HR policy. Maternity. Management System. Policy. Revision Schedule

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1 HR policy Maternity Revision Schedule Rev. No. Date Details of change 11/04/2008 First Issue 20/10/2008 Update on Benefit changes Rev 0 07/06/2010 Transfer to Morgan Sindall original document Rev 1 23/08/2011 Revised to one policy original document Rev 1 Oct 11 Integrated Management System merger Page 1 of 6

2 Contents 1. Purpose Responsibility and policy Categories of staff covered Notification health and safety Ante-natal care Maternity leave Maternity pay Still birth Definitions Overview Author Purpose To set out the rights and responsibilities of employees who are pregnant or have recently given birth, including leave and pay arrangements in accordance with their entitlement. 2. Responsibility and policy 2.1 Responsibility Implementation and adherence all managers HR staff. Upgrade and maintenance H.R. Director. 2.2 Morgan Sindall encourages employees who choose to have a family to continue their career with Morgan Sindall and is committed to helping working parents. The Morgan Sindall Maternity policy complies with statutory requirements. 3. Categories of staff covered All pregnant female employees and subject to qualifying dates as identified in this policy. 4. Notification health and safety An employee who becomes pregnant should inform her line manager in the first instance, (also see notification arrangements below). Arrangements will then be made to discuss maternity leave, pay and other employment rights with the HR department. The HR department, together with the employee s line manager will be responsible for ensuring that her duties and hours of work comply with current legislation. Further advice on requirements of Health and Safety Regulations affecting employees who are pregnant, those who have recently given birth, miscarried or are breastfeeding is available from the Safety, Health and Environmental (SHE) advisors who will carry out an assessment of the employee s working conditions. 5. Ante-natal care All pregnant employees are entitled to time off to keep appointments for ante-natal care made on the advice of a registered medical practitioner, registered midwife or registered health visitor without loss of earnings. Where possible, Morgan Sindall requests that appointments be made at days and times appropriate to the needs of the business. Except in the case of the employee s first appointment, an appointment card or other documentation confirming appointments may be requested, as this authorises paid leave. There is no deduction of salary for attendance at authorised ante-natal appointments. Page 2 of 6

3 6. Maternity leave All pregnant employees (irrespective of length of service) are entitled to take up to one year s (52 weeks) Maternity leave. Maternity leave is a continuous period and is made up of:- 26 weeks ordinary maternity leave and 26 weeks additional maternity leave. Ordinary maternity leave (OML) can start up to 11 weeks before the expected week of childbirth Additional maternity leave (AML) lasts for 26 weeks, and begins on the day after Ordinary maternity leave ends. This leave is granted regardless of the number of hours an employee works. 6.1 Maternity leave sick absence If an employee is absent from work before the intended start date of maternity leave and the illness is pregnancy related, the maternity leave period starts automatically on the first day of absence following the beginning of the fourth week before the expected week of childbirth. This applies even if the day of absence is before the date the employee has notified the date on which she intends her leave to start. If the illness is unrelated to her pregnancy she can remain on sick leave and receive statutory sick pay / incapacity benefit right up to the date of the baby s birth, or until the date she has notified as the date on which she intends her maternity leave to start. 6.2 Maternity leave notification and evidence requirements Morgan Sindall must receive notification in writing from the employee by the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth:- That she is pregnant The expected week of childbirth The date on which she intends to start ordinary maternity leave. Confirmation of the expected week of childbirth is stated on the MatB1 certificate issued by a registered doctor or midwife. This document needs to be provided in order to qualify for maternity leave, and also maternity pay. If, after giving the above information, an employee wishes to change the intended date to start of ordinary maternity leave, this notice must be given at least 28 days before the amended leave date (or if that is not reasonably practicable, as soon as is reasonably practicable). Upon receiving notification of the intended date to begin ordinary maternity leave, Morgan Sindall will write to the employee within 28 days, setting out her expected date of return following her full maternity leave entitlement (ordinary + additional maternity leave). If the employee fails to give the required notification for the start of her maternity leave, in circumstances where it was reasonably practicable for her to do so, leave will be delayed until 28 days after the day on which the correct notification should have been given. The employee will be expected to return to work on the date given in the letter of response to her notification. No other letters will be sent. (The employee does not need to confirm her return date, unless she wishes to change it and return to work earlier in which case she must give at least eight weeks notice in writing of her intention to return). See maternity leave return to work. Maternity leave cannot start earlier than the eleventh week before the Expected Week of Childbirth (EWC). The employee may decide when she wishes to commence maternity leave and may continue working right up to the birth, except where she is sick, as identified above. Page 3 of 6

