- The 'Statement of Intent' form (HR/662)
- Keeping in Touch Days (KIT Days) Proforma
- Maternity Risk Assessment Form
This policy and procedure are designed to ensure that all members of staff are treated fairly and consistently regardless of length of service or job category, and to ensure that the University complies with the relevant legislation.
All pregnant employees are entitled to take 52 weeks statutory maternity leave. This consists of 26 weeks ordinary maternity leave and 26 weeks additional maternity leave. The right to paid maternity leave differs and is dependent on other factors eg length of service.
This policy applies to all Lancaster University staff regardless of the type of contract that they are employed under who are expecting the birth of their child on or after 5th October 2008.
A copy of this policy will be made available to all members of staff via the University intranet and will be made available in hard copy form on request to HR.
C Care During Pregnancy
1. Medical Advice
The member of staff’s doctor, health adviser or midwife will be able to advise on whether the member of staff is medically fit to continue working and will issue a certificate of expected date of childbirth (MAT B1). This is issued 14 weeks before the Expected Week of Childbirth (EWC). If any member of staff is in doubt about their ability to work they should discuss this initially with their line-manager, who may wish to take further advice from Human Resources.
2. Working Arrangements
The member of staff’s Head of Department or immediate line manager will discuss with them any adjustments to working arrangements that may be required during pregnancy.
3. Ante Natal Care
Staff have the right to time off with pay for ante-natal care; however, the University reserves the right to ask to see their appointment card, other than for the first appointment.
4 Health and Safety and Risk Assessment
Arrangements will be made to protect staff during pregnancy if they are carrying out work which may put them and their baby at risk, if pregnancy makes it impossible to perform the duties of the job safely, or if it would be a contravention of the law to allow them to continue working. It is therefore extremely important that the Head of Department or immediate line manager and Departmental Safety Officer is notified of the staff’s pregnancy as early as possible.
Further guidance can be obtained from the HSE – A guide for New and Expectant Mothers who work.
Further information is available on the Human Resources web site. Staff can also contact their HR Partner to discuss the application of this policy.
6 Sickness Absence
Maternity leave will not be counted against sick leave entitlement. If absence is pregnancy related and if it occurs on or after the start of the 4th week before the expected week of childbirth, maternity leave is automatically triggered.
7 Premature Births
In the case of a premature birth, maternity leave and pay will start from the day following the birth. In this circumstance please contact HR.
D Maternity Leave, Entitlement and Pay Arrangements
1. Maternity Leave and Pay Arrangements
Subject to receipt of a MAT B1 and the Statement of Intent Form (HR/662), maternity pay will be credited to the bank account exactly as for normal salary. Please note that those entitled to maternity leave with pay will be paid Statutory Maternity Pay as part of their normal pay, it is not an additional allowance.
2. Entitlement to Maternity Pay
For staff with less than 26 weeks’ service at the beginning of the 14th week before the EWC:
Up to 52 weeks unpaid leave.
There is no entitlement to Statutory Maternity Pay; however, there may be entitlement to Maternity Allowance, which provides 90% of average weekly earnings up to a maximum of £135.45 per week - (£136.78 from 6 April 2013). Staff must be employed for at least 26 weeks in the 66-week period ending with the week before the expected week of childbirth. Maternity Allowance is not paid by employers; applications should be made to the individual’s local Job Centre Plus office.
For staff with between 26 and 52 weeks service at the beginning of the 14th week before the EWC (provided that average earnings exceed the lower earnings limit for National Insurance).
Up to 52 weeks leave:
- 6 weeks at 90% of full pay
- 33 weeks Statutory Maternity Pay(the lesser of 90% of average weekly earnings or £135.45 - (£136.78 from 6 April 2013)
- 13 weeks unpaid additional leave
For staff with over 1 year’s service at the beginning of the 14th week before the expected week of childbirth (provided that average earnings exceed the lower earnings limit for National Insurance).
If staff intend to return to work, and return for more than 6 months:
- 18 weeks leave on full pay
- 21 weeks Statutory Maternity Pay (the lesser of 90% of average weekly earnings or £135.45 - (£136.78 from 6 April 2013)
- 13 weeks unpaid additional leave
NB. Staff must return to work after their maternity leave for at least 6 months in order to retain the additional occupational benefits. Staff are entitled to retain Statutory Maternity Pay even when they do not return to work. If staff do not either return or return for less than the 6 month period any additional occupational benefits they received will be reclaimed.
If staff do not intend to return to work:
- 6 weeks leave at 90% of full pay
- 33 weeks Statutory Maternity Pay (the lesser of 90% of average weekly earnings or £135.45 - (£136.78 from 6 April 2013).
3. Maternity Leave
The earliest date Maternity Leave can commence is from the beginning of the 11th week before the expected week of childbirth.
Staff will not qualify for sick pay whilst they are on Maternity leave, nor are they eligible to work whilst receiving Statutory Maternity Pay (with the exception of the 10 ‘Keeping in Touch’ days (KIT Days) – see below).
4. Compulsory Minimum Period of Maternity Leave
The legal minimum maternity leave which staff are required to take is 2 weeks commencing the day on which childbirth occurs.
5. Annual Leave
During both the ordinary maternity leave period and the additional leave period annual leave will accrue as normal.
Additional leave relating to Bank holidays and University closure days, which occur during the maternity leave period, will also accrue
A member of staff cannot take annual leave during either the ordinary or additional maternity leave periods but, subject to the usual approval arrangements, may take leave accrued at the time immediately before or after maternity leave.
