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MATERNITY LEAVE CONTENTS Preamble Introduction 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 (April 2003) PREAMBLE 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. INTRODUCTION 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 entitlement. 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 baby. 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. Pay arrangements 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 confinement. 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. SMP 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 your employers. 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 the EWC). 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 receive: - 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 return. 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 Pension Entitlements 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 record. 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. AVC’s 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. Still Births 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 college. 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 notification procedures. 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 Loughborough Area Benefits Agency 2 Lemyngton Street Loughborough LE11 1UY Tel: 01509 831000 Leicester Area 60 Wellington Street Leicester LE1 6DS Tel: 0116 2529439/2529440 Nottingham Area 25 Station Street Nottingham NG2 3BZ Tel: 0115 9793600 Leaflets The following leaflets are available from the Benefits Agency and may contain helpful information. 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 www.acas.org.uk Maternity Alliance advice line: 020 7588 8582 www.maternityalliance.org.uk 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.
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