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					                                                        MATERNITY POLICY


Hart District Council believes that the interests of staff and the Council are
best served by the formulation and implementation of clear and consistent
employment policies and procedures. This policy statement details the
Council’s policy on Maternity in the Workplace. It takes into consideration
all legal requirements and staff Health and Safety and will be applied in
accordance with the Council’s Equality and Diversity Commitment to treat
all its employees with dignity and respect.

1. SCOPE
This policy applies to all pregnant employees of Hart District Council regardless
of hours of work and length of service a the material time. The Policy related to
babies due on or after 1st April 2007.

2. MATERNITY LEAVE

All pregnant employees are entitled to take up to 52 weeks maternity leave,
regardless of length of service with the Council. Maternity leave is a single
continuous period and is made up of:

Ordinary Maternity Leave (OML)

OML is up to 26 weeks duration.

The earliest date an employee can commence maternity leave is from the
beginning of the 11th week before the Expected Week of Confinement (EWC) up
until the birth itself. Maternity leave shall commence no earlier than 11 weeks
before the expected week of childbirth or from the time of childbirth if that is
earlier, in the case of premature babies. This leave begins when either:-

   (a)    Notice has been given to the Council of the employee’s intention to
          commence OML and the maternity leave commencement date is
          agreed.
   (b)    The birth occurs. Leave begins automatically on the day the baby is
          born, but the employee must inform the Council at the earliest
          opportunity or Statutory Maternity Pay will be reduced. In the event the
          birth is premature the employee should ask her Doctor or Midwife to
          complete and sign a Certificate of Confinement (MATB2) which is
           found on the reverse of the MATB1. The MATB1 is available after the
           21st week of pregnancy.
   (c)     If the employee falls ill (or is already absent from work) with a
           pregnancy related illness on or after the beginning of the 4th week
           before the EWC, but before the date after the employee has notified,
           the maternity leave period begins automatically on the day after the
           first day of her absence.

Additional Maternity Leave (AML)

AML lasts up to 26 weeks and, if taken, must follow immediately after OML.

Compulsory Maternity Leave

While an employee can decide how much OML and/or AML they wish to take,
the employee may not return to work immediately after childbirth. This period of
Compulsory Maternity Leave is 2 weeks from the date of childbirth. This leave
forms part of the employee’s OML.

3. NOTIFICATION

The employee should notify their Line Manager and Human Resources of her
their pregnancy by completing the Notification of Pregnancy (Appendix 1), EWC
and the date on which she intends to start her OML before the end of the 15th
week before the EWC by supplying a MATB1 which can be obtained from her GP
or midwife.

If the employee agrees to a date when her maternity leave commences and
wishes to change this date the employee is required to give the Council 28 days
notice of this change. As soon as the MATB1 becomes available and a date is
agreed for the maternity leave to commence Human Resources will confirm
details of the maternity leave in writing.

A risk assessment will be arranged via HR as soon as the Line Manager and HR
are notified.

4. TIME OFF FOR ANTE-NATAL CARE

All pregnant employees are entitled to paid time off to attend antenatal care.
Employees are required to inform their Line Manager of the appointments with as
much notice as possible and may be asked to provide written confirmation of
appointments from the second appointment onwards. Where at all possible,
appointments should be scheduled at either the start or the end of the working
day.

5. RETURN TO WORK

Employees will be regarded as returning to work early if they wish to return
during or after OML. An employee is required to give 8 weeks notice of her
HDC Maternity Policy                    2                        December 2007
intended date of return if this deviates from the date agreed prior to
commencement of maternity leave.

Regardless of whether the employee intends to return on a date earlier than the
agreed date of return during OML or AML she is required to give 8 weeks notice.

An employee may not work for another employer during OML or AML.

6. RETURN TO WORK

Employees have the right to return from OML to the same job, on the same terms
and conditions of employment.

After AML the employee is entitled to return to work in the same job on the same
terms and condition as if she had not been absent. However if there is some
reason why it is not reasonably practicable for the employee to return to the
same job, then she should be offered a similar job. The terms and conditions
should be no less favourable than those of her original post, and it should be
both suitable for her and appropriate in the circumstances.

The employee has no right to delay her return beyond the absence entitlement,
unless she has agreed with her Line Manager to use her leave entitlement. If
she is sick she must provide a Doctor’s certificate to this effect. Provided that
she complies with this requirement the Council will then treat her as having
returned, but absent due to sickness.

