Karen Ross is a Recruitment and Admissions Officer for the School of Physics and Astronomy. She joined the University of Manchester working on the Square Kilometre Array Project, part of the School of Physics and Astronomy in 2010.
She had her first child in 2011 and her second in 2013. The School were fully supportive throughout her pregnancies and Karen was able to take advantage of the generous maternity policy at Manchester, offering 6 months full paid leave, 3 months part paid leave and a further 3 months unpaid leave.
“After both of my children, and including accrued annual leave, I was able to take 13 months maternity leave, meaning I could spend that precious first year with both of my children. The School was supportive on my return to work after my first child using “Keeping in Touch Days” to ease me back into work gently.
After my second child, I was unfortunately diagnosed with Postnatal Depression and the School has been nothing but supportive in getting me back into work. My maternity leave was changed to sick leave so that I could afford to pay for the treatment to get me back into work and since returning on a phased return in July 2014, I have had support from the School, signposting me to the Disability Support Office, the Counselling Service and the Wellbeing sessions run by Sport Manchester.
The School has also been more than happy to allow me to work flexibly so that I can have a good work-life balance and allowing me to work from home when one of my children has been ill. I am also able to take advantage of the University childcare voucher scheme which allows a tax benefit of up to 25%.”
Eric works in the School of Chemistry, and directs (with David Collison) the EPSRC National EPR Facility which will shortly move to new labs in the Photon Science Institute.