Section 1 – Giving Notice
Section 2 – Maternity Leave
Section 3 – Maternity Pay
Section 4 – Returning to work
Section 5 – Additional information
Section 6 – Sources of useful information
Section 7 – Maternity checklist
This booklet has been produced to provide the essential information an
expectant mother will need to know about their employment rights and
entitlements during their period of maternity. It deals with statutory
entitlements as well as the College's Occupational Maternity Policies for both
its support and teaching staff.
This booklet incorporates the new Maternity Regulation in line with the
Employment Act 2002, and is wholly applicable to employees whose expected
week of childbirth (EWC) is 6 April 2003 or later.
We hope that you find this booklet a useful and practical guide to maternity
but please do not hesitate to contact the Personnel Unit with any queries or
concerns that you may have.
As a pregnant employee, you have a number of rights related to your
employment with the college. You also have a number of obligations to the
college which you should comply with in the set time periods to ensure your
maternity pay and leave entitlements are administered in full and on time
You are entitled to return to work after the birth of your baby. Full details
regarding your right to return to work are included in Section 4 of this booklet.
Your pregnancy and absence during maternity leave will not be detrimental to
your employment in any way. You will be entitled to receive any pay increases
awarded by the corporation and you will continue to accrue holiday
entitlement during your ordinary maternity leave period which is the period of
your maternity leave that is paid. Similarly, the terms and conditions of your
contract of employment (except remuneration) remain in force during your
maternity leave. Please note, however, that you may only carry over 5 days
annual leave from one holiday year to the next. Therefore, you may wish to
use up annual leave before the start of your maternity leave or straight after it
to avoid losing any holiday days.
You are entitled to be paid for time taken off work for ante-natal care. Please
show your Line Manager your appointment card for the first session and give
as much warning as possible of the dates and times you will be away from
work to attend future appointments. Reasonable requests for time off for
parent classes will be considered by the college.
If you are ill during your pregnancy before you start your maternity leave your
normal contractual sick leave and sick pay entitlements remain in force.
However, if you are absent from work through illness that is partly or wholly
related to your pregnancy at the fourth week before your expected week of
childbirth, you will be required to start your maternity leave from that date.
SECTION 1 - GIVING NOTICE
You must inform the college of your pregnancy and your intention to take
ordinary maternity leave or additional maternity leave by the 15th week before
the EWC. You must also supply the college with a medical certificate, which
states that you are pregnant, and the date of your expected week of childbirth.
This is usually in the form of a Mat B1 that you can get from either your doctor
or your midwife no more that 20 weeks before the EWC.
At this time the college also needs to know the date on which you wish to start
your maternity leave. The Personnel Unit will then write to you within 28 days
of the receipt of the notification, setting out the date that you are expected to
return to work if the full entitlement to maternity leave is taken.
If you are entitled to occupational maternity pay (Section 3) you should also
confirm that you intend to return to work and remain working for at least 3
months at the end of your maternity leave period. Late notification without
good cause may result in a delay or loss of maternity pay and leave
You may wish to inform the College of your pregnancy before this date, so
that your maternity leave and pay entitlements can be calculated and
arrangements to cover your job during your leave period can be made.
It is possible to change your mind about when you wish to start your maternity
leave. Written notice is required giving the college 28 days notice of your
intended leave; if this is not possible, the college would need the notice as
soon as is reasonably practicable.
Finally, once the college is made aware of your pregnancy your work area will
be risk assessed to take account of particular risks to new and expectant
mothers. This will be carried out as soon as possible after notification of your
pregnancy. If suitable actions can not be identified to avoid an assessed risk
you will be entitled to transfer from hazardous work or work areas to suitable
alternative work without loss of pay or status.
SECTION 2 - MATERNITY LEAVE
Ordinary Maternity Leave
You are entitled to take up to 26 weeks Ordinary Maternity Leave. You can
start your maternity leave no more than 11 weeks before your EWC. When
dealing with maternity issues a week always begins on a Sunday and so your
maternity leave must start on a Sunday and not mid week.
If your baby is born before you have started your maternity leave, your leave
will automatically start from the Sunday following the week of the birth.
Compulsory Maternity Leave
You will not be allowed to return to work within two weeks of the birth of your
Additional Maternity Leave
If you have been employed by the College for 26 weeks or more at the start of
the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth, you will be entitled to
take additional maternity leave.
