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					                                   NHS Education for Scotland

                          Maternity and Breastfeeding Support Policy


1. Introduction

This document sets out the policy of NHS Education for Scotland (NES) in relation to employee
entitlements to maternity support leave and pay, and allows managers to handle these issues in a
consistent manner. The procedure should be viewed by Line Managers and pregnant employees
as a first point of reference for the many questions facing employees who are pregnant or acting
as maternity supporters. The procedures demonstrate NES‟s commitment to family friendly
policies and are aimed at encouraging the retention of our skilled workforce.

A glossary of terms is provided in Appendix A.


2. Policy Statement

NES aims to ensure that employees:

   Receive those “Maternity Rights” as detailed in the NHS Staff Council Terms and Conditions
    of Service, subject to qualifying periods of service.
   Are provided with a benefit that will offer support if the employee wishes to interrupt their
    service to have a child and encourage their return to work.
   Are provided maternity support leave.


3. Procedures

The general purpose of these procedures is to ensure that both management and employees
understand their rights and obligations prior to, during and following maternity leave. The
intention is to put in place a channel for communication and instil the confidence in employees
that the employee is being treated equitably and fairly.

This policy should be read in conjunction with current legislation and conditions applied by the
NHS Staff Council Terms and Conditions of Service. A quick reference guide to entitlements can
be found at Appendix B.


4. Maternity Support

NES‟s Maternity Policy incorporates, and in some areas extends the statutory requirements as
laid down in the Maternity Allowance and Statutory Maternity Pay Regulations 1994, the
Employment Act 2002, the Work and Families Act 2006 and the Sex Discrimination Act 1975
(Amendment) Regulations 2008 . It reflects NHS Staff Council terms and conditions of
employment.

It covers the time-off for antenatal care, maternity leave and maternity pay.
      4.1 Ante-Natal Care

Pregnant employees have the right to paid time off for antenatal care. Antenatal care may
include relaxation and parent-craft classes as well as appointments for antenatal care. This right
applies to all pregnant employees, and does not depend upon the number of hours worked or
length of service with NES. Line Managers should be notified of such appointments beforehand
and a Special Leave form should be completed for each period away from work.

      4.2 Health and Safety

Where an employee is pregnant, has recently given birth or is breastfeeding, the employer should
carry out a risk assessment of her working conditions. If it is found, or a medical practitioner
considers, that an employee or her child would be at risk were she to continue with her normal
duties the employer should provide suitable alternative work for which the employee will receive
her normal rate of pay. Where it is not reasonably practicable to offer suitable alternative work
the employee should be suspended on full pay.

      4.3   Maternity Leave

4.3.1 Ordinary Maternity Leave (OML)

Employees are entitled to maternity leave and to return to work afterwards (to the employee‟s job
under her original contract and on no less favourable terms and conditions). The earliest date that
maternity leave can start, regardless of length of service, is 11 weeks before the expected week
of childbirth (EWC).

Employees are entitled to 26 weeks ordinary maternity leave irrespective of length of service or
the number of hours worked each week. Depending on length of service this leave may be paid
or unpaid.

By law employees must take a minimum period of 2 weeks maternity leave immediately following
the birth of the child.

4.3.2 Additional Maternity Leave (AML)

There is no qualifying period for additional maternity leave, so all pregnant employees are entitled
to a further 26 weeks additional maternity leave, regardless of their length of service. This gives a
total leave entitlement of 12 months for all employees.

Additional Maternity Leave follows Ordinary Maternity Leave and there must be no gap between
the two.

4.3.3 Maternity Leave (NHS Terms and Conditions of Service)

If an employee has more than 12 months continuous service in the NHS (at the beginning of the
11th week before the EWC), the employee will be entitled to enhanced Maternity rights, as
detailed in Section 15 of the NHS Terms and Conditions of Service handbook.
       4.4 Requesting Maternity Leave

Employees should advise their Line Managers/Human Resources Officer of their condition as
soon as is reasonably practicable, (see Appendix C). On doing so, a Health and Safety risk
assessment will be carried out and any appropriate adjustments made to the workplace.