Where a potential redundancy situation exists the Redundancy and
Redeployment Policy will be invoked and every effort will be made to offer
alternative suitable employment. Where your job ceases to exist due to
redundancy while you are on maternity leave you will continue to be "employed"
until the end of your maternity leave (including any unpaid maternity leave). You
are entitled to be offered a suitable alternative job, if one has arisen during your
absence. This means that if a suitable vacancy occurs while you are away it will
be held for you.

If there is no suitable vacancy the employee is entitled to a redundancy payment,
if eligible.

7.     CONTACT DURING MATERNITY LEAVE

There will be reasonable contact from time to time between the Council and the
employee which either party is entitled to make (for example to discuss an
employee’s return to work). The employee should agree what kind of contact is
appreciate, i.e. e-mail, telephone etc.

8.     KEEPING IN TOUCH (KIT) DAYS

An employee may carry out up to a maximum of 10 days work for the Council
during her statutory maternity leave period without brining her maternity leave to
HDC Maternity Policy                      3                         December 2007
an end. For the purposes of this regulation any work carried out on any day shall
construe a day’s work. KIT days cannot be worked during the two weeks after
childbirth. The KIT days are not guaranteed and the employer has the right not
to provide any of the maximum of 10 KIT days. Equally the employee has the
right not to work during the statutory maternity leave period. A day in leiu will be
given for each KIT day worked.

9.        HEALTH & SAFETY

It is the responsibility of the Line Manager to ensure that the pregnant employee
is not exposed to any undue risks. The Line Manager should contact Human
Resources as soon as they have been advised by the employee that she is
pregnant. HR will then arrange for a Risk Assessment to be carried out.

In addition the pregnant employee should not knowingly expose themselves or
their unborn child(ren) to any undue risks which could endanger them or their
child(ren).

10.       PREGNANCY RELATED ILLNES

A pregnant employee’s maternity leave beings automatically if the employee is
already ill and absent from work, or is taken ill with a pregnancy related illness at
any time on or after the beginning of the 4th week before the EWC

11.       LEAVING EMPLOYMENT

Employees may opt to return to work following their maternity leave or may
declare that they will not be returning to work after the birth of their baby. If the
employee decides not to return a letter of resignation will be required for payroll
purposes. In these circumstances the employee will not be eligible for
occupational maternity pay and the normal contractual notice in writing will be
required.

12.       TEMPORARY COVER

The responsibilities of an employee on maternity leave may be covered by a
temporary employee. A temporary employee recruited directly by the Council will
be advised that he/she is replacing an employee currently absent due to
maternity.

13.       PROTECTION AGAINST DISMISSAL

The dismissal of an employee will automatically be unfair, regardless of length of
service or hours of work if:

         It is on maternity related grounds and takes place during her pregnancy or
          OML/AML period.



HDC Maternity Policy                       4                         December 2007
         It occurs after the end of the maternity leave period of absence and is on
          the grounds that she has taken or availed herself of the benefits of that
          leave.
         It is on the grounds of a Health & Safety provision which could give rise to
          maternity suspension.
         It is on the grounds of redundancy and the Council has not fully complied
          with the requirement to offer her any suitable alternative vacancy which is
          available
         She is unfairly selected for redundancy for one of the above reasons.


14.       MATERNITY LEAVE & PAYMENTS AND ALLOWANCES

All employees are entitled to at least 26 weeks ordinary maternity leave (OML)
and 26 weeks additional maternity leave (AML). This applies regardless of
length of service. Employees who do not qualify for statutory maternity pay may
be entitled to claim maternity allowance. If you are entitled to maternity allowance
you must claim it from the DSS and inform the Council of the amount you are
receiving. The qualification for the maternity allowance is based on the
individual’s recent national insurance record.

Employees with less than 1 years’ service on the 11th week before the EWC will
receive maternity pay of 6 weeks at nine tenths average weekly earnings plus 20
weeks at the statutory rate.

If you have one year's service or more, maternity pay will be as follows;

Weeks 1-6: -            Nine-tenths of an average week’s pay, (This is inclusive of
                        contractual car cash allowances).

Weeks 7-18: -           Half pay plus SMP
                        The total will not exceed your full pay. (Alternatively the
                        equivalent amount (i.e. 6 weeks’ pay) may be paid on any
                        other mutually agreed distribution.

