Paternity Leave Policy. This policy will support staff and managers through applications for ordinary and additional paternity leave

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1 Name Summary Associated documents Target audience Date of this version 1 st August 2012 Review date 31 st July 2014 Maternity Leave Policy This policy will support staff and managers through applications for ordinary and additional paternity leave Paternity Leave Policy Equal Opportunities Policy All staff Date of full impact assessment 31 st July 1012 Name of Board National Waiting Times Centre Board Approving committee/group SMT/Partnership Forum Document author Lynne Rapson July

2 National Waiting Times Centre Board Values Statement What we do to deliver in our roles within the NWTC is important, but the way we behave is equally important to our colleagues, patients, customers and visitors. We know this from feedback we get from the staff survey, patients and customers, for example in thank you letters and the complaints we receive. Recognising this, the NWTC have worked with staff and patient representatives to discuss and promote our shared values which help us all to deliver the highest quality of care and service across the organisation. Our values are that we will: Take responsibility for doing our own job well Treat everyone we meet in the course of our work with dignity and respect Demonstrate through our actions our commitment to quality Communicate effectively, working with others as part of a team Display a positive attitude at every opportunity. Our policies support the delivery of these values, which run through all aspects of our working life by ensuring that staff are supported, feel engaged and are enabled to provide high quality care to all patients, and to improve and innovate. July

3 Contents Page 1 Introduction 3 2 Eligibility 3 3 Entitlement 3 4 Notification of pregnancy 6 5 Commencement of maternity leave 7 6 Time off for ante natal care 8 7 Premature birth 8 8 Still birth 8 9 Miscarriage 9 10 Health and safety of employees 9 11 Contact during maternity leave 9 12 Returning to work Transfer of maternity leave Sickness absence Failure to return to work Annual leave Increments Pensions Post natal care and breastfeeding mothers 12 July

4 1. Introduction The National Waiting Times Centre Board recognises that, from time to time, employees may have questions or concerns relating to their maternity rights. It is the Boards policy to encourage open discussion with employees to ensure that questions and problems can be resolved as quickly as possible. As the maternity provisions can be complex, if an employee becomes pregnant she should clarify the relevant procedures with Human Resources to ensure that they follow the correct process. This policy sets out the statutory rights and responsibilities of employees who are pregnant or have recently given birth and gives details of the arrangements for antenatal care, pregnancy-related illness, and maternity leave and pay. The following definitions are used in this policy: "Expected week of childbirth" means the week, starting on a Sunday, during which the employee's doctor or midwife expects her to give birth. "Qualifying week" means the 15 th week before the expected week of childbirth. 2. Eligibility All pregnant employees are entitled to 52 weeks maternity leave, irrespective of their length of service. 3. Entitlement 3.1 Maternity Leave All pregnant employees are entitled to take up to 26 weeks' ordinary maternity leave and up to 26 weeks' additional maternity leave, making a total of 52 weeks. This is regardless of the number of hours they work or their length of service. Additional maternity leave begins on the day after ordinary maternity leave ends. Ordinary maternity leave can start at any time after the beginning of the 11 th week before the employee's expected week of childbirth (unless her child is born prematurely before that date in which case it will start earlier). Maternity leave will start on whichever date is the earlier of: the employee's chosen start date; the day after the employee gives birth; or the day after any day on which the employee is absent for a pregnancy-related reason in the four weeks before the expected week of childbirth. July

5 If the employee gives birth before her maternity leave was due to start, she must notify the Board in writing of the date of the birth as soon as reasonably practicable. The law obliges all employees to take a minimum of two weeks of maternity leave immediately after the birth of the child Ordinary maternity leave During the period of ordinary maternity leave (26 weeks), the employee's contract of employment continues in force and she is entitled to receive all her contractual benefits, except for salary. In particular, any benefits in kind (such as life assurance, private medical insurance, permanent health insurance, private use of a lease car, will continue; contractual annual leave entitlement will continue to accrue (inclusive of public holidays); and pension contributions will continue to be made. Employee contributions will be based on actual pay, while employer contributions will be based on the salary that the employee would have received had she not gone on maternity leave. Salary will be replaced by SMP if the employee is eligible to receive it. Employees are encouraged to take any outstanding annual leave due to them before the commencement of ordinary maternity leave. Employees are reminded that holiday must be taken in the year that it is earned and therefore if the holiday year is due to end during maternity leave, the employee should take the full year's entitlement before starting her maternity leave. Additional maternity leave During the period of additional maternity leave (26 weeks), the employee's contract of employment continues in force and she is entitled to receive all her contractual benefits, except for salary. Any benefits in kind (such as life assurance, private medical insurance, permanent health insurance, private use of a lease car, laptop, mobile phone and gym membership) will continue. Contractual annual leave entitlement will also continue to accrue (inclusive of all public holidays). Salary will be replaced by statutory maternity pay (SMP) for the first 13 weeks of additional maternity leave if the employee is eligible. The remaining 13 weeks of additional maternity leave are unpaid. Pension contributions will continue to be made during the period when the employee is receiving SMP but not during any period of unpaid additional maternity leave. Statutory maternity pay Statutory maternity pay is payable for up to 39 weeks during maternity leave. An employee is entitled to SMP if: July