E. What Staff Must Do
In order to qualify for Maternity Leave and Maternity Pay, and to safeguard the right to return to work, staff must:
1. Notify Maternity leave
Staff must notify their Head of Department or immediate line manager and the HR Department no later than the 14th week before the expected week of birth of their planned maternity leave in writing using the Statement of Intent Form (HR/662) form attached (or which is available on the intranet or can be sent in hardcopy format on request) and return it to HR Department confirming if it is their intention to return to work after the birth of the child.
2. Obtain MAT B1 form
Payment of Statutory Maternity Pay or any other entitlement cannot be made unless the member of staff’s midwife or doctor has provided a MAT B1 certificate or equivalent which is issued 14 weeks before the Expected Week of Childbirth (EWC).
3. Salary Sacrifice Scheme / Childcare Vouchers
Staff participating in the University’s Childcare Salary Sacrifice Scheme or Childcare Voucher Scheme must notify HR no later than the 16th week before the expected week of childbirth if they wish their maternity pay to be based on their pre-sacrifice pay. Please refer to the Childcare Salary Sacrifice Scheme booklet for further details or discuss with Catherine Hadwin on ext 10618.
4. Return to Work
Staff who intend to return before the end of the end of their 52 week entitlement to maternity leave must give their Head of Department and HR at least 8 weeks notice.
If the University has not been notified by the member of staff, they will be contacted by HR at the end of the 15th week of the maternity leave period and will be asked to indicate whether they still intend to return to work. This is to allow cover to be planned especially where a replacement appointment has been made to cover the absence. Staff are requested to respond to contact as quickly as possibly and within 28 days.
F. Employment that ends during maternity leave
1. Staff on Fixed Term Contracts
If a member of staff’s contract of employment expires during their maternity leave period or prior to the completion of the 6 months return to work they should talk to their Department and the Faculty HR Adviser at the earliest opportunity to investigate the possibility of an extension of their contract. Where no extension is possible, staff will be entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay.
2. Term Time only Staff / Staff Employed for less than 52 weeks per year.
If staff work for less than a full year then they will be entitled to maternity leave and pay on a pro rata basis. The total period of maternity leave will not exceed one year.
3. Grant Funded Staff
Those staff who are grant funded should discuss with the grant holders at the earliest possible opportunity, any additional arrangements which may be available under the terms of the grant for the payment of salary during maternity leave. For instance, some funding bodies do have a policy to extend grants to cover maternity periods.
G. Miscarriage / still births
In the unfortunate event of either a miscarriage or stillbirth at or after the start of the 16th week before the EWC it is treated as a confinement and the entitlement to maternity pay and leave will be the same as for a normal birth. Where a miscarriage or stillbirth occurs before this date, the procedures relating to sickness absence will apply.
H. Staying in touch while absent
It is recommended that staff make arrangements to maintain reasonable contact with their Head of Department or immediate line manager during maternity leave, for instance, to keep informed of important developments at work and to discuss plans for their return to work. Managers should draw particular attention to the annual promotion round. Staff should also ensure that they keep themselves informed as appropriate. e.g. by regularly reviewing the University’s Current Vacancies, having access to their email account in order to receive the weekly LUText.
2. Keeping in Touch Days (KIT Days)
Staff may, by agreement with their Head of Department, undertake up to 10 days work, referred to as ‘Keeping in Touch Days (KIT Days)’, during their maternity leave. Such days may be undertaken at any stage during the maternity leave period except in the first two weeks after the baby is born. The type of work undertaken is a matter for agreement between staff and the Head of Department. The days may be used for any activity which would ordinarily be classed as work under the member of staff’s contract, and could be particularly useful in enabling attendance at a conference, training activity, away day, Departmental meeting etc. KIT Days are optional and can only take place by agreement between both parties.
KIT Days do not extend the statutory or ordinary maternity pay periods in any way. For instance, if a KIT Day occurs during a period of full pay, part pay, SMP or unpaid leave no additional payment will be made. Staff will be given time off in lieu (in the form of additional annual leave) for any KIT Days worked.
G. Returning to work
Subject to having complied with the notification requirements explained in the ‘What Staff Must Do’ section, staff are entitled to:
- if returning at or before the end of the 26 weeks ordinary maternity leave, return to the same job and the same terms and conditions
- if returning at or before the end of the 26 weeks additional leave period, return to the same job unless this is not reasonably practicable, when a suitable and appropriate job may be offered instead on terms and conditions no less favourable.
Staff may request to return to work on a flexible/part-time basis. There is no statutory right to change staff working conditions but sympathetic consideration will be given. Staff should make any such request using the Requesting flexible working procedure.
1. Pension Arrangements
Staff will continue to contribute to the Pension Scheme during the paid maternity leave period, pro-rata to the amount of contractual or Statutory Maternity Pay received.
Staff may elect to maintain or suspend their membership of the Superannuation Scheme during the unpaid maternity leave period. If staff decide to maintain it, they will be required to continue paying contributions based upon their normal earnings. The University will pay its contributions throughout. Staff should notify their intention by completing the Statement of Intent Form (HR/662) which can also be sent in hard copy format by request.
2. Salary Progression
Any increment or pay award due to take effect during the maternity leave will do so as normal.
3. Continuous Employment
Maternity Leave, both paid and unpaid, is counted as continuous employment for the purposes of pension and redundancy rights.
4. Failure to Return to Work
If staff notify their intention to return to work and either do not do so or return for a shorter duration than notified, the University has the right to recoup a sum equivalent to the difference between the amount of maternity pay received and the actual entitlement.
Issued: April 2007
Last reviewed: Jan 2012