To qualify for maternity leave an employee must notify her employer, in writing, no later tha n the
end of the 15th week before the week the baby is due or as soon as reasonably practicable. This
should include the following:

   Confirmation that the employee intends to stop work as the result of pregnancy.
   Confirmation of the date that the employee intends to stop work.
   Confirmation of whether or not the employee intends to return to work with NES after
    childbirth, however, the employee may reserve the right to decide this after they have had
    their baby.
   Confirmation of the EWC by a medical certificate (MAT B1 – available from their doctor or
    midwife, normally 14 weeks before the baby is due).

(Appendix D should be used for this purpose)

       4.5 When Maternity Leave Begins

Maternity leave cannot commence until the 11 th week before the EWC. Employees may begin
their maternity leave at any time from this point, as agreed with the Line Manager.

Only in exceptional circumstances (e.g. premature birth), and where agreed, may employees be
able to break up their maternity leave. This may be preferable where leave began prior to the 11 th
week before the EWC, for example, where the birth is early.

Maternity leave can commence on any da y of the week.

       4.6 Sickness Absence

If an employee is off work ill, or becomes ill, with a pregnancy related illness during the last 4
weeks before the EWC, maternity leave will normally commence at the beginning of the 4th week
before the EWC 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 EWC, supported by a medical statement
of incapacity for work, or a self-certificate, shall be treated as sick leave in accordance with
normal leave provisions.

       4.7 Premature 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 the baby was born at full term.

Where an employee‟s baby is born before the 11th week before the EWC 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 EWC 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 EWC and the baby is in
hospital the employee may split her maternity leave entitlement, taking a minimum period of 2
weeks‟ leave immediately after childbirth and the rest of her leave following her baby‟s discharge
from hospital.

       4.8 Still Birth

Where an employee‟s baby is still born after the 24th week of pregnancy the employee will be
entitled to the same amount of maternity leave and pay as if her baby was born alive.

       4.9 Miscarriage

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

      4.10 Leave Entitlements

4.10.1 Annual Leave

Annual leave will continue to accrue during maternity leave whether paid or unpaid.

Where the amount of accrued annual leave would exceed normal carry over provisions, it may be
mutually beneficial to both NES 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 this way, or carried over, should be discussed and agreed between the employee and
NES.

Statutory public holidays will accrue during the paid period only of maternity leave.

The employee‟s local Human Resources Officer will calculate and discuss the employee‟s holiday
entitlement with the employee.

4.10.2 Paternity Leave

NES has a separate Paternity Leave              Policy   details   of   which can       be   found   at
http://10.30.8.5/policies/HR

4.10.3 Parental Leave

NES has a separate Parental             Leave   Policy   details   of   which   can     be   found   at
http://10.30.8.5/policies/HR

       4.11 Maternity Buddies/Communication with Work/Keeping in Touch Days

Most employees like to be kept aware of what is happening in the workplace while on maternity
leave, and also to keep in touch with their colleagues. As a minimum, the employee‟s manager
or other designated person will forward copies of newsletters and other relevant information.

To avoid any potential feelings of being cut off from the workplace, the employee going on
maternity leave may wish to nominate a „buddy‟ who will pass on information as above and also if
desired, contact the employee at mutually agreeable times to talk informally about developments
at work including job adverts for vacancies within NHS Education for Scotland. Employees have
found this to be beneficial in easing the transition back to work, especially if taking a longer
maternity leave period.

Mutually agreed „keeping in touch‟ days are also available, by agreement, which means the
employee can work up to 10 days during maternity leave without affecting maternity pay or
bringing maternity leave to an end. Keeping in touch days could be used for attending
training/team building etc and will be paid

Equally, NES will respect an employee‟s right to privacy if the employee prefers not to have direct
contact with the workplace whilst on maternity leave.

5. Maternity Pay

The type of Maternity Pay that each employee is eligible for is based on their length of service
and National Insurance contributions.

Maternity pay will be calculated on the 2 monthly salaries which fall immediately prior to 14 weeks
prior to the EWC.

      5.1 Maternity Pay (Statutory Provision)

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) is payable at two rates. For the first 6 weeks SMP is paid at the
rate of 90% (9/10ths) of average earnings, followed by 33 weeks at lower-rate SMP or 90% of the
employee‟s average weekly earnings whichever is the lesser amount.