6 they have been continuously employed by the Board for at least 26 weeks at the end of the qualifying week and she is still employed during that week; their average weekly earnings in the period between the last normal pay day before the Saturday at the end of the qualifying week and the last normal pay day at least eight weeks before that date are not less than the lower earnings limit for national insurance contributions; they are still pregnant 11 weeks before the start of the expected week of childbirth (or has already given birth); they provide a MAT B1 form stating her expected week of childbirth; and they give the Board proper notification of her pregnancy in accordance with the rules set out above. For the first six weeks, SMP is paid at the higher rate, which is equivalent to 90% of the employee's average weekly earnings calculated over the period between the last normal pay day before the Saturday at the end of the qualifying week and the last normal pay day at least eight weeks before that date. For the purpose of calculating average weekly earnings, shift allowances, overtime payments, and on call commitments are all included. The standard rate of SMP is paid for the remaining 33 weeks (or less if the employee returns to work sooner). This is paid at a rate set by the Government for the relevant tax year, or 90% of the employee's average weekly earnings calculated over the period between the last normal pay day before the Saturday at the end of the qualifying week and the last normal pay day at least eight weeks before that date if this is lower than the Government's set weekly rate. Statutory maternity pay is treated as earnings and is therefore subject to PAYE and national insurance deductions. Payment of SMP cannot start prior to the 11 th week before the employee's expected week of childbirth. Statutory maternity pay can start from any day of the week in accordance with the date the employee starts her maternity leave and is payable whether or not the employee intends to return to work after her maternity leave. Employees who are not entitled to SMP may be entitled to receive maternity allowance payable by the Government. 3.2 Maternity Pay July

7 Where an employee intends to return to work the amount of contractual maternity pay receivable is as follows; Continuous NHS Service Leave Pay Up to 26wks by 15 th wk before the expected date of childbirth 52 weeks No entitlement however may be entitled to 39 weeks Statutory Maternity Between 26wks and 1 year at the 11 th wk before expected date of childbirth More than 1yr as at 11 th week before expected date of childbirth and intending to return to work More than 1 year as at 11 th week before the expected date of childbirth and NOT intending to return to work Allowance 52 weeks 6 weeks at 90% of full pay, 33 weeks at SMP(135.45) 52 weeks 8 weeks full pay, 18 weeks half pay plus SMP( per week),13weeks SMP ( per week) 52 weeks 6 weeks at 90% of full pay, 33 weeks at SMP( ) If an employee has continuous NHS service but has not been employed by the NWTC Board for 26 weeks by the 15 th week before the expected date of childbirth, they may still be entitled to receive the full maternity entitlement. In such circumstances employees are advised to check with the Directorate Human Resources Advisor for further clarification. By prior arrangement, occupational maternity pay may be paid in a different way, for example a combination of full and half pay or a fixed amount split equally over the maternity leave period. If an employee advises they do not intend to return to work with the same or another NHS Board for a minimum period of three months after her maternity leave has ended, they will be required to repay Statutory Maternity Pay, which is paid at 90% of their average earnings for the first six weeks of her maternity leave and to a flat rate sum for the following 33 weeks. Any employee who decides not to return to work after maternity leave, must give notice of resignation as soon as possible and in accordance with the terms and conditions of employment. 4. Notification of pregnancy On becoming pregnant, an employee should notify their line manager as soon as possible. By the end of the qualifying week, or as soon as reasonably practicable afterwards, the employee is required to complete a maternity application form, in order to inform her manager of; the fact that she is pregnant; her expected week of childbirth; and the date on which she intends to start her maternity leave. July

