Staff-Handbook.com

Making HR policies accessible

1. Introduction

We value the contributions of our female staff and every effort is made to encourage women to return to work from maternity leave.  We recognise that arrangements for cover during the period of maternity leave and additional leave, as well as arrangements for communication during maternity leave, are important for ensuring smooth transitions at every stage.

2. Scope

This policy applies to all employees, both full-time and part-time.

3. Procedure

3.1. Notification

When you receive medical confirmation that you are pregnant, you should notify your line manager and the HR Officer of the expected week of childbirth (EWC) and the date on which you want or expect to commence maternity leave (which must not be a date earlier than the 11th week before the EWC).  We need a medical certificate (Form MATB1 in the UK) provided by your GP, doctor or midwife confirming your pregnancy at the latest by the 15th week before your EWC.

As soon as practicable after the notification of your pregnancy, you need to meet with the HR Officer. This will be an informal interview, the purpose of which is to ensure that:

  • you understand your right to ordinary maternity leave and any additional leave, including the requirements for you to give appropriate notices;
  • the right to return is explained, together with any potential opportunities for flexible working;
  • arrangements for time off are known, and any possible health and safety concerns are aired;
  • you know your entitlements to payment during maternity leave.

3.2.  Maternity leave cover arrangements

We recognise that orderly arrangements for cover during the period of maternity leave and additional leave and also for enabling you to keep in touch with any developments at work are important for ensuring smooth transitions at each stage.  Accordingly, prior to commencement of maternity leave you will be informed of the arrangements for covering your work and also for providing you with opportunities to remain in contact whilst you are on leave.  As far as possible, such arrangements will be finalised in consultation with you. If you have staff reporting to you, we will endeavour to ensure you are involved in all decisions relating to the temporary reporting arrangements to cover your maternity leave.

In addition, you will usually remain on circulation lists for internal memoranda and other documents and will be included in invitations to work-related social events as though you were still at work  and "keeping in touch" or KIT days (see section 3.6 below).

We will try to ensure that maternity leave does not cause you any long term disadvantage in relation to your training needs and/or self development.

As you have the right to return to your own job after ordinary maternity leave or to a suitable alternative one if this is not practicable after your additional maternity leave, we will seek to avoid your being put into a position of potential redundancy while on maternity leave.  In accordance with statutory requirements, where job losses are unavoidable, you will be given first consideration for any suitable alternative employment that may arise.

3.3. Time off for antenatal care

You are entitled to take time off during your normal working hours to receive ante-natal care, although whenever it is possible to do so you should arrange your appointments at the start or end of your working day.  Ante-natal care includes appointments with your GP, doctor, hospital clinics and relaxation classes.  You may be required to produce an appointment card or some other document confirming all appointments other than the first.  You should advise your line manager that you will be absent as far in advance of your appointment as possible.

There will be no deduction from your salary for attendance at authorised ante-natal appointments, including any time spent travelling to and waiting for the appointment.{jgototop}Go to top{/jgototop}


3.4.  Maternity Leave

Ordinary maternity leave

You are entitled to take 26 weeks maternity leave, irrespective of your length of service or the number of hours worked each week, provided you have notified us correctly (see 3.1).

Additional maternity leave

If you qualify for ordinary maternity leave and have 26 weeks service at the beginning of the 14th week before the expected week of the birth (EWC) of your child, you will be able to take an additional period of 26 weeks maternity leave.  This is in addition to and follows ordinary maternity leave.

Compulsory maternity leave

Legislation prohibits you from returning to work during the two-week period immediately after the birth of your child.

3.5. Start of maternity leave

You can choose to start your maternity leave at any time after the start of the 11th week before the week in which your child is due, up until the birth of your child. 

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