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Maternity Leave Policy Welcome to NHS Orkney Still Birth

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					                                     HUMAN
                                   RESOURCES



               Maternity Leave Policy & Procedure



   Author: Human Resources                                   Review Group:
                                                             Policy Sub Group




             Last Updated:                                   Review Date:
             11.10.07                                        01.12.08




                                  Status:
                                  Approved




                               Policy Approved –
                               JSNC: 19.11.07
                               Partnership Forum: 20.11.07
                               Board: 12.12.07




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                                     Contents
                                                                     Page
1.     Introduction                                                    4

2.     Policy Statement                                                4

3.     Maternity Leave                                                 4
       3.1   Eligibility                                               4
       3.2   Ordinary Maternity Leave                                  4
       3.3   Additional Maternity Leave                                5
       3.4   Changing the Maternity Leave Start Date                   5
       3.5   Confirming Maternity Leave & Pay                          5
       3.6   Contact During Maternity Leave                            5
       3.7   Working During Maternity Leave – KIT days                 6

4.     Maternity Pay                                                   6
       4.1   Eligibility                                               6
       4.2   Employees Returning to NHS Employment                     7
       4.3   Changing How Maternity Pay is Paid                        7
       4.4   Unpaid Contractual Leave                                  7
       4.5   Employees Not Returning to NHS Employment                 7
       4.6   Employees with Less than 12 months Continuous Service     7
       4.7   Superannuation                                            7
       4.8   Stopping Maternity Pay                                    8
       4.9   Notification by Employee                                  8

5.     Returning to Work                                               9
       5.1   Returning to Work                                         9
       5.2   Returning on Flexible Working Arrangements                9
       5.3   Sickness Following End of Maternity Leave                 9
       5.4   Failure to Return to Work                                 9

6.     Supplementary Notes                                             9
       6.1   Time off for Ante-Natal Care                              9
       6.2   Health & Safety for Employees Pre & Post Birth            9
       6.3   Sick Leave                                                10
       6.4   Annual Leave                                              10
       6.5   Public Holidays                                           11
       6.6   Increments                                                11
       6.7   Extensions to Maternity Leave                             11
       6.8   Subsequent Maternity Leave                                11
       6.9   Twins or Multiple Births                                  11
       6.10 Pre-term Birth                                             11
       6.11 Still Birth/ Death of Newborn Baby                         12
       6.12 Miscarriage                                                12
       6.13 Post-natal Care and Breastfeeding Mothers                  12
       6.14 Fixed-Term and Training Contracts                          12
       6.15 Rotational Training Contracts                              13
       6.16 Bank Contracts                                             13
       6.17 Redundancy                                                 13
       6.18 Detrimental Treatment                                      13




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Appendix A
Maternity Leave Policy Guidelines – Questions & Answers        14


Appendix B
Notification of Intention to Take Maternity Leave Form         20


Appendix C
Managers Maternity Leave Recording Form                        21


Appendix D
Sample Letter – Confirming Maternity Leave & Pay               22


Appendix E
Sample Letter – Failure to Return from Maternity Leave         23


Appendix F
Sample Letter – Termination Following Failure to Return from
Maternity Leave                                                24




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1.                                Introduction

As an equal opportunities employer we wish to ensure that all staff applying for
Maternity Leave/ Pay are treated fairly and consistently. This policy is intended to
guide managers through this complex area of employment law. (Please also see
Maternity Policy Guidelines, Questions & Answers at Appendix A of this policy).


2.                             Policy Statement

The Board‟s policy on Maternity Leave has been revised to reflect the new provisions
of the Work and Families Act 2006. These regulations apply to pregnant staff
members and new mothers whose expected week of childbirth begins on or after 1st
April 2007.

Queries on the application of this policy should be directed to the Human Resources
Department.


3.                              Maternity Leave

3.1    All pregnant employees are entitled to 52 weeks‟ maternity leave – or as
       much of that period as they wish to take – no matter how long they have
       worked for NHS Orkney. The purpose of maternity leave is to allow the
       mother to give birth and to recover from giving birth to her baby, as well as to
       bond with and care for her new child.

       While it is up to employees to decide how much maternity leave they wish to
       take, up to the 52 weeks‟ maximum, the law requires that a minimum of two
       weeks’ leave must be taken. This is known as compulsory maternity leave.

       While the new legislation introduced in 2006, applying to women whose
       expected week of childbirth begins on or after 1 April 2007, means that all
       women, regardless of their length of service, are entitled to up to 52 weeks‟
       maternity leave, the two distinct types of maternity leave remain as before.
       These are Ordinary Maternity Leave and Additional Maternity Leave.

       Prior to going onto Maternity Leave a woman will be afforded three options:

       (a)   Definitely returning to work
       (b)   Undecided whether or not to return to work
       (c)   Definitely not returning to work

3.2    Ordinary Maternity Leave
       Ordinary Maternity Leave lasts for 26 weeks and may begin at a time of the
       woman‟s choosing, any time from 11 weeks before the expected week of birth
       up until the birth itself. If the employee is absent from work due to a
       pregnancy-related reason after the beginning of the fourth week before the
       expected week of childbirth, but before the date she has notified, the
       maternity leave period begins automatically on the day after the first day of
       her absence.