Weeks 19-39:            You will receive SMP entitlement only.

Weeks 40-52: -          Unpaid absence

12 weeks half pay is subject to you returning for 3 months at the end of the
maternity leave period. If you do not intend to return to work, you will receive
your entitlement to SMP only.

15.       TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT

The Contract of Employment will continue to apply throughout both OML and
AML unless the Council or the employee provides notice of termination in
accordance with that individual’s terms and conditions of employment. In the

HDC Maternity Policy                        5                        December 2007
case of a Fixed Term contract the contract may expire on the due date in
accordance with the terms of that agreement

While on OML the employee will benefit from all of the terms and conditions
which would have applied to them as if they had been at work instead of on
leave, except the terms and conditions regarding ‘remuneration’ (where
remuneration is defined as monetary, wages or salary payable). While on AML
the only terms of the contract that must apply in accordance with statute are the
employer’s obligations of trust and confidence to the employee and the
employee’s obligation of good faith to the employer.

16.    HOLIDAY ENTITLEMENT

Both OML & AML shall be regarded as continuous service and annual leave will
continue to accrued during both leave periods. In the event that an employee
takes their full entitlement to AML (52 weeks) which coincides with the leave
year, options to discuss with the employee are:

Agree with the employee that she may take some of her annual leave prior to her
departure on maternity leave.
Agreeing an earlier return date (e.g. a period of time prior to the expiry of the
agreed date of return) and agreeing to take annual leave. In the event annual
leave dates cannot be agreed prior to taking maternity leave this can be agreed
at a later date with reasonable notice.

17.    ESSENTIAL CAR USER ALLOWANCE

In line with the Green Book the employee will receive the essential car user
allowance in full for 3 months and half the allowance for 3 months during the paid
period of the employee’s maternity leave.

18.    COUNCIL PROPERTY

Employees should return any Council property (i.e. mobile phones, laptop, keys,
manuals, protective clothing etc) during the period of OML and AML. This
applies to employees who work from home and/or whose normal place of work is
located at one of the Council’s offices. There may be a need for the individual
who is employed to cover for the absent employee to use the equipment supplied
to the employee on maternity leave.

19.    SUPERANNUATION
If you are a member of the Local Government Superannuation Scheme
contributions will be deducted on all payments during paid maternity leave. This
period will count as full service.

During unpaid maternity leave you will be retained in the scheme but the period
will not count as superannuable service unless you arrange for the necessary
contributions to be paid. You must do this within 30 days of returning to work.
Payroll will be pleased to offer detailed advice on superannuation
HDC Maternity Policy                    6                         December 2007
20.       CONTINUOUS EMPLOYMENT

The employee continues to be employed during their OML period, which
therefore counts towards her period of continuous employment for the purposes
of entitlement to other statutory employment rights (for example, the right to a
redundancy payment). It also counts for Pension rights and pay increments
under the employee’s Contract of Employment. Annual leave accrues in the
normal way. The Contract of Employment continues throughout the AML unless
either party expressly ends it or it expires.

21.       REQUESTS FOR FLEXIBLE WORKING

Please see flexible working policy for information on requesting flexible working
patterns.

22.       CONTACTS

Your main contact should be your line manager, however if you require
further information on maternity leave you should contact a member of the
Human Resources Team.

This policy will be reviewed and amended in line with legislation and will be
subject to a formal review on an annual basis.




GLOSSARY OF TERMS

         The Expected Week of Childbirth (EWC) is the week in which the baby
          is due.
         Childbirth means the birth of a child or a still birth after not less than 24
          weeks of pregnancy.
         Week of Childbirth means the week beginning with midnight between
          Saturday and Sunday, in which the baby is actually born.
         MAT B1 is the certificate provided by your doctor or midwife detailing your
          expected week of childbirth.
         A week's pay means the amount payable to you for working your normal
          hours in a week. *
         OML ordinary maternity leave
         AML additional maternity leave

*Where there are no normal hours it is the average of the last 12 weeks
preceding the date on which the last complete week ended, which is used for
occupational maternity pay. This will exclude any week in which no remuneration
was earned.


