ZSL recognises that some of its employees will have caring responsibilities and that dealing with the competing demands of these caring responsibilities and work will often be challenging.

There is no obligation for anyone to reveal their caring situation, but it may help them to get the support they need if they do. ZSL is committed to supporting carers within the following guidelines:

  • Identification as a Career – Members of staff are encouraged to identify themselves as a Carer, where appropriate, to their line manager and/or Human Resources Business Partner.
  • All managers should respect the staff member's wishes in relation to the confidentiality of their caring responsibilities.
  • Upon disclosure, the staff member and their line manager should consider what adjustments may help to combine work with caring duties.
  • ZSL recognises that staff with caring responsibilities are not always able to plan ahead for time off for dependants. To prepare for instances where urgent or emergency care is necessary, it is recommended that the staff member and their manager set out arrangements for such events.

Watch our short video on support for parents and carers at ZSL:

Support Options for carers

There are a range of potential support options for careers.

  • Flexible working
  • Emergency leave
  • Career break or sabbatical
  • Parents and carers network
  • Free confidential advice over the phone through the Employee Assistance Programme 
  • The Science Directorate has Introduced a Return to Science Fellowship that provides up to 2 years’ salary for grant-funded staff returning to work after parental leave

Kirsty Kemp is a research fellow who recently benefitted from our new Return to Science Fellowship (RTSF). She says: “The ZSL RTSF has had a significant effect on both the quality of my maternity leave and my imminent return to work. Without it I would have spent my maternity leave writing grant applications and investigating possible alternative careers. The RTSF has enabled me to look forward to continuing my science career after starting my family, and to continuing my career within the thriving ZSL research community.”

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