Caring responsibilities

The university recognises that many members of staff are carers, for children, disabled or elderly family members or friends.  Three in five people will be a carer at some point in their lives.  Caring responsibilities often arrive unexpectedly. The work-life balance policy is intended to help staff achieve a good balance between work and caring responsibilities.

The university‘s flexible working policy allows staff to request changes to their working patterns e.g. changes to start and finish times, working part-time or compressed hours, or working annualised hours to allow time off during school holidays.

For staff with children the university offers generous Maternity and Adoption leave and also Paternity, maternity and adoption support leave. Our excellent Nursery, for the children of staff and students was graded outstanding in a recent Ofsted inspection.  We offer childcare vouchers. Parental leave is a statutory right to take unpaid time off work to look after a child or make arrangements for a child’s welfare. 

If caring commitments can be foreseen in advance, you are expected to use annual leave or flexi-leave.  You may request up to five days additional unpaid annual leave before the start of the leave year.

If an unexpected emergency arises for someone caring for children or dependents, dependent care leave may be available while you make longer term care arrangements.

The career break policy was developed to support staff’s work-life balance by enabling them to take an extended period of unpaid leave, for example for childcare or eldercare.

From October 2010 carers may have increased protection under the Equality Act, which protects people against unfair treatment because of their association with a ‘protected characteristic’ such as disability.

Oxford Brookes endeavours to support people who are juggling work and caring responsibilities.  We display the Oxfordshire County Council’s ‘Employers Supporting Working Carers’ logo to show that the university has made the following commitments:

  1. To explore carer-friendly working patterns to attract, recruit and retain working carers;
  2. To increase awareness of carer issues and the support available through effective links to carers centres;
  3. To create opportunities for working carers to contribute to continuous business improvement

National and Oxfordshire resources for carers (PDF, 13KB)

Caring for someone in Oxfordshire guide 2010 (PDF, 947KB)

employers supporting working carers logo