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       The contract of employment continues throughout the 26 weeks of Ordinary
       Maternity Leave, unless either the employer or employee expressly ends it or
       it expires.

3.3    Additional Maternity Leave
       Additional Maternity Leave lasts for 26 weeks and, if taken, must follow
       immediately after Ordinary Maternity Leave. There cannot be a gap between
       the two types of maternity leave. The contract of employment continues
       throughout Additional Maternity Leave unless either party expressly ends it or
       it expires.

3.4    Changing the Maternity Leave Start Date
       If the employee subsequently wants to change the date from which she
       wishes her leave to start she should notify her manager at least 28 days
       beforehand (or, if this is not possible, as soon as is reasonably practicable
       beforehand).

3.5    Confirming Maternity Leave and Pay
       Following discussion with the employee, the manager should confirm in
       writing:

       (a)     the employee‟s paid and unpaid leave entitlements under this
               agreement (or statutory entitlements if the employee does not qualify
               under this agreement);

       (b)     unless an earlier return date has been given by the employee, her
               expected return date based on her 52 weeks paid and unpaid leave
               entitlement under this agreement;

       (c)     the length of any period of accrued annual leave which it has been
               agreed may be taken following the end of the formal maternity leave
               periods;

       (d)     the need for the employee to give at least 8 weeks notice if she wishes
               to return to work before the expected return date.

       (Sample is attached in Appendix D)

       Managers should also keep a record of the employees Maternity Leave by
       completing the „Managers Maternity Leave Recording Form‟ (attached in
       Appendix C).

3.6    Contact During Maternity Leave
       Before going on maternity leave, the employer and the employee should also
       discuss and agree any voluntary arrangements for keeping in touch during the
       employee‟s maternity leave including:

       (a)     any voluntary arrangements that the employee may find helpful to help
               her keep in touch with developments at work and, nearer the time of
               her return, to help facilitate her return to work;

       (b)     keeping the employer in touch with any developments that may affect
               her intended date of return.




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3.7    Working During the Maternity Leave Period – Keeping in Touch (KIT)
       Days
       To facilitate the process of Keeping in Touch (KIT) Days it is important that
       the manager and employee have early discussion to plan and make
       arrangements for KIT days before the employee‟s maternity leave takes
       place.

       KIT days are intended to facilitate a smooth return to work for employees
       returning from maternity leave. An employee may work for up to a maximum
       of 10 KIT days without bringing her maternity leave to an end. Any days of
       work will not extend the maternity leave period. The work can be consecutive
       or not and can include training or other activities which enable the employee
       to keep in touch with the workplace. Any such work must be by agreement
       and neither the manager nor the employee can insist upon it.

       The employee will be paid at their basic daily rate, for the hours worked less
       appropriate maternity leave payment for KIT days worked. If employees
       choose to work half a day, it will count as one KIT day.

       Employees should not work KIT days during the 2 weeks of compulsory
       maternity leave immediately after the birth of her baby.


4.                                 Maternity Pay

4.1    Eligibility
       An employee working full-time or part-time will be entitled to paid and unpaid
       maternity leave under the NHS contractual maternity pay scheme if:

       (a)   She has 12 months continuous service with one or more NHS
             employers at the beginning of the 11th week before the expected week
             of childbirth. (For continuous service see NHS Terms & Conditions
             Handbook section 15.60).

       (b)   She notifies her manager in writing by completing „Notification of
             Intention to take Maternity Leave Form‟ (attached as Appendix B)
             before the end of the 15th week before the expected date of childbirth (or
             if this is not possible, as soon as is reasonably practicable thereafter)
             the following:

             (i)     her intention to take maternity leave;

             (ii)    the date she wishes to start her maternity leave – she can choose
                     when to start her maternity leave – this can usually be any date
                     from the beginning of the 11th week before the baby is born;

             (iii)   that she intends to return to work with the same or another NHS
                     employer for a minimum period of 3 months after her maternity
                     leave has ended;

             (iv)    and provides a MATB1 form from her midwife or GP giving the
                     expected date of childbirth.




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       NB: Employees who have no entitlement to Statutory Maternity Pay will be
           issued with a Statutory Maternity Pay Exclusion Form SMP1, which they
           should submit to the Benefits Agency, along with their Certificate of
           Expected Date of Confinement Form MATB1, in order to claim state
           Maternity Allowance.

4.2    Employees Returning to NHS Employment
       Where an employee intends to return to work the amount of contractual
       maternity pay receivable is as follows:

       (a)   for the first 8 weeks of absence, the employee will receive full pay, less
             any Statutory Maternity Pay or Maternity Allowance (including any
             dependents‟ allowance) receivable;

       (b)   for the next 18 weeks, the employee will receive half of full pay plus any
             Statutory Maternity Pay or Maternity Allowance (including dependents‟
             allowances) receivable, providing the total receivable does not exceed
             full pay;

       (d)   for the next 13 weeks, the employee will receive any Statutory Maternity
             Pay or Maternity Allowance that they are entitled to under the statutory
             scheme.

