Department of Human Resources Maternity Leave and Pay

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1 Department of Human Resources Maternity Leave and Pay This document is available electronically and in other formats on request.

2 POLICY TITLE MATERNITY LEAVE & PAY DOCUMENT AUTHOR AND DEPARTMENT Employee Relations Department of Human Resources APPROVING BODY POLICY OWNER Iain Grant Director of Human Resources DATE OF APPROVAL Policies & Resources Committee Court April 2009 REVIEW DATE POLICY NUMBER VERSION NUMBER April 2012 HR/08 4 EITHER For public access online (internet)? Tick as appropriate OR For staff access only (intranet)? Tick as appropriate Yes Yes Impact on Other University Policies Tick as appropriate If Yes Please List Yes No Document History Version Date Changes Reason Author 1 Sept New Policy HR Director Apr 2007 Legislation Employee Relations 3 Apr 2009 Legislation Employee Relations 4 April 2010 Lower earnings limit Reference to HRMC to ensure up to date figures Employee Relations (SR) 2

3 CONTENTS Page No. 1. Introduction 4 2. Entitlement to Maternity Pay and Contractual Benefits Notification 6 4. Health & Safety Ante-Natal Care 7 6. Sickness Absence 7 7. Other Terms & Conditions during Maternity Leave Returning to Work Answer to some common questions Glossary Appendix Appendix 2 16 Appendix

4 Maternity Pay and Leave Guidelines Please note this document is available electronically or in alternative formats on request from your HR Adviser. 1 Introduction 1.1 This guide is provides general information for staff on entitlement to maternity leave and pay. Individual entitlements will be explained to staff through a meeting with their HR Adviser. If you are expecting a baby and have not yet had this meeting, please contact HR so that this can be arranged. We understand that you may wish to delay announcing your pregnancy and you are assured that the meeting will be held in confidence. 1.2 Please feel free to contact the Department of Human Resources or Occupational Health Services at any stage to discuss any aspects of your pregnancy/maternity leave. 1.3 The Government determines the rules, which apply to the statutory provisions, and the University s occupational provisions are based on these same principles. 1.4 A glossary of important dates and the terms used throughout this guide in included in the appendices. 2 Entitlement to Maternity Pay and Contractual Benefits The pay you receive during your maternity leave will depend on whether your average weekly earnings are above, or at least equal to, the lower earnings limit for national insurance purposes You must continue to be employed by the University until immediately before the beginning of the 11 th week before the expected week of childbirth i.e. to the end of your 29 th week of pregnancy. 2.2 You must take a minimum of 2 weeks leave, commencing with the date that childbirth occurs. 2.3 If you intend to return to work for a minimum of 3 months following your maternity leave, you will be entitled to the full University entitlement as outlined below. You will be required to sign an Undertaking to Resume form prior to commencement of your maternity leave to confirm your intention to return. The various entitlements are outlined below: 1 In order to be entitled to statutory maternity pay you must have average weekly earnings equal to or more than the lower earnings limit for national insurance contributions purposes. If you do not qualify you may still be entitled to Maternity Allowance paid by the government. 4

5 Length of Continuous Service Service between 1 day and 26 weeks at the beginning of the 15 th week before EWC. Entitlement You will be entitled to 52 weeks Maternity Leave. You will not be entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay. You may however, be eligible for Maternity Allowance through the Department of Work and Pensions. If eligible, payment will be at the same rate as statutory maternity pay per week or 90% of weekly earnings (whichever is less) and will be paid to you directly from the Department of Work and Pensions. We will issue you with a form SMP1 (Why I cannot Pay You SMP Form) to enable you to claim directly from the DWP. 26 weeks continuous service or more at the beginning of the 15 th week before EWC. You are entitled to the University s enhanced maternity pay entitlement (where applicable) If you do intend returning to work (either full or part-time): OPTION 1 OPTION 1(a) First 16 weeks at full normal pay (to include SMP) Following 23 weeks at SMP only or 90% of weekly earnings (whichever is less) The option of up to 13 weeks unpaid maternity leave If you do intend returning to work (either full or part-time): First 8 weeks at full normal pay (to include SMP) Following 16 weeks at half pay (to include SMP) Following 15 weeks at SMP only or 90% of weekly earnings (whichever is less) The option of 13 weeks unpaid maternity leave (you will be required to repay 10 weeks full pay to the University if you subsequently do not return to work for a period of three months) OPTION 2 If you do not intend to return to work or are undecided about returning to work: First 6 weeks at SMP only or 90% of weekly earnings (90% of average weekly earnings) Following 33 weeks at lower of 90% of average weekly earnings, or SMP. The option of up to 13 weeks unpaid maternity leave 5