4 6.3 Maternity leave - keeping-in-touch days An employee may work for up to 10 days during maternity leave without bringing the maternity leave period to an end. Employees may work during ordinary or additional leave, with the proviso that an employee cannot work during the two weeks (four weeks in some circumstances) of compulsory maternity leave immediately after the birth of her baby. The keeping-in-touch days do not have to be consecutive. They can be used for training or any other activity, such as a staff meeting, that enables an employee to keep in touch with the workplace. Working for part of a day will count as one day s work. An employee receiving contractual maternity pay will still be entitled to receive this if she works for up to 10 keeping in touch days during her leave. Any such days worked will be paid at the normal salary rate, through the payroll in the normal manner. Any keeping-in-touch days do not extend the period of maternity leave. Once used up the employee will lose a week s statutory maternity pay for any week in which she agrees to work for the company, even where she only works a portion of that week. 6.4 Maternity leave - contact The company reserves the right to maintain reasonable contact with the employee from time to time during her maternity leave. This may be to discuss Morgan Sindall plans for her 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. 6.5 Maternity leave contractual employment benefits Holidays Statutory holiday (ie as laid down in the working time directive) and contractual holiday (ie the additional amount given above the statutory legal minimum) entitlement will accrue for both the 26 week Ordinary Maternity Leave (OML) and the 26 week Additional Maternity Leave (AML) period. Unless otherwise agreed with the company, Statutory paid holiday must be taken in the holiday year in which is accrued and cannot normally be carried over to the following year. If maternity leave spans two holiday years then holiday must be taken before maternity leave begins and some of it following the return to work. Where maternity leave falls in the current holiday year, holiday entitlement for the SMP period may either be taken prior to leave commencing or may be carried over and taken as appropriate on the employee s return to work. If the employee does not return to work, payment in lieu of holidays not taken will be made. Pension Employer pension contributions continue to be paid at the same level as before maternity leave. Employee contributions are made as a percentage of the actual pay received during maternity leave. Pay review At the time of the annual pay review employees on both OML and AML will be treated as though they were still at work and will be notified of their review in the normal way. Other entitlements An employee taking Maternity Leave (OML and AML) remains entitled to the benefit of all her terms and conditions of employment other than the right to receive remuneration. This may include life insurance, personal private health insurance cover, company car benefit arrangements and pension (as above). During maternity leave some contractual benefits and obligations remain in force including notice of the termination of the employment contract, compensation in the event of redundancy, disciplinary or grievance procedures, the disclosure of confidential information, the acceptance of gifts or benefits, the implied obligation of trust and confidence and the employee s participation in another business. Page 4 of 6