4.3    Changing How Maternity Pay is Paid
       By prior agreement with the Payroll Department, Occupational Maternity Pay
       may be paid in a different way, for example a combination of full pay and half
       pay or a fixed amount spread equally over the maternity leave period.

4.4    Unpaid Contractual Leave
       Employees are also entitled to take a further 13 weeks as unpaid leave to
       bring the total of leave to 52 weeks.

4.5    Employees Not Returning to NHS Employment
       An employee who satisfies the conditions of paragraph 4.1, except that she
       does not intend to work with the same or another NHS employer for a
       minimum period of 3 months after her maternity leave is ended, will be entitled
       to pay equivalent to Statutory Maternity Pay, which is paid at 90% of her
       average weekly earnings for the first 6 weeks of her maternity leave and to a
       flat rate sum for the following 33 weeks.

4.6    Employees with Less Than 12 Months Continuous Service
       If an employee does not satisfy the conditions in paragraph 4.1 for
       Occupational Maternity Pay she may be entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay.

       If her earnings are too low for her to qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay, or she
       does not qualify for another reason, she should be advised to claim Maternity
       Allowance from the local Job Centre Plus or social security office.

       All employees will have a right to take 52 weeks of maternity leave whether or
       not they return to NHS employment.

4.7    Superannuation

       (a)   Employees who are returning to work



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             Since Maternity Leave is counted as continuous service,
             Superannuation contributions are deducted as detailed below whilst an
             employee is on Maternity Leave regardless of whether the employee is
             on paid or unpaid Maternity Leave.

             (i)    Whilst on paid Maternity Leave superannuation deductions will be
                    based on the amount actually paid to the employee during this
                    period and not on earnings immediately before the period of
                    Maternity Leave.

             (ii)   Whilst on periods of unpaid Maternity Leave superannuation
                    deductions will be based on the rate of pay in force immediately
                    prior to the period of unpaid Maternity Leave.
                    When the employee returns to work following a period of unpaid
                    leave, their superannuation contributions for that period will be
                    deducted by arrangement with them. Any tax rebate, which the
                    employee receives during a period of Maternity Leave, will be used
                    to offset superannuation arrears. Should this not be agreeable to
                    you please contact the Payroll Department.

       (b)   Employees who are undecided regarding returning to work
             Superannuation deductions cease as in (c) below. Should she decide to
             return to work (a) above applies as necessary to the employee‟s case
             and deductions are taken from the additional Maternity Pay entitlements
             for returning to work.

       (c)   Employees who are not returning to work
             Where an employee decides not to return to work after the birth of her
             baby, her superannuation deductions cease the day before she
             commences Maternity Leave, regardless of whether or not she is
             entitled to 6 weeks Occupational Maternity Pay.

4.8    Stopping Maternity Pay

       (a)   Taken into Legal Custody
             Maternity Pay will be stopped if an employee is taken into legal custody
             at any time during the 39 weeks Maternity Pay Period, although she
             may still be able to claim maternity allowance instead. Legal custody
             means being detained by the police, usually arrested and/or in prison.

       (b)   Starts Work for a New Employer
             Maternity Pay will be stopped if an employee starts work for a new
             employer after the baby is born, but before the end of the 39 week
             maternity pay period.

       (c)   Death of an Employee
             If an employee dies during the 39 week maternity pay period then the
             maternity pay will be stopped.

4.9    Notification by Employee
       An employee must tell their line manager as soon as possible of their intention
       to start working for a new employer, or has been taken into custody. They
       should also return any Statutory Maternity Pay they have received that covers
       the period after they have started work for another employer, or has been
       taken into custody. If the employee has stated their intention to return to work


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       and does not due to either of the above, then the additional Occupational
       Maternity Pay received above the SMP will also be refundable.


5.                            Returning to Work

5.1    Returning to Work
       An employee who intends to return to work at the end of her full maternity
       leave will not be required to give any further notification to the employer,
       although if she wishes to return early she must give at least 8 weeks notice.

       An employee has the right to return to her job under her original contract and
       on no less favourable terms and conditions.

5.2    Returning on Flexible Working Arrangements
       If at the end of maternity leave the employee wishes to return to work on
       different hours the manager has a duty to facilitate this wherever possible,
       with the employee returning to work on different hours in the same job. If this
       is not possible the manager must provide written, objectively justifiable
       reasons for this and the employee should return to the same grade and work
       of a similar nature and status to that which they held prior to their maternity
       leave.

       If it is agreed that the employee will return to work on a flexible basis,
       including changed or reduced hours, for an agreed temporary period this will
       not affect the employee‟s right to return to her job under her original contract
       at the end of the agreed period.

5.3    Sickness Following the End of Maternity Leave
       In the event of illness following the date the employee was due to return to
       work normal sick leave provisions will apply as necessary.