HDC Maternity Policy                        7                         December 2007
                                                                         Appendix 1

                          HART DISTRICT COUNCIL
                          Notification of Maternity Leave


To: -          Line Manager


From: -                                           Service :-


1.      Home address:        ___________________________________________

2.      Post Title:______________________________________

3.      Payroll No:    ___________________________________________

4.      Employment Start Date:      _______________________________

5.      The expected week of childbirth EWC is : _________________

Medical Certificate/Doctor's evidence form (MAT B1) is attached.

6.      I intend to commence my Maternity Leave on _____________

7.      I intend to take annual leave immediately before my maternity leave. This
        will be from _____________ to _________________

8.      I intend/do not intend* to return to work after my maternity leave for a
        period of 3 months. (*Delete as appropriate)

Signed
(employee) _____________________________________________________



Signed
(Line Manager)         ________________________________________________


1.      You should complete this form no later 21 days before you wish to
        commence Maternity Leave.

2.      You should be aware that you may commence your maternity leave at any
        time after the 11th week before the expected week of childbirth.



HDC Maternity Policy                      8                         December 2007
                                                                        Appendix 2

GUIDANCE NOTES FOR STATUTORY MATERNITY PAY

1. To Qualify You Must :-

            a. Be employed during the Qualifying Week (QW), that is the 15th
               week before the expected week of childbirth.

            b. Have been continuously employed for the 26 weeks before and
               including at least one day of the Qualifying Week.

            c. Have average earnings in the 8 weeks prior to the QW, which are
               not below the limit to pay National Insurance.

            d. Still be pregnant at the 11th week before the baby was due or have
               had the baby by that time.

            e. Produce medical evidence of Expected Week of Childbirth at least
               21 days before Maternity Leave is due to start. (Form MAT B1.)

            f. Remain within the European Community.

            g. Not work during the Maternity Pay Period (26 weeks pay).

            h. Not be in legal custody.


2.     Forms required by the Human Resources Department

       a.      MAT B 1 -medical evidence of the date the baby is expected

       b.      Notification of when Maternity Leave is to start. (See App 1) :-


Leave should start on a Sunday, as SMP is only payable from a Sunday.

You may start Maternity Leave any time from the 11th week before the expected
week of childbirth.

3.     Sickness and SMP

Your Manager must inform the Payroll Department immediately if you go on Sick
Leave, as dependant on whether the illness is pregnancy related or not will affect
when SMP becomes payable.




HDC Maternity Policy                      9                         December 2007
                                                                                                  Appendix 3

                                 HART DISTRICT COUNCIL
                 Notification of Return to work after maternity leave


To :-
                 (Line Manager)


From: -                                                            Unit :-



1.      Full Name:         ________________________________________________


2.      Home address:                ___________________________________________


3.      Contact Phone                ___________________________________________
        Number

4.      Post Title:______________________________________


5.      Pay No:            ___________________________________________


Please delete as applicable

A.      I intend to return to work with the HDC

        On ......................................................................... (date)

                                     OR

B.      I do not intend to return to work with the Authority. I understand that this
        means I forfeit my statutory right to return.


Signature: - _____________________________________________________


Date: -          _____________________________________________________

HDC Maternity Policy                                   10                                     December 2007
                                                                            CONT........
Notes :-

1.       This notification must reach your Line Manager within the recommended
         timescales (See page 3), if you are returning before your expected return
         date.

2.       You will normally be expected to return to your original job, but you may
         ask the Council to consider alternative conditions such as a switch from
         full time to part time work. If this is the case it may be useful to discuss
         these options with your manager as soon as possible alternatively you
         should accompany this form with a letter explaining your wishes.

3.       You are reminded that if you wish to ‘buy-back’ your superannuation,
         which would otherwise be lost, you must contact the payroll section within
         30 days of your return.




GLOSSARY OF TERMS

        The Expected Week of Childbirth (EWC) is the week in which the baby
         is due.

        Childbirth means the birth of a child or a still birth after not less than 24
         weeks of pregnancy.

        Week of Childbirth means the week beginning with midnight between
         Saturday and Sunday, in which the baby is actually born.

        MAT B1 is the certificate provided by your doctor or midwife detailing your
         expected week of childbirth.

        A week's pay means the amount payable to you for working your normal
         hours in a week. *

        OML ordinary maternity leave

        AML additional maternity leave

*Where there are no normal hours it is the average of the last 12 weeks
preceding the date on which the last complete week ended, which is used for
occupational maternity pay. This will exclude any week in which no remuneration
was earned.




HDC Maternity Policy                        11                         December 2007

				
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