6 2.4 During the 52 weeks of Maternity Leave you will continue to receive all contractual benefits (except pay) as you would normally expect to receive during the normal course of your employment 2. 3 Notification 3.1 To be entitled to maternity leave you must write to your Line Manager, copying the letter to your HR Adviser, no later than the end of the 15 th week before your expected week of childbirth (EWC) notifying of the following: The fact that you are pregnant, The date on which you intend to start your maternity leave, which must not be earlier than the beginning of the 11 th week before the EWC, Enclose your MATB1 certificate. This is available from you Doctor or midwife from week 20 of your pregnancy. The University cannot start paying SMP until it receives this MATB1 certificate. A standard letter format is attached at appendix 1 of this guide. 3.2 If you wish to change the date on which your maternity leave commences, you must notify your Line Manager in writing, copying the letter to your HR Adviser, at least 28 days before your proposed start date. 3.3 It is necessary to record your leave/pay options and eligibility for payment purposes. Employees who do not give the required notification within the specified time limits may lose their rights to SMP and to start maternity leave on their intended start date. You are encouraged to seek advice from your HR Adviser as soon as possible to ensure you are aware of your obligations for notification. 3.4 The Department of Human Resources will reply by letter within 28 days of receipt of your written notification, confirming your maternity leave commencement date and the date when you are expected to return to work. 4 Health and Safety 4.1 The University is committed to protecting the health and safety of all employees including new and expectant mothers. Notifying the University of your pregnancy will provide you with protection from: Any health and safety risks to you or your baby Dismissal and unfair treatment on grounds of pregnancy 4.2 It is your responsibility, and to your benefit that you contact the Occupational Health Nurse on ext: 3927 early on in your pregnancy. The Occupational Health Nurse will arrange for a risk assessment of your work area to be carried out. The risk assessment will look at work activities in particular and the environment in which you work to ensure that you are not exposed to any potential harm. All matters will be treated in confidence. 4.3 If you believe there is a risk to your health and safety, or to that of your baby, that has not been considered by the risk assessment, you should immediately bring this to the attention of your Line Manager, your HR Adviser or the Occupational Health Nurse. 2 As per the Amendment Regulations

7 4.4 There is a Health and Safety Policy for expectant mothers, which contains advice and guidance regarding Health and Safety issues for expectant mothers. This Policy document is available from Health and Safety Services. 4.5 There is also an additional supporting document on breastfeeding at work, available from Health and Safety Services. 5 Ante-Natal Care 5.1 You will be entitled to time off with pay to travel to and attend ante-natal appointments. You must, if requested by your Line Manager, produce evidence of these appointments so make sure you get an appointment card from the clinic. 5.2 A wide range of classes is provided by hospitals and health-centres e.g. relaxation, parent-craft and you may decide you would like to attend some of these. The University would expect you to arrange these for outside working hours. However, if you do have any difficulties, please talk with your Line Manager, or contact your HR Adviser. 6 Sickness Absence 6.1 If your sickness is unrelated to pregnancy, it shall be dealt with in accordance with the normal provisions for sickness absence, until the date previously agreed that you commence maternity leave Your maternity leave will start automatically if you are absent from work due to a pregnancy related illness within the four weeks preceding your EWC. 7 Other Terms and Conditions during Maternity Leave During your maternity leave there will be no change to your core contractual rights or terms and conditions except for the purposes of pay. Detailed below is some information relating to your terms and conditions during your period of maternity leave: 7.1 Pension If you contribute to the pension scheme, you will continue to pay contributions during your maternity leave on the pay you actually receive. The service will count as normal for pension purposes During any period of paid maternity leave your pension service will be calculated as if you are working normally and receiving your normal salary. Paid Maternity Leave is defined as the period when you are in receipt of Statutory Maternity Pay or contractual (occupational) maternity pay, or a combination of both. Any period of unpaid maternity leave (i.e. weeks 40 52) will not count for pension purposes unless you make an election for it to count. For Strathclyde Pension Fund members such an election has to be made within 30 days of returning to work, or ceasing employment if this is earlier, by contacting your Pay Office. If you make an election to count the service for pension purposes, your basic pension contributions for the unpaid period will be based on the salary you receive on the day you return to work. The University will however make contributions on notional full pay. For Scottish Teachers Superannuation Scheme members, an election can be made to purchase additional pension. For further information about when you should purchase your additional pension please contact the pension scheme. 7