Entitlement to SMP is based on Service and is detailed below:

NES Service at beginning of the 14 th       SMP
week before the EWC (Qualifying
Week)
0-25 weeks                                  No right to Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) but
                                            may be entitled to Maternity Allowance (Social
                                            Security Benefit).
26 weeks and over                           6 weeks at higher rate SMP (90% of average
                                            earnings) and 33 weeks at lower-rate SMP.

Employees must produce a medical certificate (MAT B1) which confirms the EWC and they must
give at least 28 days notice of when maternity pay/leave is to commence.

      5.2 Maternity Pay (NHS Staff Council Terms and Conditions of Service)

Employees with 12 months continuous NHS service or more at the beginning of the 11th week
before the EWC will receive paid leave as detailed below:

NHS     Continuous    Service    at         Enhanced Maternity Pay
                   th
beginning of the 11 week before the
EWC (Qualifying Week)
52 weeks                                    8 weeks full pay (inclusive of SMP, Maternity
                                            Allowance and/or any dependants’ allowances
                                            receivable) then 18 weeks half-pay plus lower-
                                            rate SMP or Maternity Allowance receivable
                                            (providing the total doesn’t exceed full pay)
                                            then a further 13 weeks at lower-rate SMP.
By prior agreement with NES this entitlement 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. This does not apply to SMP as the payment timescale of SMP cannot be extended.

A monthly payment via the payroll, subject to Tax and National Insurance and pension
contribution deductions shall be made, as normal.

No maternity pay can be claimed whilst employees are still working.

The enhanced benefit under NHS Staff Council Terms and Conditions of Service apply only to
employees who undertake to return to work for at least 3 months after the end of the maternity
leave break.

      5.3 Maternity pay for those who have more than one employer

Should an employee also be a self employed GP or dentist or have more tha n one employer,
NES can still pay any maternity benefit which the employee may be entitled to through their
earnings with NES. In these circumstances advice should be sought from the local Human
Resources Officer in the first instance.

      5.4 Superannuation – Scottish Public Pensions Agency (SPPA)

Whilst on maternity leave superannuation contributions are based on the pensionable pay an
employee receives during the period of paid maternity leave.

If unpaid maternity leave is taken, the employee may elect to continue to contribute to the
superannuation scheme and contributions are based on the pensionable pay received
immediately before the period of unpaid maternity leave. This may be raised with the local HR
Officer, who should ensure that this informatio n is detailed on the notification of change form. It
should be noted that this may be paid on return to work.

Employees may opt out of the pension scheme whilst on maternity leave. No additional
contributions are made and there is a break in superannuable service. This means that an
employee will not accrue any service and will not be covered for the scheme benefits such as life
insurance for this period. On returning to work the scheme may be rejoined. By opting out, the
final pension is based on completed service less the period of unpaid contributions.

      5.5 Fixed-term contracts or Training Contracts

Employees subject to fixed-term or training contracts which expire after the 11th week before the
EWC, and who satisfy the conditions in „Requesting Maternity Leave’ above, shall have their
contracts extended so as to allow them to receive the 39 weeks paid maternity leave as set out
above.


6. When Maternity Leave Ends

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

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 NES. Although the employee may wish to send a letter
before returning to work to assist NES in ensuring that appropriate arrangements are made (e.g.
induction and training) for the first day back. This would be helpful for both parties, particularly if
the employee wishes to discuss and/or request a change to their working hours.

If an employee wishes to return early or extend their maternity leave, the employee must give at
least 8 weeks notice.

The period of absence due to maternity leave does not break continuity and is counted as a
period of employment.


7. Return to Work/Other Information

Employees should complete Appendix E confirming their intentions at the end of their
Maternity Leave.

       7.1 Employees not returning to work

Employees who are entitled to enhanced maternity pay and have opted at the outset not to return
to work after the birth of their baby are entitled to receive pay equivalent to Statutory Maternity
Pay (SMP) which is paid at 90% of average weekly earnings for the first six weeks of maternity
leave and for a flat rate sum for the following 33 weeks.

An employee who does not wish to return to work after maternity leave must give the appropriate
notice of termination as required by their contract of employment.

If an employee who has notified NES of their intention to return to work for NES or a diffe rent
NHS employer fails to do so within 15 months of the beginning of the employee‟s maternity leave
the employee will be liable to refund the whole of the maternity pay, less any Statutory Maternity
Pay received. In cases where NES considers that to enforce this provision would cause undue
hardship or distress, NES has the discretion to waive the right to recovery.