Additional maternity leave allows you to take a further 26 weeks maternity
leave running consecutively after ordinary maternity leave to make 52 weeks
in total. If you are entitled to additional maternity leave, the college will
assume that you will be taking it and you no longer have to give written notice
of your intention to take it. However, it would be helpful if you could give your
line manager some indication of how much leave you intend to take so that
the College can make plans to cover your absence.
SECTION 3 - MATERNITY PAY
Types of maternity pay.
Your entitlement to payment during your maternity leave will depend on how
long you have worked and how much you have earned in the period leading
up to your maternity leave. There are two types of maternity pay, Statutory
Maternity Pay (SMP) and Occupational Maternity Pay (OMP). The amount of
SMP you will be entitled to receive is determined by the state but we have
included some guidelines in the following section for your information.
Payment of OMP is determined by the College Maternity Policy, the full terms
of which are included in this booklet.
Your maternity pay begins at the start of your maternity leave. All maternity
pay will be paid to you on the last working day of each month through the
normal college payroll. Details of the payments will appear on your normal
payslip. The Personnel Unit will ensure that your payslip is sent to your home
address during your maternity leave.
You should note that the amount of pay you receive each month during your
maternity leave will vary quite dramatically as maternity pay is calculated
weekly yet you will be paid monthly. As a rule, the number of weeks’ maternity
pay included in a month's salary will be determined by the number of Sundays
there are in that month.
Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)
Full details of the SMP Qualifying Conditions are available from the Personnel
Unit, but we have listed the basic conditions here to help you decide if you will
be entitled to SMP. Many of the conditions centre around the Qualifying Week
(QW). The QW is the 15th week (beginning with a Sunday) before the EWC.
To qualify for SMP you must satisfy all of the following conditions: -
i. You must have been continuously employed for 26 weeks continuing
into the QW.
ii. You must still be pregnant or have already had your baby at the 11th
week before your EWC.
iii. You must have stopped work wholly or partly because of pregnancy or
iv. You must have average weekly earnings of not less than the lower
earnings limit for NI contributions that applies at the end of the
qualifying week. Your average weekly earnings are calculated by using
your earnings from the 8 weeks or two months leading up to the QW
which is the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth.
Sessional lecturers or part time hourly paid staff who work term time
only therefore, may not necessarily qualify for SMP if their relevant
period falls over the summer vacation for example.
If the baby is born earlier than expected but after the start of SMP payment
has commenced, SMP will continue to be paid. If the baby is born before you
have started to receive SMP or commenced maternity leave the early birth will
trigger maternity leave and SMP.
The Personnel Unit will supply details of your QW, your earnings and the
Lower Earnings limit when you inform the College of your pregnancy.
If you are not entitled to claim SMP, the college will issue you with Form
SMP1 that you should complete and send to your local Benefits Agency
Office. You may be able to claim Maternity Allowance instead, which is a state
benefit and payable from the Benefits Agency and not the College. Please
contact the Benefits Agency for further details, their phone number and
address are in the Phone book.
If you qualify for SMP, the payments will be as follows: -
6 weeks at the higher rate of SMP, which is 90% of a week's salary,
Followed by: -
20 weeks at the lower rate of SMP or 90% of the employee’s average weekly
earnings if this is less than the lower level limit for SMP. The lower level of
SMP is a fixed sum and is reviewed by the Government every April. The
current value of Lower Level SMP is available from the Personnel Unit.
Occupational Maternity Pay (OMP)
If you have been employed by the college for one year or more at the 11 th
week before your EWC, and you intend to return to work following the birth of
your child for a period of three months or more, you will be entitled to receive
Occupational Maternity Pay from the College. You may qualify for
Occupational Maternity Pay from your employment with the College even if
you do not qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay. If you have more than one
employer, you may be able to claim Occupational Maternity Pay from each of
In order to claim Occupational Maternity Pay, you must notify the College in
writing that you intend to return to work following your maternity leave and that
you expect to remain working for at least three months. This notification is
required at the same time as when you inform the college of your pregnancy
and express your intention to take maternity leave (by the 15th week before
If you claim Occupational Maternity Pay but choose not to return to work after
your maternity leave, or you do not remain in work for at least three months
following your return from maternity leave, you will be required to repay to the
college the Occupational Maternity pay that you have received. In this
situation, the College will issue an invoice to you with the amount to be repaid.
