Covers the maternity leave procedure, entitlements, support, benefits and information available to all employees.
All employees are entitled to 26 weeks ordinary maternity leave (OML) and 26 weeks additional maternity leave regardless of length of service. Length of service may however affect the entitlements that the employee can receive.
A maternity calculator is available below to calculate maternity entitlement.
Before Maternity Leave
A pregnant employee must inform their manager in writing that they intend to take this leave at least 28 days before absence is due to begin. The manager must respond to employees' notification within 28 days, setting out when they expect them to return to work if they take their full entitlement. However employees are encouraged to notify their manager prior to this to ensure any appropriate risk assessments, general support, health and wellbeing support and reasonable adjustments are provided. Pregnant employees are also entitled to leave for their antenatal appointments.
During Maternity Leave
An employee continues to benefit from all terms and conditions during their period of leave except for pay.
On returning to work the employee will be able to return to their job under their original contract of employment, on terms and conditions not less favourable than those which would have been applicable to them if they had not been absent. Where this is not practicable she will be offered an alternative vacancy if one exists.
During an employee's maternity leave their manager may make reasonable contact and we believe that keeping in touch can help make it easier when it is time to return. Maternity regulations allow for an employee, who is on maternity leave to attend work for up to ten days without payment of statutory maternity pay being affected. These are known as keep in touch days, managers should us the keep in touch days claim form and manager's record to ensure that correct payments are made and record kept.
After Maternity Leave
When returning to work an employee can consider making use of the childcare vouchers scheme available through the Everybody Benefits package and parental leave available to all with parental responsibilities should it be required.
Employees intending to return may be considering alternative flexible working arrangements. Where this is requested the manager will consider all options e.g. job share, part-time, reduced hours etc. in line with the policy and procedure.
Other Support and Information
For employees who are supporting an expectant mother please refer to paternity and maternity support for more information. From 1 April 2014, the LGPS will be changing from a final salary scheme to a career average revalued pension scheme. This has a number of impacts, one in particular is the effect on unpaid leave. The leave, maternity policy, procedure and guidance documents have been updated to clarify that for any unpaid leave, employees who are members of the LGPS now have the choice whether to buy back any pension lost during the period of unpaid leave. This must be done within 30 days of returning to work after the period of leave. To find out how much it would cost to buy back pension, employees should contact Employment Support Services on 01609 532190.
Maternity Policies, Procedures and Guidance
Maternity Forms, Letters and Templates