       7.2 Request to return on a less than full time basis / job share basis

If at the end of maternity leave the employee wishes to return to work on different hours, NES 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 NES will 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 absence.

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.

       7.3 Breastfeeding

NES is keen to encourage and support mothers returning to work who wish to continue
breastfeeding. A short statement has been written to outline the support that NES can provide for
breastfeeding and further information can be found in Appendix F and G.
      7.4 Training on return to work

Returning to work after maternity leave can seem a bit daunting and NES will endeavour to make
this process as smooth as possible. To that end when the employee returns to work the Line
Manager will hold a "return to work interview” with them. This meeting will act as a means of
updating them on changes in the workplace, work and job related issues as well as an
opportunity to identify any aspects of the job where further training may require to be undertaken.
The training required may be simple (e.g. computer courses to bring them up -to-date with
Information Technology developments). The Line Manager and employee will agree a course of
action, which will include dates by which time the training is to have been achieved and will have
taken the needs of the department into consideration. A copy of the action pla n should be sent to
the local Human Resources Officer.

      7.5 Increments

Maternity leave, whether paid or unpaid, shall count towards normal annual incremental
progression.

      7.6 Childcare Support

NES offers staff the opportunity to purchase childcare vouchers through Busy Bees. These
vouchers can be used to help pay towards the cost of childcare. Vouchers are taxed as a benefit
by the Inland Revenue. For further information on this scheme, contact Busy Bees on TEL 08000
430 860 or at www.busybees.com.


8. Monitoring, Review and Evaluation

This policy will be monitored, reviewed and evaluated every 2 years by the Partnership
Forum, taking into consideration legislative changes and developments in good practice to
ensure it meets the needs of all employees.

If the employee has any remaining queries about the contents of this procedure, please
contact the local Human Resources Officer or Human Resources Officer at Central Offices.



Ratified by NES Board on 18 November 2003
Revised document reviewed by Partnership Forum on 18 January 2007
Further revised by HR (legislation changes) February 2009
                                                                        Appendix A
GLOSSARY OF TERMS


Expected Date of Childbirth (EDC)   The date the doctor advises that the baby is
                                    due


Expected Week of Childbirth (EWC)   The Sunday beginning the week in which the
                                    doctor advises that the baby is expected to be
                                    born


Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)       A legislative right for staff to receive pay under the
                                    provisions of Employment Legislation


Average Earnings                    Calculated from the average weekly earnings in
                                    the 8 weeks prior to the Qualifying Week


Qualifying Week (QW)                14th week before the Expected Week of
- Statutory Provisions              Childbirth


Qualifying Week (QW)                11th week before the Expected Week of
- NHS Provisions                    Childbirth


Lower Earnings Limit                Level     above    which   national        insurance
                                    contributions must be made


Maternity Supporter                 Biological father, adoptive father, nomi nated
                                    carer, and same sex partner.


Maternity Buddy                     Colleague/friend from work who will keep the
                                    employee informed of what is happening in the
                                    office.

Legal Responsibility                Natural or adoptive parents or those who are
                                    appointed by the courts as a child‟s legal
                                    guardian.
                                                                                         Appendix B
 QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE


                       Does employee have 1 year’s continuous NHS service or more
                             (at the beginning of the 11th week before EWC)?


                                    Yes                          No



Employee is entitled to                                     Does employee have 26 weeks
NHS     Staff     Council     Maternity                     continuous NES service or
Provisions (Paid):                                          more by the beginning of the
                                                            14th week prior to the EWC?
 52 weeks Maternity Leave
 8 weeks at full pay,
  18 weeks at ½ pay plus SMP                   Yes                                                No
 13 weeks at lower rate SMP
 Following maternity leave (paid or        Employee entitled to:             Employee entitled to:
  unpaid), right to return to work to the   Statutory Maternity               Statutory Maternity
  under original contract and on no less    Provisions (Paid & Unpaid)        Provisions (Unpaid)
  favourable terms and conditions.
                                             52 weeks Maternity leave.        52 weeks Maternity
                                             6 weeks at 9/10ths of             leave.
                                              average earnings and 33          Maternity Allowance
                                              weeks SMP or 90% of the           (via Social Security
                                              employee’s average weekly         Benefit).
                                              earnings whichever is the        Following     OML,
                                              lesser amount.                    right to return to
                                             Following OML, right to           work to the same
                                              return to work to the same        post, on same Terms
                                              post, on same Terms &             & Conditions.
                                              Conditions.       Following
                                              AML, right to return to same
                                              or similar post.
                                                                                   Appendix C
Informal Notification of Pregnancy




............................ (Date)


For the Attention Of ...........
Human Resources Officer
NHS Education for Scotland
...............................................
...............................................
...............................................


