- The College recognises the need for effective policies, which play a
key part in supporting an appropriate life-work balance. Such policies
are intended to: allow a more effective combination of home and work
responsibilities; enhance equality of opportunity at work and retain
skilled and valued employees.
- This scheme describes maternity rights, entitlements and obligations
for all employees at the College. Employees are also encouraged to
refer to other related policies such as: parental leave, paternity leave,
flexible working, and special leave.
- The College has an obligation to pay Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)
on behalf of the Benefits Agency to all employees who are eligible to
receive it. This scheme explains entitlements to both statutory and
contractual maternity benefits.
ORDINARY MATERNITY LEAVE (OML)
- All employees, regardless of length of service and number of hours
worked, have the right to a statutory minimum of 26 weeks’ maternity
leave. Employees’ maternity leave period must include the 2 weeks
immediately after childbirth. This is the compulsory maternity leave
ADDITIONAL MATERNITY LEAVE (AML)
- All employees have the right to take additional maternity leave (AML)
of up to 26 weeks following on from the OML.
GIVING NOTICE TO START MATERNITY LEAVE
- An employee, who wishes to take maternity leave or AML, must give
the College notice, by the 15th week before the Expected Week of
Childbirth (EWC), of the following:
a) That she is pregnant;
b) If requested, she should produce a certificate from a GP or
registered midwife (form MAT B1);
c) The expected date of childbirth;
d) The date on which she wishes to start her maternity leave.
- If it is not reasonably practicable for the employee to give notice by
the 15th week before the EWC, then she must provide the information
as soon as is reasonably practicable.
- The employee may decide when she wishes to start her maternity
leave, and she may start at any time after the beginning of the 11th
week before the week in which childbirth is expected. However, if she
is absent from work with a pregnancy-related illness during the last
four weeks before her EWC, her maternity leave may start
- Where childbirth occurs before the notified leave date or before she
has notified such a date, she should notify the College that she has
given birth as soon as is reasonably practicable after the birth.
- The employee may vary the start date of her maternity in consultation
and agreement with the College. However, the employee has the
right to change when she wants to start her leave providing she
writes to the College at least 28 days in advance of the intended
THE RIGHT TO RETURN TO WORK AFTER MATERNITY LEAVE
Ordinary Maternity Leave
- An employee who wishes to return to work at the end of 26 weeks
OML period, is entitled to return to the same job that she left.
- If returning from ordinary maternity leave, notification of return to work
is not necessary, unless the employee wishes to return early.
Additional Maternity Leave
- An employee, who wishes to return to work following AML, has the
right to return at any time up until the end of the 26 weeks following
the ordinary maternity leave. She has the right to return to the same
or similar job, with comparable terms and conditions of employment,
seniority and pension rights.
- An employee who is unable to return to work at the end of her
maternity leave due to illness, will be subject to the normal sick leave
and pay policy, and will receive sick pay according to her contract.
- If the employee wishes to change her return-to-work date, she must
provide the College with 8 weeks notice. This is applicable during
both OML and AML.
- If the employee’s job becomes redundant during the course of her
maternity leave, the College will offer her any other suitable
alternative work that becomes available. She will have the right to be
considered for such work, even though she is on maternity leave. The
offer will be made before her previous employment ends and the new
employment will commence immediately. It must involve suitable
work and the terms and conditions will not be less favourable than the
old contract. If there is no work available, then she will be made
redundant, and receive redundancy pay in line with her statutory and
- If industrial action or any other interruption of work makes it
unreasonable for the employee to return to work on the date she has
specified, she may instead return when work resumes.
- An employee returning from maternity leave is eligible to make a
request to work flexibly. Please see the College policy on flexible
Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)
- An employee will be eligible to receive statutory maternity pay (SMP)
if she satisfies the following criteria:
a) She must have been employed by the College for at least 26
weeks continuing into the 15th week before the expected week of
b) She must be earning an amount equivalent to at least the lower
earnings limit for National Insurance contributions; and
c) She must still be pregnant at the 11th week before the expected
week of childbirth; and
d) She must have stopped work wholly or partly because of her
pregnancy, or her confinement.
- Payment during maternity leave will be as below. This example
covers the entire 52 week entitlement; however employees can
choose to take less leave:
26 weeks Ordinary Maternity Leave:
Weeks 1 to 4 – full pay (90% of normal weekly earnings, i.e. SMP
– Statutory Maternity Pay + 10% Contractual Maternity Pay).
Weeks 5 to 6 – 90% of normal weekly earnings.
Weeks 7 to 18 – lower rate* SMP plus half pay.
Weeks 19 to 26 – lower rate* SMP.
26 weeks Additional Maternity Leave:
Weeks 27 to 39 – lower rate* SMP
Weeks 40 to 52 – unpaid.
