New Parental Leave member grade

Supporting members throughout parental leave

Child wearing sunglasses

We’re announcing our new membership grade for members on maternity, paternity or adoption leave. From 1 January 2017, the new Parental Leave grade allows members to benefit from up to 12 months membership for free*.

The new grade is designed to support members at a time in their life when it’s needed most.   

Chief Executive of the AOP, Henrietta Alderman, said: “we’re delighted to launch this new grade which aims to help members as they go through an important personal change in their lives. It is in tune with our ethos to make sure members are fully supported at every stage of their career. Many people can find parental leave an expensive time, with more pressures on finances coupled with a drop in salary, and we want to take the pressure off through our payment freeze.”

Ms Alderman continued by saying: “Allowing members on parental leave to access our benefits such as education and training can help make the return to work a less daunting prospect. It is vital that the mechanisms are in place to help members return confidently and ensure that talent in the sector is retained."       

Those opting for the grade will have access to the full range of member benefits including:

  • Insurance cover for their previous period of membership and up to 10 keeping in touch days whilst on parental leave
  • Access to AOP’s in-house legal, clinical and regulatory expertise including the employment law team
  • World class CET in print, online and at free or discounted events across the country to keep knowledge up to date whilst on leave
  • Regular news and features via our award winning monthly journal, Optometry Today 
  • A chance to continue to have their say on the big issues affecting the profession

Read our press release for the full story and find out more about our member benefits in 2017.

* Terms and conditions apply: this grade cannot be applied retrospectively; members can remain on this grade whilst on leave only and for a period of up to a maximum of 12 months; this grade is available to only one parent per child; and this grade requires ongoing GOC membership.

For more information, or to apply for Parental Leave from 1 January 2017, please contact the AOP membership team on 020 7549 2010 or [email protected].