You can repay the money in one lump sum or by instalments. Repayment
arrangements must be agreed by the College. The College will only invoice
you for the net amount of OMP that you have received and will undertake to
adjust the necessary tax, NI and pension payment records on your behalf. An
administration fee may be payable to the College for this adjustment.
Alternatively, if you are unsure whether or not you will be able to return to
work following the birth of your baby, you may choose not to claim OMP
during your period of maternity leave. Instead the college will pay you your full
OMP entitlement in one lump sum after your third completed month at work if
you do decide to return to work after your maternity policy under the terms of
this Maternity Policy.
Occupational Maternity Pay Entitlement for Qualifying Staff
Under the College Occupational Maternity policy you will be entitled to
A. Full pay for 4 weeks
Followed by: -
B. 90% of a week’s pay for 2 weeks
Followed by: -
C. Half pay for 12 weeks.
Please note that if you are in receipt of both OMP and SMP from the college,
Payments A and B are offset against SMP. You will receive the higher
payment only (normally OMP). Payment C is in addition to SMP but must not
exceed your normal full salary.
(If you do not return to work for three months or more following your maternity
leave you will be required to repay to the college 4 weeks pay at 1/10th of a
weeks salary and Payment C in total if you are also in receipt of SMP. Or
Payments A, B and C if you are not in receipt of SMP.
For salaried employees, one week's pay is calculated by dividing your annual
salary by 52 (weeks of the year).
For part time hourly paid lecturers, one week's pay will be calculated by
multiplying the number of hours that you are contracted to work each week of
your maternity leave by your normal hourly rate of pay. The contracted hours
form that the team submit to the payroll department on your behalf, will be
used for this calculation. You should already be in possession of a copy of this
form, but duplicates are available from the Personnel Unit upon request. If you
are contracted to work term time only and are not in receipt of payment during
holiday periods because your hourly rate has been calculated to include the
appropriate amount for holiday pay, you will not be entitled to receive
Occupational Maternity Pay for holiday periods when you would not normally
be in work.
For part time hourly paid employees who are contracted to work a set number
of hours each week, one week's pay will be calculated by multiplying your
normal hourly rate of pay by the number of hours that you are contracted to
work each week. If you are contracted to work term time only and are not in
receipt of payment during holiday periods because your hourly rate has been
calculated to include the appropriate amount for holiday pay, you will not be
entitled to receive Occupational Maternity Pay for holiday periods when you
would not normally be in work.
Casual workers and relief staff who do not work a set number of hours each
week should contact the Personnel Unit for exact details of their Occupational
Maternity Pay entitlements.
SECTION 4 - RETURNING TO WORK
If you return to work following ordinary maternity leave you will be entitled to
return to the same job, with the same terms and conditions. If you take
additional maternity leave you are also entitled to return to the same job on
the same terms and conditions, however, if there is some reason why it is not
reasonably practical to go back to your original job you will be entitled to be
offered suitable alternative work with the same terms and conditions. You will
be fully consulted of any changes to your role which may become necessary.
Any holiday entitlement that you may accrue during your ordinary maternity
leave period (which is the period of your maternity leave that is paid) may be
used before the start of your maternity leave or tagged onto the end of your
maternity leave to avoid losing any holiday days. You may only carry over 5
days annual leave from one holiday year to the next. You must notify your
team leader/line manager and the Personnel Unit 28 days’ in advance in
writing of your intentions to ensure the correct payments are made.
Employees Entitled to Ordinary Leave Only
If you are only entitled to Ordinary Maternity Leave, the College will assume
that you will be returning to work at the end of your 26 weeks leave. You do
not have to notify the college if this is the case.
However, if you intend to return to work early, before the 26 weeks have
expired, you must give the College notice of the date that you plan to return at
least 28 days before the date of your return. If you do not give 28 days notice
to return, the College may postpone your return date for the full 28 day period,
unless this overlaps with the expiry of your 26 week leave period. Notice can
be given and accepted both verbally and in writing.