5.4    Failure to Return to Work
       If an employee who has notified her manager of her intention to return to work
       for the same or a different NHS employer in accordance with paragraph 4.1
       (b) (iii) above fails to do so within 15 months of the beginning of her maternity
       leave she will be liable to refund the whole of her maternity pay, less any
       Statutory Maternity Pay, received. In cases where the employer considers
       that to enforce this provision would cause undue hardship or distress the
       manager will have the discretion to waive their rights to recovery.

       (Sample letters attached in Appendix E and F)


6.                          Supplementary Notes

6.1    Time Off for Ante-Natal Care
       If a woman has an appointment for ante-natal care, she must be granted paid
       time off.    However, she must provide at her manager‟s request an
       appointment card or some other proof of the appointment. Ante-natal care
       includes relaxation and parent-craft classes as well as appointments for ante-
       natal care.




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6.2    Health & Safety of Employees Pre and Post Birth
       Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 the
       law requires every employer to assess workplace risks for all their employees,
       and take practical action to control those risks. In addition employers must
       take particular account of risks to new and expectant mothers whether or not
       we have been informed that there are any.

       NHS Orkney has a responsibility to identify hazards in our workplace‟s that
       could pose a health or safety risk to new and expectant mothers and take
       appropriate action to remove or reduce the risk. We must also make this
       information known to all our female employees of child bearding age, not just
       those who have informed us they are pregnant.

       Once we have been informed that an employee is pregnant there is a duty on
       the line manager to perform an individual risk assessment for that employee
       to identify any health and safety issues that could pose a higher risk to that
       pregnant employee.

       If a risk is identified that could jeopardise the health and safety of a new or
       expectant mother or her baby, NHS Orkney should first consider removing the
       hazards or preventing exposure to the risk. If the risk still cannot be avoided,
       further steps to protect her health and safety must be taken – changes in her
       working conditions or hours, offers of suitable alternative work or, if this is not
       available, suspension from her work, with pay, for as long as is necessary to
       protect her health and safety or that of her child. This includes working at
       night if she has a medical certificate stating that night work could damage her
       health.

       The line manager should refer the employee to the Occupational Health
       Department or seek advice from the Health and Safety Adviser should they
       be concerned of any risks.

6.3    Sick Leave
       If an employee is off work ill, or becomes ill, with a pregnancy related illness
       during the last 4 weeks before the expected week of childbirth, maternity
       leave will normally commence at the beginning of the 4th week before the
       expected week of childbirth or the beginning of the next week after the
       employee last worked, whichever is the later. Absence prior to the last 4
       weeks before the expected week of childbirth, supported by a medical
       statement of incapacity for work, or a serf certificate, shall be treated as sick
       leave in accordance with normal leave provisions.

       Odd days of pregnancy related illness during this period may be disregarded if
       the employee wishes to continue working till the maternity leave start date
       previously notified to the employer.

6.4    Annual Leave
       Annual leave will continue to accrue during maternity leave, whether paid or
       unpaid, provided for by this agreement.

       Where the amount of accrued annual leave would exceed normal carry over
       provisions, it may be mutually beneficial to both the employer and employee
       for the employee to take annual leave before and/or after the formal (paid and
       unpaid) maternity leave period. The amount of annual leave to be taken in



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       this way, or carried over, should be discussed and agreed between the
       employee and their line manager. Payment in lieu may be considered as an
       option where accrual of annual leave exceeds normal carry over provisions.

6.5    Public Holidays
       There is no entitlement to public holidays during the paid and unpaid period of
       maternity leave.

6.6    Increments
       As the whole maternity leave period, paid and unpaid, counts towards
       continuous service, the incremental date will be retained.

6.7    Extensions to Maternity Leave
       There can be no extension to maternity leave beyond the period of
       entitlement. If an extension to maternity leave is requested, it must be treated
       as a normal application for either unpaid leave, career break or parental leave
       (see separate policies) and should be granted or refused depending upon the
       circumstances of each individual case subject to management agreement.
       Where it has not been possible to use the employees annual leave
       entitlement prior to maternity leave because of service needs, it may be
       possible to use this to extend the maternity leave with their line manager‟s
       agreement.

6.8    Subsequent Maternity Leave
       Once an employee has established her entitlement to maternity leave, any
       subsequent requests for maternity leave can be granted without having to
       gain further qualifying service. No part of a period of maternity leave should
       be regarded as a break in service.

6.9    Twins or Multiple Births
       If the employee is expecting more than one child, their entitlement to
       Maternity Pay and Maternity Leave is the same as if they were expecting only
       one.

6.10   Pre-term Birth
       Where an employee‟s baby is born alive prematurely the employee will be
       entitled to the same amount of maternity leave and pay as if her baby was
       born at full term.

       Where an employee‟s baby is born before the 11th 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.

       Where an employee‟s baby is born before the 11th 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.

       Where an employee‟s baby is born before the 11th 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 rest of her leave following her baby‟s
       discharge from hospital.




