LSE recognised as top employer by Working Families
In 2017, LSE was recognised as one of top 30 employers for working families by the charity Working Families. The award recognises organisations across the UK who have demonstrated a commitment to flexible, family-friendly workplaces. Employers are scored in reference to four keys areas – 'integration', 'policy', 'consistent practice' and 'measurement and results'.
For information on flexible working, maternity, paternity, parental leave and other support for parents/parents-to-be and carers, please see the Human Resources webpages on 'Family friendly benefits' and 'Policy on the Support for Carer'.
LSE provides rest and breastfeeding facilities for staff and students in the New and Expectant Mothers' Room, which is room 1.02C on the first floor of Pethick-Lawrence House (with access via Fawcett House). The room has a lockable door and contains comfortable chairs with footstools, a fridge, a microwave, handwashing facilities and lockers.
If a student needs to breastfeed during lectures or seminars, a risk assessment is conducted by the student’s department to ensure the health and safety of the student and her baby, and any risks identified are managed by the LSE’s Health and Safety team. Where it is possible for the student to take her baby into lectures and seminars, the student is asked to ensure her baby is supervised at all times and to be considerate of other students.
Pregnant or nursing mothers
The School's Health and Safety team is available to offer guidance on supporting pregnant members of staff and nursing mothers. When a member of staff notifies her manager that she is pregnant, has recently given birth or is a nursing mother, the manager must review all risk assessments relating to work or tasks undertaken by the employee, to ensure that the mother or child is not placed at risk.
Pregnant members of staff are encouraged to read the Tips for Expectant Mothers [PDF] and to talk to their line managers if they have any concerns. The Health and Safety team will not carry out assessments for expectant mothers as a matter of routine, but will see them if problems cannot be resolved locally.
Assessing the risks to female workers of child-bearing age
The School's Health and Safety team is available to offer guidance on assessing the risks to female workers of child-bearing age. Because in many cases an individual may not know they are pregnant until the pregnancy has advanced a number of weeks, general risk assessments for activities must take account of any hazards such as exposure to radiation, vibration, tetrogenic chemicals or microbiological hazards, or excessive physical exertion, that could have an adverse impact on an individual's ability to conceive or affect the development of the foetus. It is unlikely that work activities undertaken by the School will result in exposure to any of these hazards. However, managers need to be aware of the requirements of the management regulations and should contact the health and safety team if they have any queries.
LSE have partnered with three local nurseries to support LSE families. They will provide quality childcare clost to campus. You can read more about this on the 'Nursery partnerships' webpage.
Emergency and compassionate leave
LSE staff are eligible for emergency and compassionate leave. For crisis incidents affecting a dependant, staff can take up to two days paid emergency leave. Members of staff are allowed paid leave for the death and attendance at the funeral of immediate family members, other close relatives or other people with whom they had a close continuing relationship.
Networks and support
There is the LSE Parents and Carers Network (a staff network run by volunteers – Parents.And.Carers.Network@lse.ac.uk) which can provide networking and mentoring opportunities as well as a listening ear and support. All other staff networks can be found here.
There will be a number of options available to you in relation to your studies. The advice that you are given will largely depend on your individual circumstances and the timing of the academic year in relation to your pregnancy and due date. You are advised to speak to your department for advice on the best options for you.
Options may include:
The Health and Safety Team have posted some helpful tips [PDF] on how to ease common problems experienced in pregnancy. These are aimed at staff members, but are easily transferable to students.
Section 17 of the Equality Act 2010
Section 17 of the Equality Act 2010 expands the protection from discrimination on the grounds of pregnancy and maternity, which already exists for women in the workplace and vocational training, to women outside the workplace. In doing so, the Act specifically mentions the further and higher education sector. The protection afforded due to pregnancy and maternity is narrower than other protected characteristics under the Act. Consequently, there is no protection afforded for discrimination that occurs by being associated with someone who is pregnant or in a period of maternity, or being perceived to be pregnant or in a period of maternity. However, if a woman’s partner is treated unfavourably because of her pregnancy or because she has given birth, this may constitute sex discrimination.