Maternity leave

If you are pregnant, you must let your line managerknow as soon as possible. The rules on pregnancy and maternity are very complex and any query should be raised with the Organisation.

Ante-Natal Care

You are entitled to reasonable time off work with pay to attend for ante-natal care at appointments made on the advice of a registered medical practitioner, registered midwife or registered health worker. If requested, you must provide a certificate of pregnancy and an appointment card.

Maternity Risk Assessment

The organisation will carry out suitable and sufficient risk assessments when considering the health and safety of all employees at work, and then to take steps to ensure that those risks are avoided. However, there are more specific regulations that need to be taken into account for new or expectant mothers.

The purpose of an initial assessment is to identify:

  • the presence of any females of potential child-bearing age (these females will usually be employees but may also be visitors, contractors (e.g. cleaners) or volunteers)
  • which work activities and/or areas of the workplace may pose a risk of harm to female employees and therefore warrant a full risk assessment.
  •  These activities, and any actions taken, should be recorded.
  •  Employers are only required to take action specifically to protect a pregnant worker when they have been advised in writing of the employee’s condition (i.e. that she is pregnant), has given birth in the last six months or is breastfeeding.

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)

If you stop work and meet all of the following conditions you are entitled to receive SMP. You must:

  •  have been continuously employed for at least 26 weeks ending with the 15th week before the Expected Week of Childbirth (EWC)
  •  have average weekly earnings of not less than the figure set by the Government for the payment of National Insurance contributions
  • still be pregnant at the 11th week before the EWC or have given birth by that time
  • give at least 28 days' notice in writing of when you intend to stop work
  •  provide medical evidence of the EWC. (MATB1)

Maternity Leave

If you stop work no earlier than the 11th week before the EWC, and you meet the following conditions, you are entitled to up to 52 weeks’ maternity leave. To comply you must notify the Organisation in writing as soon as possible or by the 15th week before the EWC unless that is not reasonably practicable, of the following:

- that you are pregnant (preferably by submitting a MAT B1 form);

- the EWC;

- the date on which you intend your ordinary maternity leave to start; and

- if requested, provide medical evidence of the EWC.

The Organisation will confirm to you in writing the date upon which your maternity leave period will end.

If you give birth before your intended maternity leave start date, your maternity leave will start automatically on the day after the birth of the child. Further, if you are absent from work wholly or partly due to a pregnancy related illness in the 4 weeks immediately before your due date you maternity leave will automatically start.

During the 52 weeks’ maternity leave period all contractual benefits except for your pay will be maintained as if you were not absent.

If you wish to return to work before the end of your chosen period of maternity leave you must give at least 8 weeks’ notice of your intended date of return.

If you decide to return to work early and this is at the end of the first 26 week period known as “ordinary maternity leave” you are entitled to return to the job you were in before your absence. If you return to work either during or at the end of the second period of 26 weeks’ known as “additional maternity leave”, you may be able to return to your original job (or another job which is suitable and appropriate).

The above information is given for guidance purposes only and confers no extra rights to you beyond those provided by statute.

Paternity leave

Paternity leave is subject to eligibility rules. If you wish to take paternity leave, please discuss this with your line manager.

If you are eligible you may be entitled to choose to take either one week or two consecutive weeks' paternity leave (not odd days) if you:

- have been continuously employed for at least 26 weeks by the 15th week before the Expected Week of Childbirth (EWC) or by the week in which an Approved Adoption Agency matches you with a child;

- have given written notice of your intention to take the leave in or before the 15th week before the EWC specifying the EWC, length of period you have chosen to take and the date you have chosen the leave to begin; and

- take the leave within 56 days after the birth (or the date on which the child is placed for adoption) or if the child is born early, within a period from the actual date of birth up to 56 days after the first day of the expected week of birth.

You will be paid for this leave at the Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) rate, or 90% of your average weekly earnings if this is less.

The above information is given for guidance purposes only and confers no extra rights to you beyond those provided by statute.

Adoption leave

Adoption leave is available if you adopt a child, subject to eligibility rules. If you are planning to adopt you should inform your line manager as soon as possible so that they can discuss your entitlements with you and help you plan any leave of absence.

If you are adopting a child and you meet certain qualifying conditions you have the right to take up to 52 weeks' adoption leave.