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6.11   Still Birth/ Death of a Newborn Child
       In the event of a still birth after the 24th week before the expected week of
       delivery the employee shall be entitled to maternity leave and pay
       entitlements as if her baby had been alive. The employee should be allowed
       to return to work as soon as she wishes.

       If the child is stillborn or dies after birth within the period of maternity leave,
       the employee should be allowed to return to work after a compulsory
       minimum of 2 weeks from delivery if she wishes, and is fit to do so.

       For employees who have opted not to return to work (this option is not
       recommended) there is no provision for them to return to work on the death of
       their newborn child. However, the organisation will make every attempt to find
       work for an employee in such a situation if she so desires.

6.12   Miscarriage
       Where an employee has a miscarriage before the 25th week of pregnancy
       normal sick leave provisions will apply as necessary.

6.13   Post-natal Care and Breastfeeding Mothers
       Employees who have recently given birth should have paid time off for post-
       natal care eg. attendance at health clinics.

       Managers are required to undertake a risk assessment and to provide
       breastfeeding women with suitable private rest facilities. The Health & Safety
       Executive Guidance recommends that employers provide:

       (a)     a clean and safe environment for women who are breastfeeding;
       (b)     suitable access to a private room to express and store milk in an
               appropriate refrigerator.

       Managers are reminded that they should consider requests for flexible
       working arrangements to support breastfeeding women at work.

6.14   Fixed-Term and Training Contracts
       If an employee on a fixed term contract satisfying the conditions of entitlement
       to maternity leave and whose contract expires after the 11th week before the
       expected week of childbirth but before 6 weeks after the expected date of
       childbirth, shall have her contract extended to enable her to receive the full 52
       weeks which includes paid contractual and statutory maternity pay and the
       remaining 13 weeks of unpaid maternity leave.

       Absence on maternity leave (paid or unpaid) up to 52 weeks before a further
       NHS appointment shall not constitute a break in service.

       If there is no right of return to be exercised because the contract would have
       ended if pregnancy and childbirth had not occurred the repayment provision
       set out in paragraph 5.4 will not apply.

       Employees on fixed-term contracts who do not meet the 12 months
       continuous service conditions set out in paragraph 4.1 above may still be
       entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay.




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6.15   Rotational Training Contracts
       If the employee is on a planned rotation of appointments, she has the right   to
       return to work in the same post or in the next planned post, irrespective     of
       whether the contract would have ended if the pregnancy had not occurred.      In
       such circumstances, the contract must be extended, if she so wishes,          to
       enable the employee to complete the agreed programme of training.

6.16   Bank Contracts
       Bank employees should contact the Payroll Department for advice on their
       entitlement to Maternity Pay.

       Bank employees who have qualified for maternity pay or employees who wish
       to return from Maternity Leave, within the specified time limits, to take up a
       „bank‟ post rather than the post they left must undertake to work at least 122
       hours over a six month period on their return to work. Failure to complete
       these hours would render their entitlement to be in the “not returning to work”
       option and therefore result in a need to repay the appropriate Occupational
       Maternity Pay. Advice from the HR department should be sought before
       taking this option.

6.17   Redundancy
       An employee on Maternity Leave will be treated in the same way as any other
       employee if a redundancy situation arises while on Maternity Leave. Please
       refer to the Managing Organisational Change Policy for further information.

6.18   Detrimental Treatment
       An employee has the right not to be subjected to detrimental treatment on the
       grounds of pregnancy, childbirth, maternity or by the virtue of having taken
       Ordinary or Additional Maternity Leave. Employees who feel that they have
       been may refer to the Grievance Policy and Procedure.

       If a pregnant employee, or an employee on Maternity Leave is dismissed, she
       will receive accurate, written reasons for her dismissal. She does not have to
       request them. She is entitled to this statement regardless of her length of
       service.

       Detrimental treatment or dismissal on grounds of pregnancy or childbirth may
       also amount to unlawful sex discrimination. It is not unlawful for an employer
       to dismiss an employee if the grounds are wholly unrelated to her pregnancy
       or childbirth, unless the detriment is unfair for some other reason.




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                                                                           Appendix A

                    Maternity Leave Policy Guidelines

                             Questions & Answers

Q      I am pregnant – what is the procedure?

A      Firstly, notify your line manager! Then make an appointment with the Human
       Resources Advisor (tel 888102). Please wait until you are at least 12 weeks
       pregnant before you meet with the HR Advisor. They will explain entitlements
       and procedure and will help process your „Notification of Intention to take
       Maternity Leave Form (attached in Appendix B). Only one appointment is
       necessary, this will take approximately ½ hour although of course you can
       contact the HR Advisor at any time prior to or throughout your leave.

       For staff for whom it is not possible to visit the HR Advisor, please contact the
       HR Advisor by telephone for advice and guidance.

       At this point please refer to the section of the guide which you think applies to
       you.


Q      I have worked for the NHS for less than 26 weeks at the qualifying week
       ie. 15 weeks before expected Date of Delivery.         Do I have any
       entitlement?