8 7.1.3 For more detailed information about how maternity leave affects your pension entitlement, please contact the relevant pension scheme directly If you do not intend to return to work, your superannuable employment ends at your actual date of termination. This also applies where you indicate your intention to return to work, but subsequently fail to return. 7.2 Annual Leave Contractual entitlements and benefits are sustained throughout OML and, from 5 October 2008, this was extended to the duration of AML. This means that, if your baby is due on or after this date, you will continue to accrue contractual annual leave throughout the whole of the 52 week maternity leave period Employees are entitled to any public and University holidays which fall within the entire period of maternity leave Annual leave cannot be taken during maternity leave. Arrangement for the annual leave entitlement for the current leave year, plus the annual leave that will accrue during the Maternity Leave period, should be taken, where possible, prior to the commencement of Maternity leave. Where possible all leave should be taken within the leave year in which the entitlement became available All annual leave must be approved by your Line Manager If it is agreed that you are returning on reduced hours then we will need to discuss with you how your accrued leave can be most conveniently taken. For example, it may be appropriate to take that leave before the reduced hours come into effect at the end of your maternity leave If you decide not to return to work then any annual leave due will either be offset against your contractual notice period or paid in your final salary payment Keeping In Touch Days These are days on which you can seek the agreement of your manager to undertake work related to your usual job, to undertake training, attend work events or they could be used to ease your return to work. You may, by agreement with your Line Manager, do up to ten days work under your contract of employment during the maternity leave period. These days do not have to be worked consecutively and they do not have any impact on your maternity leave. Neither do they affect your right to SMP. The days will be paid at your normal contracted rate of pay and will be offset against any statutory maternity pay due. A standard letter format is attached at appendix 2 of this guide Any changes that should occur within your department or the University as a whole will be notified to you, in writing, by your Line Manager. In addition, should a vacancy arise within the department for which you may be eligible, a copy of the advert will be sent to your home address, together with further details about the post. 7.4 Increments and Pay Awards You will continue to be due salary increments and pay awards in the normal way during your maternity leave in accordance with your contract of employment. 8

9 7.5.1 Staff Development and Career Review If the normal timing of the above scheme coincides with your maternity leave, then you need to discuss the most appropriate timing of the meeting with your Line Manager. If by the time you return, you will have missed the normal cycle, then it is recommended that, following discussions with your Line Manager, one or two objectives be set for your return to work. 8 Returning to Work 8.1 Notification requirements You are encouraged to remain in contact with your Line Manager and colleagues at the University during your maternity leave, however in terms of returning to work, you should note the following: Unless you notify us otherwise it will be assumed that it is your intention to take the maximum leave to which you are entitled (52 weeks). Therefore, you do not need to give any further notice if it your intention to return after the 52 weeks. However, if you wish to return earlier, you must give at least 8 weeks notice in writing to the University. If you do not provide 8 weeks notice then your return may be delayed until 8 weeks have elapsed from the date of your notification. Any postponement will only take place within the 52 week period. You should write to your Line Manager and copy this to your HR Adviser giving at least 8 weeks notice if it is your intention to return early. Although it may be difficult to make a decision about when you will return to work, the more notice you can give your Line Manager of your plans, the easier it will be for them to plan your return. A standard letter format is attached at appendix 3 of this guide. The earliest date you can return to work after the birth of a child is 2 weeks and in this instance, you should provide a medical certificate signed by a registered medical practitioner to confirm your fitness to resume working Your rights on returning to work If you take the 26 weeks ordinary maternity leave you will have the right to return to the job you did before taking maternity leave If you are taking ordinary maternity leave followed by additional maternity leave (i.e. up to 52 weeks) you will have the right to return to the job you did before maternity leave, or if that is not practical, due to changes within the Department, to an alternative job that is suitable and appropriate. 8.3 Request to work part-time There is no automatic right to return to work on different hours but you do have the right to request a change to your working arrangements and the University is required to give this request reasonable consideration. If you are thinking about making a request to change your hours please discuss this with your Line Manager as soon as possible so it can be considered informally. There is also a formal procedure for requesting flexible working. Your HR Adviser will be able to advise you further on this. 9

