Collaborating with our Women’s Academic Network to develop the new maternity policy: influence and impact upon future staff policy development


  • Amanda Mannion Liverpool John Moores University, Human Resources
  • Zoe Knowles Liverpool John Moores University, Faculty of Science



This session is focused on celebrating the collaborative approach that was taken by Human Resources and the Women's Academic Network to develop staff policy and the support provided to staff members before, during and after maternity leave. This inclusive approach represented a change as to how, as a University, we have adapted our policies to reflect the feedback from our staff community.


This approach was successful due to the courage and honesty shown by our staff in sharing their maternity experience at the university. The network came together as a community to share, inform and support the recommendations for change. As an institution it was recognised that by committing to enhancing pay and leave and providing clearer, concise advice to staff, it would enable them to spend quality time with their family whilst also ensuring that they felt supported by, and connected to, the university. This approach also supports the University’s journey to become an employer of choice and therefore attract and retain the best talent for the institution.


As our staff feel supported and we attract and retain the best talent this also provides an enhanced student experience. The outcome has been well received and the approach has led to further work on a breastfeeding initiative, which is being developed for our students and staff, and in further development work on sabbatical leave provoked by post maternity considerations. This inclusive approach of involving the staff community through our Networks in the development of policies that impact upon them is one that we will be looking to embrace within Human Resources.