A      Whether or not you decide to return to work you will be entitled to a maximum
       of 52 weeks unpaid Maternity Leave.

       Although you will not receive any Maternity Pay from NHS Orkney, you may
       be entitled to receive Maternity Allowance direct from the Benefits Agency.
       You will be issued with the appropriate form at your appointment or this may
       be sent to you.

       This 52 week period of unpaid maternity leave counts towards your annual
       leave entitlement.

       Should you decide not to return to work you must give your manager
       appropriate notice in line with your contract.


Q      I have worked for the NHS for more than 26 weeks but less than one
       year at the qualifying week ie. 15 weeks before Expected Date of
       Delivery. What am I entitled to?

A      Whether or not you decide to return to work you will be entitled to a maximum
       of 52 weeks Maternity Leave.

       You will not receive any Occupational Maternity Pay from NHS Orkney but
       you may be entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay. If your earnings are too low to
       qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay, or you do not qualify for another reason,



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       you are advised to claim Maternity Allowance from the local Job Centre Plus
       or social security office.

       The 52 week period of maternity leave counts towards your annual leave
       entitlement. Refer to section 6.5 of the Maternity Leave Policy.

       Should you decide not to return to work you must give your line manager
       appropriate notice in line with your contract.


Q      I have more than one years service at 11 weeks prior to Expected Date
       of Delivery and intend to return to a post within the NHS. What am I
       entitled to?

A      You will be entitled to a maximum of 52 weeks Maternity Leave.

       You will receive:

       Weeks 1 – 8 (inclusive)
       Occupational Maternity Pay based on 100% of average weekly earnings
       and/or Statutory Maternity Pay, where applicable (not exceeding full pay)

       Weeks 9 – 26 (inclusive)
       Occupational Maternity Pay based on 50% of average weekly earnings and
       Statutory Maternity Pay, where applicable (not exceeding full pay).

       Weeks 27 – 39 (inclusive)
       Statutory Maternity Pay where applicable.

       Week 40 – 52
       Unpaid Leave.

       The 52 week period of maternity leave counts towards your annual leave
       entitlement. Refer to section 6.5 of the Maternity Leave Policy.


Q      I have more than 1 years service at 11 weeks prior to Expected Date of
       Delivery, and I do not intend to return to a post within the NHS. What am
       I entitled to?

A      You will remain employed during the 39 weeks of your Maternity Pay period.

       You will receive:

       Weeks 1 – 6 (inclusive)
       Statutory Maternity Pay which is paid at 90% of your average weekly
       earnings.

       Weeks 7 to 39 (inclusive)
       Statutory Maternity Pay – fixed sum.

       The 52 week period of maternity leave counts towards your annual leave
       entitlement. Refer to section 6.5 of the Maternity Leave Policy.




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Q      What happens if I can’t decide whether I will return to work?

A      This is understandable. Whether or not you return to work may depend on
       individual circumstances. If you are undecided, you will receive Maternity
       Leave and Pay as if you were not returning to work. Seven weeks after your
       expected date of delivery you will be contacted by the HR Advisor to establish
       your final decision whether you will return to work or not. You will not be
       expected to supply us with a date at this time. If you then decide to return to
       work, payment of any additional Maternity Pay to which you would have been
       entitled will be made immediately. However, if you feel unable to make a
       decision at that time, please feel free to contact either the HR Advisor or your
       line manager to discuss.


Q      I would like to return to work earlier than stated?

A      If you want to change the date you are returning to work, you must give your
       line manager 8 weeks notice. You should also notify the HR Advisor of your
       new return date.


Q      I am a “Bank” employee, what is my entitlement?

A      You may be entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay provide you satisfy the
       earnings criteria. The Payroll Department will be able to advise you on this.

       You have no entitlement to Occupational Maternity Pay, as your service is not
       “continuous”.


Q      What happens if my post is temporary/ research/ fixed term/ externally
       funded?

A      You will be provided with the relevant information at your appointment with the
       HR Advisor, as each case must be considered individually.


Q      I am concerned the job I hold may be a risk to my pregnancy, what
       should I do?

A      As soon as your pregnancy has been confirmed you should notify your line
       manager who will undertake a risk assessment in relation to your pregnancy
       and your area of work. You will be asked to participate in this assessment
       and to sign the risk assessment form.


Q      When I attend my Maternity Leave appointment do I need to bring
       anything with me?

A      No, not initially though it may be helpful if you bring your annual leave card.
       However, at your 20th week of pregnancy you should submit your MATB1
       Form to your line manager. This form is available (free) from your GP of
       Midwife.




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Q      What do I need to discuss with my Line Manager?

A      It is important that you keep your manager informed of your plans relating to
       pregnancy eg. the option you have chosen, the date Maternity Leave starts,
       your intentions to return to work etc. The HR Advisor will help with all the
       necessary paperwork relating to this which you should then give to your line
       manager.

       You have a right to attend antenatal appointments and should request time off
       from your manager accordingly, producing your appointment card when
       requested.