10 8.4 If you decide not to return to work If you decide not to return to work, you should write to your Line Manager copying this to your HR Adviser, giving the required notice period as detailed in your contract of employment If you have indicated to the University that you will return to work for at least three months, and have received the full University Maternity Pay, then you will be required to refund the whole of the University maternity pay you received less any SMP. Any refund will include income tax and Superannuation and NI Contributions You are required to sign an Undertaking to Resume form prior to commencing your maternity leave in which you confirm your understanding of the University s entitlement to deduct any monies owed to them as a result of an employee s failure to return. 9 Answers to some common questions When do I receive my maternity pay? Maternity pay will be paid on your normal payday. SMP and OMP will be identified separately on your pay slip, which will be automatically sent to your home address during your maternity leave. Maternity pay is paid in whole weekly amounts and you will find that you will receive 4 weeks or 5 weeks pay at a time depending on how the month falls. However, this balances out over the whole pay period. Maternity pay is subject to normal deductions for Income Tax, National Insurance and Superannuation (if you are in the pension scheme). When can maternity leave commence? The 39 weeks of paid maternity leave is flexible to some extent. Maternity leave can commence at any time from the 11 th week before your EWC i.e. at your 29 th week of pregnancy right up until the week of childbirth. If you choose to return to work before the maternity pay period has expired, entitlement to maternity pay will be lost for those weeks. Maternity leave cannot commence before the 11 th week before your EWC. What if my baby is born early? If childbirth occurs prior to the 11 th week before the EWC, maternity leave shall commence from the beginning of the actual week of childbirth (AWC). If you have worked in the AWC you will be entitled to payment in respect of days worked, and your maternity leave will commence from the first day of absence in the week of confinement. Your maternity pay period will commence on a day of your choice prior to the actual date of childbirth. What if my child is still-born? In the event of still-birth after the start of the 16 th week before the EWC, you will be entitled to maternity leave and maternity pay as if the birth had been live. Are restroom/breastfeeding facilities available? At the Paisley Campus Room P102 has been allocated as a rest room for new and expectant mothers. The room is comfortable for you to take a short rest. A fridge is available for storage of breast milk if breastfeeding. To allow you to use this room at you convenience, a key can be obtained from Health and Safety Services. 10

11 At the University Campus, Ayr a key for access to the medical room can be obtained from a first aider or a member of the janitorial staff. Local Arrangements are in place at the Hamilton and Crichton University Campuses. Agreement to leave your place of work must be authorised by your Line Manager. What if I am entitled to the full University entitlement but am undecided about whether or not to return to work? You must declare in writing that you are undecided about your return to work. You will then be entitled to six weeks at 90% of normal pay, 33 weeks at SMP and 13 weeks unpaid leave, providing that you satisfy the earnings conditions. If you subsequently decide you do not wish to return to work, you will not be required to refund any of the monies paid to you, which is your entitlement under the maternity leave scheme. If you decide to do this however, you should write to your Line Manager, copied to your HR Adviser in line with your standard notice period, or at least 21 days prior to your termination date advising of your intention to terminate your employment. Your employment will be terminated and any outstanding monies due to you will be paid e.g. outstanding annual leave payment. If you subsequently decide to return to work, then, once you have been back at work for a period of 3 months, you will receive the additional maternity pay due to you as a lump sum. What if I am not fit to return immediately on expiry of my maternity leave? In the event of you being incapable of returning to work at the required date because of illness, you must provide a Doctor s certificate and the absence will be treated as sick leave, as from your return date the normal conditions governing sick pay and sick leave will then apply. What if I have twins? Your maternity pay/smp is the same as if you were expecting only 1 child. Any other helpful tips? You will need to register the birth of baby and obtain a birth certificate in order to claim Child Benefit. This can be done at your local Registry Office, although some hospitals have their own facilities. Child Benefit is payable from the week your child is born until age 16. Department of Human Resources September 2003 Amended April 2007 Amended February

12 Appendices: Glossary There are some key dates and important terms used throughout this guide, which relate to maternity pay and leave, and these are explained below. Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) This is the pay you receive while on maternity leave which is provided for under law. All employers are required to pay it to each female employee who meets the requirements. Occupational Maternity Pay (OMP) This is the pay you receive while on maternity leave which is provided for you by the University under your conditions of service. Ordinary Maternity Leave (OML) The first 26 weeks of your maternity leave is considered to be the ordinary maternity leave. At the end of OML you are entitled to return to the same job on the same terms and conditions as before your leave began Additional Maternity Leave (AML) An additional 26 weeks of maternity leave that runs from the end of OML (not from the date of birth) is also available to all women. At the end of AML you are entitled to return to the same job or where this is not reasonably practical, to another post on terms and conditions which are no less favourable. In total you are entitled to 52 weeks maternity leave, or as much of that period as you wish to take regardless of length of service. The purpose of maternity leave is to allow the new mother to recover from the birth and to bond with and care for her new child. The law requires that a minimum of two weeks leave must be taken. Expected week of childbirth (EWC) Refers to the week, beginning with midnight between Saturday and Sunday during which it is expected that your baby will be born. Actual week of childbirth (AWC) The week in which your baby is actually born. Qualifying week (QW) The 15 th week before your expected week of childbirth (25 th week of your pregnancy) is your qualifying week. This date is important as it determines whether you are entitled to receive statutory maternity pay from the University. MATB1 form This form is obtained from your Doctor or midwife and is a statement of the expected week in which your baby will be born. This is issued from week 20 of your pregnancy. The original of this form must be received by HR before any SMP can be paid. 12