5 6.6 Maternity leave - returning to work NOTE: The employee cannot return until at least two weeks after the birth as it is not permitted for any woman to work during the two weeks (four weeks in some circumstances) after giving birth. The assumption is that the employee will take her full maternity leave entitlement of 52 weeks (26 weeks OML plus 26 weeks AML). If the employee wishes to return to work before the end of her full maternity leave entitlement she must give the company eight weeks notice of the date she wishes to return to work. There is no legal requirement for an employee who intends to return to work at the end of her AML to notify her return to the company. The company will assume that she will be returning to work, on expiry of the AML period. Additional parental leave (unpaid) of no more than four weeks may be added to maternity leave subject to prior agreement with the company. If an employee does not return to work on her due date the company will make every effort to ascertain the reason, in the same way as any other employee who does not turn up for work as expected. If there is no good reason then the company is entitled to regard her absence as unauthorised leave and take appropriate disciplinary action. If the absence continues then the company may terminate the contract on the grounds of gross misconduct and no pay in lieu of notice will be made. All employees are entitled to return to the job in which they were employed, under their original contract of employment, and on terms and conditions no less favourable than those to which they would have been entitled had they not been on maternity leave. If the company is unable to offer this as a result of redundancy or reorganisation, which would have occurred whether or not they were absence, suitable alternative employment will be offered if available. The company may not refuse an employee her return to work or postpone her return. 6.7 Maternity leave flexible working request A request to return to work following maternity leave on different or reduced working hours, or any request concerning place of work, should be made as detailed in the Morgan Sindall Flexible Working Request policy. 7. Maternity pay 7.1 Maternity pay statutory entitlement Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) is paid into the bank account on the same date that salary would have been payable and will be subject to deductions for tax, National Insurance and pension contributions in the same way. SMP will be lost if an employee: Works for any other employer after giving birth during this period Works for Morgan Sindall in excess of the permitted 10 Keeping In Touch days during the 39 weeks maternity pay period, in which case SMP will be lost for a whole week, even if only part of that week is worked Is taken into legal custody. The employee is entitled to SMP if she has been employed for a continuous period of at least 26 weeks ending with the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth. Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) is payable for a period of 39 weeks. This covers 26 weeks of ordinary maternity leave and the first 13 weeks of additional maternity leave. Under statutory terms the first 6 weeks of this are paid at 90% of average salary. However, Morgan Sindall enhances this to make payment of full salary during this six week period. The remaining 33 weeks (or less if the employee returns to work sooner) of ordinary and then Page 5 of 6

6 additional maternity leave is paid at the flat rate (the amount of which is prescribed in the current regulations which changes from time to time) or 90% of average weekly earnings whichever is the lower. The remaining 13 weeks additional maternity leave, if taken, remains un-paid. SMP may start from any day of the week in accordance with the date the employee gives in her notice to the company. This will allow the start of the payment period to align with maternity leave. For those who do not meet the eligibility criteria of 26 weeks minimum service and therefore have no entitlement to SMP, maternity allowance may be claimed from Job Centre Plus by the individual if she has been in employment during at least 26 of the 66 weeks prior to the week before EWC. A MatB1 is required to claim maternity allowance. 7.2 Maternity pay notification requirements SMP can begin to be paid from the 11th week before the expected week of childbirth, again following the same procedure as ordinary maternity leave. An employee must give 28 days notice of the date she expects to be paid SMP, in line with notice to take ordinary maternity leave. (If this is not reasonably practicable, then notice must be given as soon as it is reasonably practicable to do so). 8. Still birth Should a child die or be still-born after at least a 24 week pregnancy this is still classed as childbirth and any entitlement to the full period of maternity leave and SMP remains. 9. Definitions OML - Ordinary Maternity Leave first 26 weeks of leave AML - Additional Maternity Leave 26 weeks from end of OML SMP - Statutory Maternity Pay. Set by the government. EWC - Expected Week of Confinement the week in which childbirth is expected. EDC - Expected Date of Childbirth the actual date the baby is due stated on MatB1 QW - Qualifying week 15 weeks before EWC 10. Overview The above policy and procedures give an overview which in the case of most employees will adequately cover their requirements. They do not attempt to describe the law in detail and should not be taken as an authoritative statement of law. For more detailed information contact the HR department. 11. Author Name Position in company Contact details Pauline Speight Director of HR Leeds or Rugby office Page 6 of 6

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