Employees may be eligible for Adoption leave if they:

- Have been notified by an Approved Adoption Agency that they have been matched with a child and have confirmed the placement with the agency; or
- Are or expect to be the parent of a child under a parental order, where the child’s expected week of birth begins on/after the 5th April 2015; or
- Are local authority parents who are prospective adopters

You must notify the Company of your intention to take adoption leave within 7 days of being notified that you have been matched with a child for adoption. Your notification should include the date on which the child is expected to be placed with you for adoption, how much adoption leave you wish to take and when you wish your adoption leave to start. You may be asked to provide documentary evidence of the match from the adoption agency.

You may commence your adoption leave from the date of the placement of the child or at any time within 14 days prior to the placement. You can change the start date by giving 28 days’ notice prior to the original commencement date. Adoption leave cannot start after the date on which the child is placed with you for adoption.

The above information is given for guidance purposes only and confers no extra rights to you beyond those provided by statute.

Shared parental leave

Shared parental leave applies to children born or placed for adoption on or after 5 April 2015. You may be eligible for shared parental leave and, if you wish to find out if you are eligible for this then please let us know and information will be provided upon request.

Statutory Paternity Leave allows working parents to take up to 50 weeks’ leave between them in order to care for their child. They may take leave at the same or different times, once the mother/primary adopter has notified his/her employer of his/her intention to end his/her maternity/adoption leave period.

Leave can be taken in a continuous block or over a number of discontinuous periods.

You may also be eligible to receive shared parental pay for the remainder of the maternity/adoption pay period to a maximum of 37 weeks provided you meet the qualifying criteria.

The above information is given for guidance purposes only and confers no extra rights to you beyond those provided by statute.

Keeping in Touch Days

During maternity leave, adoption leave, shared parental leave, the Organisation may offer you the opportunity of taking ‘Keeping in Touch Days’, up to 10 days for maternity/adoption leave and up to 20 days for shared parental leave (referred to as ‘shared parental leave in touch’ days or SPLIT). These are days when you may work for the Organisation without bringing your maternity leave, adoption leave, shared parental leave to an end. Work can be any work under your Contract of Employment and may include any training or activity undertaken with the purpose of keeping in touch in the workplace. Any payment for these days will depend on the type of work, training or activity and will be agreed between you and the Organisation.

For further details please refer to management.

Parental leave

If you are a parent, you may be able to a take a period of unpaid leave from work in order to spend time with your children. If this is something you are interested in, please discuss this with your line manager.

If you are the parent/adoptive parent of a child or have or expect to have parental responsibility for a child, provided you have 1 year’s continuous service with the Company, you are entitled to take up to 18 weeks’ unpaid ordinary parental leave for the purpose of caring for a child, up to the child’s 18th birthday.

Leave must be taken in a minimum of 1 week blocks (except for where a child is disabled then leave may be taken as single days or multiples of 1 day) and is limited to a maximum of 4 weeks in any year for each child.

At least 21 days’ notice must be provided and leave may be postponed apart from leave taken immediately after the birth or adoption, depending on the needs of the Organisation.

The above information is given for guidance purposes only and confers no extra rights to you beyond those provided by statute.

Dependant leave

You are entitled to reasonable time off, without pay, for urgent or unexpected incidents of real need involving a dependant, who is a member of your immediate family or someone who reasonably relies on you for help when they are ill or injured or for making arrangements for them to be cared for in the event of illness or injury. This leave is only entitled to be used to deal with the emergency situation not to provide ongoing care thereafter. Please speak with your Line Manager if you need to take such time off.

The entitlement to time off in such circumstances is limited to what is reasonable for you to deal with the immediate problem and make any longer term arrangements.

Flexible working

If you have worked for 26 weeks continuously at the date an application is made, you will have a statutory right to request flexible working. It should be noted that only one statutory request for flexible working can be made in any 12 month period and any application submitted must be done so in writing. The request must include the date of your application, the change to working conditions being sought and when you would like them to come into effect. You must also include in your application any effects that you think the change you are requesting might have on the Company, specify that it is a statutory request and, if you have made a previous application for flexible working, specify the date on which that was made. Any request for flexible working will be considered reasonably and in a timely manner.

Compassionate and bereavement leave

Requests for compassionate or bereavement leave will be considered by us on an individual basis although there is no contractual right to leave of absence. In the event of the death or funeral of an employee's relative or civil partner, paid time off work will be granted in accordance with the following provision:-

A discretionary number of days which will be for immediate family defined as mother, father, brother, sister, child, spouse or civil partner.

1 day which will be discretionary for other relatives.

We reserve the right, at our absolute discretion, to amend or withdraw any of these compassionate and bereavement leave provisions.