February 22, 2018

In your article “Elites ‘offer the best maternity provision’” (News, 8 February), you discuss a paper by Vera Troeger and Mariaelisa Epifanio, which names our university as one that offers no weeks off at full salary for maternity leave. We feel it necessary to respond.

The paper looks solely at number of weeks paid at full pay, whereas it would be more meaningful to compare the total amount of maternity pay available.

While it is accurate that we do not pay any weeks of maternity leave at full pay, we do pay occupational maternity pay for a longer period than many other universities.

For example, when we compare the total amount of maternity pay for a member of staff earning £40,000 a year at Leeds Beckett over a 39-week period of maternity leave with that of a university that, according to the research cited, pays 18 weeks at full pay, we pay almost £2,000 more.

In addition to this, we offer the same occupational pay provisions to members of staff who take shared parental leave.

We at Leeds Beckett are proud of our family-friendly environment and provisions, and are disappointed that the research paper gives an inaccurate impression.

Julia Gaskin
HR quality and policy development adviser
Leeds Beckett University

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