- Not all employees will be eligible for SMP, in which case they should
apply to the Benefits Agency to see whether they may be entitled to
Maternity Allowance. An application form will be provided by the
Contractual Maternity Pay (CMP)
- Contractual maternity pay is paid in addition to SMP, and is paid at
the rate of 1/10 of full salary for the first four weeks of maternity leave
and half-pay plus SMP for the first 12 weeks of the lower rate
statutory maternity pay period. This is subject to the combined SMP
and contractual maternity pay not exceeding the normal full pay.
- Any employee who does not return to work following OML or AML will
not be required to repay the contractual maternity pay.
- An employee in receipt of remuneration, whether salary or SMP or
both, will be treated as though she is working normally for the
purposes of access to occupational pension scheme membership
and benefits. The College will pay the normal contribution towards the
pension scheme for the period of ordinary maternity leave. The
employee is only required to pay contributions on the amount of
actual remuneration or SMP she receives.
- Employees who wish to continue contributions during this period of
unpaid maternity leave should contact the pension authority to obtain
the appropriate advice on how to do so.
- If the baby is born early but after the employee has started to receive
SMP, SMP will continue to be paid. If the employee has not yet
started to receive SMP, it will be triggered. For the purpose of
calculating the return to work this will be done using the actual week
of birth as the starting point.
- If the baby is born after the expected week of confinement, SMP is
not affected and OML and AML will continue as originally agreed.
- In the unfortunate event of a stillbirth, the employee continues to be
entitled to SMP, if the child is born after the 24th week of pregnancy.
She will also be entitled to the maternity leave period. In the event of
a miscarriage during or before the 24th week of pregnancy, provisions
and regulations of the sick pay scheme will apply.
CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH SMP IS LOST
- An employee will lose her right to receive SMP if:
a) She goes abroad outside of the European Community.
b) She is taken into legal custody.
c) She starts work for another employer.
d) She returns to work outside of the arrangement outlined in
TIME OFF FOR ANTE-NATAL CARE
- An employee is entitled to take paid time off for antenatal care
appointments. Evidence of appointments must be provided to the
manager upon request.
- The College will consider reasonable requests for time off for parental
PROTECTION OF NEW AND EXPECTANT MOTHERS
- The College is committed to creating and maintaining a healthy and
safe working environment. This is particularly important in relation to
the safety of new and expectant mothers. As part of normal health
and safety practices the College will undertake the following in order
to create a healthy workplace for new and expectant mothers:
- Work areas will be risk assessed to take account of particular risks to
new and expectant mothers. This will be carried out as soon as
possible after notification of pregnancy, and again upon the
employee’s return to work.
- Employees will have the right to transfer from hazardous work areas,
or hazardous work, without loss of pay or status, to suitable
alternative work and/ or to alter their hours / work conditions if
suitable actions can not be identified to avoid an assessed risk.
- In the interests of ensuring that expectant mothers are not working in
conditions which are deemed as unsafe, and where the College has
been unable to find suitable alternative work then the College will
temporarily suspend the employee on full contractual pay. Such a
decision will be based on the available medical advice and the
outcome of the risk assessment carried out.
- Suitable, smoke-free accommodation will be provided for expectant
and new mothers to allow for rest periods, as appropriate.
- Health and Safety management will be undertaken in accordance
with The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.
WORKING DURING MATERNITY LEAVE – “KEEPING IN TOUCH DAYS”
- Employees may do up to 10 days’ work during their maternity leave
period. Work during maternity leave in the form of “Keeping in
Touch” (KIT) days may only take place by agreement between both
manager and employee. An employee does not have a right to work
KIT days if her manager does not agree to them, nor can a manager
require an employee to work during maternity leave if she does not
- Working for part of a day will count as one KIT day.
- For the KIT days worked, employees will be entitled to take an
equivalent amount as time off in lieu at the end of their maternity
- The type of work that is undertaken by the employee on KIT days is a
matter for agreement between the employee and her manager. KIT
days may be used for any activity which would ordinarily be classed
as work under the employee’s contract, for which she would be paid.
- KIT days may be used at any stage during the maternity leave period,
by agreement with the manager, with the following exception: they
cannot be used during the first two weeks after the baby is born.
- Maternity leave is not sick leave, and will not be taken into account
when calculating any period of sick leave entitlement.
- During the maternity leave period, the contract continues to run. Any
salary increases awarded to other staff will also apply.
- Annual leave will continue to accrue at the contractual rate
throughout both OML and AML.
- Any employee who is unable to return to work at the end of their
maternity leave period due to illness, will be treated as if they were on
sick leave, and will therefore be entitled to sick pay.
- Periods of maternity leave and maternity absence are regarded as
continuous service for the purpose of calculating entitlements to
- If in the early months of pregnancy, an employee is advised by an
approved medical practitioner to absent herself from work because of
the risk of rubella, she will be entitled to leave with full pay.
- Employees are protected from unfair treatment due to pregnancy,
childbirth or taking maternity leave.
- This scheme will be reviewed on a regular basis in accordance with
legislative developments and the need for good practice within the