave following the birth. A trainee in this situation should contact their Personal Development Mentor to discuss this – basic paternity leave/ maternity support leave is two consecutive weeks, however if a trainee would like to take an extended period of leave this should be discussed.
Adoption Students who have been matched for adoption should inform their Personal Development Mentor as soon as possible. Only one member of a couple jointly adopting may take adoption leave. This applies regardless of whether one or both members of the couple are students. Students taking Adoption Leave have the same entitlements as students taking Maternity Leave – see above.
Miscarriage, Still Births and Neonatal Death
If a trainee miscarries, they are likely to need time off study for tests and to recover. Consideration should be given to the impact of a miscarriage on a student’s ability to meet deadlines and sit exams. There will be no distinction between live births, stillbirths (past the 24th week of pregnancy) or the death of a baby shortly after birth in the granting of leave.
Breastfeeding and Rest Facilities
The Equality Act 2010 explicitly protects students from less favourable treatment because of breastfeeding. Students should not be declined access to the course facilities because they are breastfeeding. In exceptional circumstances it may be necessary for a trainee to request permission for a baby or young child to accompany them to tutorials. This may not always be possible, as there may be health and safety issues to consider, as well as the potential disturbance of other students. Any such request should be an exception, and should not be as a substitute to ongoing child care provision. Rest facilities for pregnant and breast-feeding people should be provided by the organisation as necessary. Failure to provide rest facilities could result in students who are pregnant or breastfeeding receiving less favourable treatment. Refrigeration facilities should also be offered where possible.