8 The employee must also provide a MAT B1 form, which is a certificate from a doctor or midwife confirming the expected week of childbirth. The form must have either the doctor's name and address or the midwife's name and registration number on it. 5. Commencement of Maternity Leave Maternity Leave can start no earlier than the beginning of the 11 th week before the expected week of childbirth. Arrangements for the commencement of maternity leave will be confirmed in writing by Human Resources when all relevant documentation has been received, and dates for commencement confirmed by all parties. The employee may be permitted to bring forward their maternity leave start date, provided they advise their manager in writing at least 28 days before the new start date or, if that is not possible, as soon as reasonably practicable. The employee may also postpone her maternity leave start date, provided that she advises her manager in writing at least 28 days before the original proposed start date or, if that is not possible, as soon as reasonably practicable. Employees can choose when to start their maternity leave maternity leave no longer needs to commence on a Sunday and can begin on any day of the week. There are a few exceptions however to this rule, as outlined below; 1. Absence due to childbirth before the intended start date. If childbirth occurs before the date the employee has notified (or before she has notified of any date) the maternity leave period automatically starts on the day after the date of the birth. This happens even if the birth takes place before the start of the 11 th week before the birth was originally expected. In such circumstances the employee should notify the Board in writing of the date of the birth, and the date the birth was originally expected. Evidence of the actual and expected dates of birth can be provided together on the maternity certificate (Mat B1) provided by the doctor or midwife. 2. Absence for a pregnancy related reason before the intended start date. An employee who is absent from work due to illness will normally be able to take sick leave until she starts maternity leave on the date notified to her employer. If however the illness is related to her pregnancy, the maternity leave period starts automatically on the day after the first day of absence following the beginning of the fourth week before the expected date of childbirth. 3. Dismissal or resignation before the intended start date. July

9 If an employee resigns or is dismissed before the date she has notified, or before she has notified of a start date, she loses the right to maternity leave, but will still be eligible for SMP if she is employed after the 15 th week before the expected date of childbirth. 6. Time off for antenatal care Pregnant employees have the right to paid time off for antenatal care, regardless of their length of service. In order to be entitled to take time off for antenatal care, the employee is required to produce a certificate from her doctor, registered midwife or registered health visitor, stating that she is pregnant. Except in the case of the first appointment, the employee should also produce evidence of the appointment, such as a medical certificate or appointment card, if requested to do so. The employee should endeavour to give her line manager as much notice as possible of antenatal appointments and, wherever possible, try to arrange them as near to the start or end of the working day as possible. 7. Premature Birth 6.1 If an employees baby is born prematurely, the employee will be entitled to the same amount of maternity leave and pay as those who are born at full term. 6.2 Where an employees baby is born before the 11 th week before the expected week of childbirth, and the employee has worked during the actual week of childbirth, maternity leave will start on the first day of the employee s absence. 6.3 Where an employees baby is born before the 11 th week before the expected week of childbirth and the employee has been absent from work on certified sickness absence during the actual week of childbirth, maternity leave will start the day after the day of birth. 6.4 Where an employees baby is born before the eleventh week before the expected week of childbirth and the baby is in hospital the employee may split her maternity leave entitlement, taking a minimum period of two weeks leave immediately after childbirth and the remaining leave following her baby s discharge from hospital. 8. Still Birth Where an employees baby is still born after the 24 th week of pregnancy, the employee will be entitled to the same amount of maternity leave and pay in line with her length of service. 9. Miscarriage July

10 Where an employee has a miscarriage before the 25 th week of pregnancy normal sick pay provisions will apply. 10. Health and safety of employees The Board has a duty to take care of the health and safety of all employees. We are also required to carry out a risk assessment to assess the workplace risks to women who are pregnant, have recently given birth or are breastfeeding where the work is of a kind that could involve a risk of harm or danger to her health and safety or the health and safety of her baby would be at risk were they to continue with their normal duties. If the risk assessment reveals that the employee would be exposed to health hazards in carrying out their normal job duties, the Board will take such steps as are reasonably necessary to avoid those risks, such as altering the employee's working conditions. In some cases, this may mean offering the employee suitable alternative work (if available) on terms and conditions that are not substantially less favourable. If it is not possible for the Board to alter the employee's working conditions to remove the risks to her health and there is no suitable alternative work available to offer her on a temporary basis, the employee may be suspended from work on maternity grounds until such time as there are no longer any risks to her health. This may be for the remainder of her pregnancy until the commencement of her maternity leave. If an employee is suspended in these circumstances, her employment will continue during the period of the suspension and it does not in any way affect her statutory or contractual employment and maternity rights. The employee will be entitled to her normal salary and contractual benefits during the period of her suspension, unless she has unreasonably refused an offer of suitable alternative employment. 11. Contact during maternity leave The Board reserves the right in any event to maintain reasonable contact with the employee from time to time during her maternity leave. This may be to discuss the employee's plans for return to work, to discuss any special arrangements to be made or training to be given to ease her return to work or simply to update her on developments at work during her absence Keeping-in-touch days Except during the first two weeks after childbirth an employee can agree to work, or to attend training for up to 10 days during either ordinary maternity leave or additional maternity leave without that work bringing the period of her maternity leave to an end and without loss of a week's SMP. These are known as "keeping-in-touch" days. Any work carried out on a day shall constitute a day's work for these purposes. The type of work undertaken on a keeping in touch day is a matter for agreement by the employee and her manager, however they may be used for any activity which would normally be classed as work under the employees contract, for which she would be paid. July