Employees Entitled to Additional Leave
If you are entitled to additional maternity leave, the College will assume that
you will be returning to work after the second 26 week period (52 weeks in
total). If this is the case, you do not have to notify the college of you date of
However, if you wish to return early, you must give the college notice of the
date on which you intend to return. The college should receive this notice at
least 28 days before your date of return, otherwise we may postpone your
return date for 28 days or until the expiry of your leave entitlement, whichever
is the sooner. Notice can be given and accepted both verbally and in writing.
SECTION 5 – ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Teachers’ Pension Scheme
Under the new Teachers’ Pensions regulations, being introduced on 1 st April
2000, a teacher will not lose any service during her paid maternity leave. You
should contact the Teachers’ Pension call centre on 01325 746746 with
queries about any unpaid maternity leave you may choose to take. It may be
possible to repay any missing contributions to restore your service record.
Local Government Pension Scheme
Your pension entitlement will not be affected during any periods of paid
maternity leave (ordinary maternity leave). However, employees who take
additional maternity leave will normally have a period of unpaid leave which
will count as missing service for pension purposes. This will therefore affect
your pension entitlement. However, it is possible for employees who do return
to work following their maternity leave to repay the missing contributions for
any period of unpaid leave, thus restoring continuous service to their pension
In order to repay missed contributions, you must inform the College Personnel
Unit and the Local Government Pension Scheme Administrators at
Leicestershire County Council that you wish to do so within 30 days of
returning to work.
Your missing contributions will then be calculated and deducted from your pay
at an agreed rate over an agreed time scale.
If you pay Additional Voluntary Contributions, either privately or through the
College payroll system, you should contact your service provider to find out
how your missing service and contributions will affect your investment.
In the sad event that you lose your baby, special regulations apply to the
amount of pay and leave that you are entitled to. The Personnel Unit can
advise you of this and the College will do all in its power to assist you at such
a difficult time. If you have already declared your intention not to return to
work following your maternity leave and wish to change your mind, the
College will make every effort to help you.
Fixed Term and Temporary Contracts
The following rules apply to women employed on fixed term or temporary
contracts of employment.
If your contract is due to end before the 11th week before your EWC, it will not
be extended and you will not be entitled to receive maternity pay from the
You have the right to return to work provided that your date of return is before
the date that your contract is due to terminate and you follow the correct
Your contract will only be extended to cover your period of paid maternity
leave. In this case, your contract will be terminated on the last day that
payment is due.
If your paid maternity leave finishes before your contract is due to terminate,
your employment will be terminated on the set date even if you have unpaid
maternity leave outstanding.
SECTION 6 - SOURCES OF USEFUL INFORMATION
Maternity Allowance Enquiries
2 Lemyngton Street
Tel: 01509 831000
60 Wellington Street
Tel: 0116 2529439/2529440
25 Station Street
Tel: 0115 9793600
The following leaflets are available from the Benefits Agency and may contain
NI17A Guide to Maternity Benefits
PL507 Maternity Rights – A Short Guide for Employers and Employees
NI17A SMP and Maternity Allowance
Useful telephone numbers and internet sites
ACAS - Nottingham: 0115 985 8253
Maternity Alliance advice line: 020 7588 8582
Tiger website www.tiger.gov.uk
7. MATERNITY CHECKLIST
Inform your Team Leader/Line Manager and the Personnel Unit that you are
pregnant and the date of your EWC.
Present your first appointment card for antenatal care to your Line Manager
before taking paid time off for antenatal care.
You must inform the College of your pregnancy and your intention to take
maternity leave by the 15th week before your baby is due. We need to know:-
You are pregnant
When the expected week of childbirth will be (MAT B1)
When you intend to start your maternity leave
If you qualify for SMP you must give at least 28 days’ notice of the date you
want the SMP to start and provide medical evidence of the pregnancy.
If you qualify for occupational maternity pay you should also confirm that you
intend to return to work and remain working for at least 3 months at the end of
your maternity leave period.
Leave dates can be changed as long as 28 days’ notice is given.
If you are only entitled to ordinary maternity leave you will be entitled to 26
weeks leave. The College will assume that you will be taking all of this leave.
If you choose to come back earlier the College must receive 28 days’ notice.
Likewise, if you are entitled to additional maternity leave the college will
assume that you will be away for 52 weeks, if you choose to come back to
work earlier you must give the College 28 days’ notice.