       Note:
       Any requests for a change in your way of working on return from Maternity
       Leave must be discussed with your manager.


Q      What happens if I have more than one job with NHS Orkney?

A      If this is the case, Maternity pay will be based on all your earnings.


Q      When can I start Maternity Leave?

A      The earliest you can start is the 29th week of pregnancy. This date will be
       calculated at your appointment with the HR Advisor. You will be required to
       give 28 days notice of commencement of Maternity Leave where possible.


Q      Can I work beyond this date?

A      Yes, you can start your maternity leave at any time between the 11th week
       before the expected week of childbirth and the expected week of childbirth
       provided you give the required notice.


Q      If I choose to continue working beyond the 29th week, what happens if I
       go off sick?

A      If you are absent between the 29th and 36th week of pregnancy this will be
       treated as “normal” sick leave.

       After the 36th week a pregnancy related illness would automatically trigger
       Maternity Leave.

       An employee who chooses to work beyond the 4th week before the expected
       delivery and is absent through non-pregnancy related sickness will be
       considered as being on sick leave until the date agreed for commencement of
       Maternity leave or date of return to work if earlier.




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Q      What if my baby arrives early/ late?

A      If your baby arrives late Maternity Leave or Pay is not affected.

       If your baby is born before your Maternity Leave is due to start the leave will
       commence immediately.

       Please notify the HR Advisor or your line manager if this is the case.

       Where a premature baby is in hospital your manager has the discretion to
       allow you to split your Maternity Leave ie. a short period of no less than 2
       weeks immediately after childbirth subsequently returning to work, then taking
       the balance of leave following the child‟s discharge from hospital. However,
       you must be considered fit to return to work.

       Note 1
       This will have an affect on your entitlement to Statutory Maternity Pay.

       Note 2
       In the unfortunate event of your baby being still born after 24 weeks of
       pregnancy, you are still entitled to Maternity Leave / Pay.


Q      When will I receive Maternity Pay?

A      All payments will be made on your “normal” pay day and will be detailed on
       your payslip.


Q      What about my annual increments?

A      Your increments will not be affected at all!


Q      What happens if there is a “Pay Award” while I am on Maternity Leave?

A      Whether this happens before or after you commence Maternity Leave your
       Maternity Pay will be calculated at the new rate.


Q      What about Public Holidays?

A      You have no entitlement to these while on Maternity Leave.


Q      I pay Superannuation, what happens when I am on Maternity Leave?

A      If you choose the “returning” option your service will be continuous throughout
       your Maternity Leave period. Arrears of Superannuation contributions will be
       deducted (by instalments if requested) on your return to work. If a tax rebate
       is due to you, this will be offset against your superannuation contribution.
       Please contact the Payroll Department for more information.




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Q      Can I work “bank” hours for the NHS while on Maternity Leave?

A      Once you have exhausted your Statutory Maternity Pay, you should discuss
       this option with your manager and the HR Advisor before any decision can be
       taken as this may have an impact on your right to return to your substantive
       post.




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                                                                           Appendix B

          Notification of Intention to Take Maternity Leave
PLEASE COMPLETE IN BLOCK CAPITALS

EMPLOYEE TO COMPLETE
Employee Name

Address



Payroll Number                Department                       Start Date with NHS
                                                               Orkney

Contracted Hours              Do you pay                       Do you wish to opt out
                              superannuation                   of the Superannuation
FT/PT                         contributions? Yes/No            Scheme? Yes/No
Expected Date of              Proposed Maternity Start         Do you intend to
Childbirth                    Date                             return to work?
                                                               Yes/No

Employee‟s Signature

Date


This completed form should be sent to your Line Manager at least 15 weeks
before your Expected week of childbirth. It is your responsibility to ensure that
your manager receives your MATB1 form as soon as possible. Maternity Pay
will not be paid without it and no reminder will be sent.

Your Line Manager will write to you within 28 days of receiving this notification, giving
you your maternity entitlements. If you wish to change the date you wish to go on
Maternity Leave you should notify your Line Manager in writing 28 days before the
change date.



LINE MANAGER TO COMPLETE
I Confirm that (name)

Will be starting Maternity Leave on

Signed                                              Date


The Line Manager should ensure that this form is completed and sent to the
Payroll Department no later than 4 weeks before the Maternity Leave Start
Date. A copy should be held on the employee’s personal file and sent to HR.


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                                                                         Appendix C
             Managers Maternity Leave Recording Form

Employee Name

Payroll Number                                      Department

Manager‟s Name                                      Signature


BEFORE THE EMPLOYEE GOES ON MATERNITY LEAVE:
Annual Leave and Public Holidays due including
accrued Maty Leave
Annual Leave and Public Holidays taken before
Maty Leave
Annual Leave carried over until return from Maty
Leave
Maternity Leave      Start Date:
                    Amended:
                    Actual:
What Maternity Leave is the employee entitled to:
                    Ordinary
                    Additional
Date the employee has to return to work by:
What Maternity Pay is the employee entitled to:
OMP&SMP or SMP or MA
Date entitlement letter sent to employee:

AFTER THE MATERNITY LEAVE HAS BEEN TAKEN:
Has the employee requested parental leave to be         If Y please state how long
joined to the Maternity Leave? Yes/No
Has the paternal leave been granted                     Yes/No
Date employee has notified as their return date.
Annual Leave due for remainder of financial year
Annual leave carried over from before Maty Leave
Total annual leave due this financial year
Has employee requested change in working hours          if yes please specify
Yes/No
Can this request be granted Yes/No                      If no, please state reasons



Comments


Please remember that if parental leave is taken the procedure laid out in the Family
Friendly Policy should be followed.