11 12. Returning to work All employees who intend to return to work at the end of their full maternity leave are not required to provide any notification, however they will normally have notified their manager in writing of their return details. If any employee wishes to return early they must provide at least 28 days notice of their intention to return to work. Employees have the right to return to work under their original contract and on no less favourable terms and conditions. On resuming work after ordinary maternity leave, the employee is entitled to return to the same job as she occupied before commencing maternity leave on the same terms and conditions of employment as if she had not been absent. If however it is not reasonably practicable for the Board to allow the employee to return to the same job, the employee may be offered suitable alternative work, on terms and conditions that are no less favourable than would have applied if she had not been absent. If at the end of her maternity leave an employee wishes to return to work on different working arrangements, ie a change to working hours or shift pattern, she should write to her line manager setting out her proposals as soon as possible in advance of her return date, so that there is adequate time for full consideration of the request. There is no automatic right for any employee who worked full time prior to their maternity leave to return to work on a part time basis or make changes to her working pattern however, the Board will consider all requests for flexible working in line with the operational requirements of the department. If this request is not possible the Board will provide a written response justifying the reason for this and the employee should return to the same grade and work to that which they held prior to their maternity leave. If the employee decides not to return to work after maternity leave, she must give notice of resignation as soon as possible and in accordance with the terms of her contract of employment. If the notice period would expire after maternity leave has ended, the Board may require the employee to return to work for the remainder of the notice period. 13. Transfer of maternity leave If an employee proposes to return to work by giving proper notification in accordance with the rules set above, her spouse, civil partner or partner may be eligible to take up to 26 weeks' additional paternity leave (and additional statutory paternity pay) on her return to work. The earliest that additional paternity leave may commence is 20 weeks after the date on which the employee s child is born and it must end no later than 12 months after the date of birth. The minimum period of additional paternity leave is two consecutive weeks and the maximum period is 26 weeks. The employee must therefore have at least two weeks of her maternity leave that remains unexpired. July

12 Further details should be obtained from the employee s spouse s or partner s employer. Any employee wishing to transfer part of their maternity leave to their spouse or partner may be required to submit a written and signed declaration form to that employer. The Board may be required to verify the employee s entitlement to additional paternity leave by making to enquiries to Human Resources to verify its employee s entitlement to additional paternity leave and pay. For further information relating to the Boards policy for the transfer of maternity leave please refer to the Paternity Leave Policy. 14. Sickness absence If an employee is absent from work during pregnancy owing to sickness, she will receive normal statutory or contractual sick pay in the same manner as she would during any other sickness absence provided that she has not yet begun ordinary maternity leave. If, however, the employee is absent from work due to a pregnancy-related illness after the beginning of the fourth week before her expected week of childbirth, her maternity leave will start automatically. If the employee is absent from work wholly or partly because of pregnancy during the four weeks before the expected week of childbirth, she must notify the Board in writing of this as soon as reasonably practicable. In the event of illness following the date the employee was due to return to work following the end of her additional maternity leave normal sick leave provisions apply. 15. Failure to return to work If an employee has notified her manager of their intention to return to work for the same or a different NHS employer and then fails to do so within 15 months of the commencement of her maternity leave she will be liable to refund the whole of her maternity pay, less any statutory maternity pay received. 16. Annual leave Annual leave will continue to accrue for both paid and unpaid periods of maternity leave, inclusive of public holidays. In instances where the amount of annual leave accrued is in excess to the carry over provisions it would be mutually beneficial for both the employee and the manager to allow the employee to take annual leave either before and/or after the formal maternity leave period, if operationally possible. In such instances, this should be discussed and agreed by the employee and department manager. 17. Increments All periods of maternity leave, whether paid or unpaid, will count as service for annual increments and for the purposes of service qualification period for additional annual leave. July

13 18. Pensions Pension rights and contributions will be dealt with in accordance with the provisions of NHS Superannuation Regulations. 19. Post natal care and breastfeeding mothers Women who have recently given birth should have paid time off for post natal care, ie attendance at clinics. The Board is required to provide breast feeding women with suitable rest facilities and access to a private room to express and store milk. For further information relating to this please contact your department manager or Human Resources department. July

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