13 Continuous Service Date This is the date from which you have worked continuously for the University, or for another employer which we recognise for continuous service. This date will have been shown on your contract of employment, and is important as it is used to determine your maternity entitlement. Lower earnings Limit Employees who earn less than the National Insurance Lower Earnings Limit (LEL) per week may not qualify for SMP payments by the University. In this situation the University will issue an SMP1 form and employees may be eligible to receive maternity allowance from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). The lower earnings limit is currently per week (April 2010). Employees who earn less than per week may not qualify for SMP payments by the University. In this situation the University will issue an SMP1 form and employees may be eligible to receive maternity allowance from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). If you are expecting a baby on or after 6 April 2010 and you satisfy the qualifying conditions you are entitled to a maximum of 39 weeks SMP. These include having average weekly earnings 3 of: 95 if your baby is due between 19 July 2009 and 17 July if your baby is due between 18 July 2010 and 16 July 2011 The figures for the National Insurance Lower Earnings limit are available on the HRMC web-site: 3 This is calculated over the last 2 monthly payments made before the end of the qualifying week. 13

14 APPENDIX 1 N.B. This letter must be received no later than the end of the 15 th week before your EWC. To: Line Manager/ copied to your HR Adviser Dear APPLICATION FOR MATERNITY LEAVE I am writing to inform you that: I am pregnant My expected week of childbirth (as shown on MATB1 form) is: I wish to take maternity leave commencing on (Sunday when maternity pay period will commence): I understand that if I wish to change my maternity leave commencement date, I must give the University at least 28 days notice in writing. If I fail to provide 28 days notice then the University may reserve the right to postpone my return until 28 days have elapsed. I wish*/ do not wish* to return to work at the end of the maternity leave period (*please delete as appropriate). *I wish to confirm my intention to reserve the right to return to work on the expiry of my maternity leave. I understand that on my return to work following a period of 3 months service, I will receive any outstanding maternity entitlement due to me (delete paragraph as appropriate) I understand that if I wish to return to work before the end of the maternity leave period, I must give the University at least 8 weeks notice in writing. If I fail to provide 8 weeks notice then the University may reserve the right to postpone my return until 8 weeks have elapsed. However, this postponement will not exceed the 52 week period. I look forward to hearing from you to confirm my maternity leave commencement date and the date when I am expected to return to work. I have enclosed my MATB1 form*/ I will forward my MATB1 form to you in due course*. (Please note that this form must be provided before any maternity payment can be made to you.) (*please delete as appropriate) Yours sincerely CC: HR Adviser Encl: MATB1 form Undertaking to resume form (where applicable) 14

15 APPENDIX 1 ANNEX 1 UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST OF SCOTLAND MATERNITY LEAVE UNDERTAKING TO RESUME FORM I, the undersigned, confirm that I will return to work and remain for three calendar months following my Maternity Leave. I understand that should I fail to resume or to remain for three calendar months the University will reclaim the ten weeks pay, which I received as part of the Maternity Leave Scheme. I authorise this reclaim. Signed: (Name) Date: 15

16 APPENDIX 2 To: Line manager/ Copied to HR Adviser Dear KEEPING IN TOUCH (KIT) REQUEST Further to my discussion with my line manager on, I now wish to advise you that I intend working on in respect of keeping in touch day(s). I would be grateful if you would make the necessary arrangements for payment of this day(s) and advise the payroll section accordingly. Yours sincerely Signed; HOD/Line Manager.. Date.. KIT Days Running total cc: HR Adviser 16

17 APPENDIX 3 Confirmation of return to work earlier than the maximum leave entitlement date. N.B. To be received at least 8 weeks prior to the intended earlier date of return. To: Line manager/ Copied to HR Adviser Dear RETURN TO WORK FOLLOWING MATERNITY LEAVE I am writing to inform you that following my letter dated, I now wish to advise you that I intend to return to my post on I would be grateful if you would make the necessary arrangements for my earlier return and advise the payroll section accordingly. Yours sincerely cc: HR Adviser 17

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