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                                                                                   Appendix D
         Sample Letter – Confirming Maternity Leave & Pay

Dear

Maternity Leave

Thank you for submitting the Notification of Intention to take Maternity Leave form and your
Maternity Certificate (Form MAT B1).

I note that your expected date of childbirth is           , and can confirm that you are
entitled to maternity leave from your post of             with effect from 2007. Please give
at least 28 days notice if you wish to change this date and start your maternity leave earlier.
Maternity Leave should continue for no longer than 52 weeks in total; your latest date of
returning to work will be (insert date) 2008. You may of course return prior to this and if you
wish to do so please give at least 8 weeks notice of your intended return to work date.
                                                                th
As you have completed more than 12 months service at the 11 week before your baby is
due, earn as much as the lower earnings limit for paying National Insurance and you intend to
return to work, we can confirm that you will be eligible for Occupational Maternity Pay. You
will therefore receive a sum equal to full pay for the first 8 weeks, this sum will include an
element of Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP).

For the following 18 weeks you will receive a sum equal to 50% of your normal pay plus SMP
at the lower weekly rate, providing the total sum does not exceed full pay. For the following
13 weeks you will receive SMP at the flat rate of £123.06 a week or 90% of your average
weekly earnings. At the conclusion of this 39 week period you will not receive any further pay
until you resume work.

(NB. OH must be informed of pregnancy) – delete from letter
I note the guidance that you have received from Occupational Health to keep yourself safe
and well at work during your pregnancy. Please don‟t hesitate to let me know if there are any
other aspects of your work pattern/routine that are causing you concern or putting you at risk
during your pregnancy.

Please let me know if you wish to take time off to attend antenatal or parentcraft classes
during your usual working hours.

During your maternity leave you have the right to ‟10 keeping in touch‟ (KIT) days. You can
work up to ten days during your maternity leave including attendance at training events, but
not in the first two weeks following the birth of your baby. Please let me know if you would like
to take advantage of these days.

Your annual leave will accrue during the whole of your maternity leave period. I will discuss
with you the arrangements for taking leave before and after you Maternity leave period.

Should your baby arrive earlier than expected, or there is any change in relation to your
intention to return to work, please notify me as soon as you can, so that I can advise you of
any changes to your entitlements.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you well. Please ask if have any queries relating
to your maternity leave or pay.

Yours sincerely




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                                                                             Appendix E

       Sample Letter – Failure to Return from Maternity Leave




[Send by Registered Mail]


Dear

I should be grateful if you would confirm whether or not it is your intention to return to
work following your maternity leave as we were anticipating your return on [date of
intended return] as confirmed by my letter of [insert date].

If there are reasons preventing your return, which could possibly be taken into
consideration in extending your maternity leave that I am not aware of, do please let
me know as soon as possible. If however, I do not hear from you within 14 working
days from the date of this letter, I will assume you do not wish to return to NHS
Orkney and your contract of employment will be terminated.

*[I should also advise you that if you fail to return, you will be required to pay back the
difference between statutory maternity pay and the occupational maternity pay which
you have received if you do not return to work for a period of 3 months.]

*Delete if not eligible for OMP

Yours sincerely




89d3bfd6-16ae-4dc0-94c8-e998d4ded36e.doc   - 23 -
                                                                          Appendix F

Sample Letter – Termination Following Failure to Return from
                      Maternity Leave




[Send by Registered Mail]


Dear

Further to my letter dated [date] I am writing to advise you that as I have received no
indication to the contrary, I am assuming you do not wish to return to work following
your Maternity Leave. Your contract will therefore be terminated as of [termination
date]. You have [insert remaining entitlement days/hours] outstanding annual leave
which will be paid to you as a lump sum.

Should you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me and may I take
this opportunity of wishing you well for the future.

Yours sincerely




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                      Rapid Impact Checklist: Summary Sheet

1. Positive Impacts                             2. Negative Impacts

The policy and procedure brings the Board in    None
to compliance with statutory requirements
and meets good practice in its provisions. It
has been updated in light of the revised
Agenda for Change conditions.




3. Additional Information and Evidence Required

None




4. Recommendations

That the Board approve the revised policy and procedure




5. From the outcome of the RIC have negative impacts been identified for race or other
equality groups? Has a full EQIA process been recommended? If not, why not?


None




Managers Signature:

Richard Thomas
        th
Date: 4 December 2007




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