Dear ...........................

Please accept this letter as notification that I am expecting a baby.   The expected date of
childbirth is
............................ (Date).

I shall look forward to hearing from the employer in due course with further information on the
maternity process.


Signed ……………………………………………….                         Date …………………………………


Name …………………………………………………. (Print Name)



cc Line Manager
cc Health and Safety Representative


To be submitted by employee no later than the beginning of the 15 th week before the Expected
Week of Childbirth (EWC)
                                                                                                     Appendix D
Notification of Leave Intentions (enc. MATB1)

............................ (Date)


For the Attention Of ...........
Human Resources Officer
NHS Education for Scotland
...............................................
...............................................
...............................................


Dear ...........................


Please find attached my MATB1 Certificate confirming my expected week of childbirth as being
............................ ……. (Date).

I wish to confirm that I intend to :

        take maternity leave of ........................ weeks

        leave work to have my baby

(please tick the chosen option)

I intend to commence my maternity leave on ...................................... (first date of leave)

Yours sincerely



Signed ……………………………………………….                                        Date …………………………………


Name …………………………………………………. (Print Name)

Enc (MATB1).

To be submitted by employee no later than the beginning of the 15 th week before the Expected
Week of Childbirth (EWC)
                                                                                           Appendix E
Confirmation of Return to Work Date



............................ (Date)


For the Attention Of ...........
Human Resources Officer
NHS Education for Scotland
...............................................
...............................................
...............................................


Dear ...........................

I am writing to confirm that I intend to:

        return to work on the date previously agreed

        return to work earlier/later than agreed and would appreciate it if I could now return on
         ……………

        meet with the employee to discuss the possibility of returning to work on a less than full time
         basis

        resign from my post (my resignation letter is enclosed)

(please tick chosen option)


Yours sincerely




Signed ……………………………………………….                               Date …………………………………


Name …………………………………………………. (Print Name)

Note – if requesting to return to work early/extend maternity leave, 8 weeks notice is required
                                                                                       Appendix F


Support Statement for Breastfeeding Mothers


1. Introduction
NHS Education for Scotland (NES) recognises that employees need support after the birth of
their child. Although a number of new mothers will take advantage of the maternity leave
available to them, some do opt to return to work early. NES would therefore like to offer support
to mothers who return to work whilst still breastfeeding.

The World Health Organisation and the Government recommend that children should be
breastfed for the first 6 months of their lives, although some mothe rs may opt not to breastfeed at
all others may breastfeed for a longer duration.

Principles

This guideline applies to all members of staff who work under NES contracts of employment. The
aim of the guideline is to encourage and support mothers returning to work who wish to continue
breastfeeding.

Where possible, NES will provide:
   actively support the promotion of breastfeeding amongst our staff
   support for breastfeeding
   provide information about breastfeeding to pregnant employees
   allow, wherever possible, flexibility in working hours, including regular breaks for
     employees who wish to breastfeed or express milk
   wherever possible and as necessary make available rest areas and dedicated storage
     space for the use of breastfeeding employees


2. Procedures
An employee who is returning to work after childbirth, and who will be continuing to
breastfeed, should contact their local Human Resources Officer to discuss the requirements
under this policy.

The employee will be required to confirm the request in writing to NES, see Appendix 2. NES
will write to the employee confirming receipt of the employee‟s request and what
arrangements the employee will be able to put in place for the employee‟s return to work.
NES will arrange a rest room for the employee to express milk and provide breaks‟ when the
employee can do this. NES will also try and arrange storage facilities for the employee‟s
expressed milk. If the employee requires a change in the employee‟s working pattern, we
shall also review the employee‟s working hours and where possible, accommodate flexible
working.

NES will also perform regular risk assessments, during any period in which the employee is
breastfeeding.

Employees should not be required to work shifts or to attend meetings that would involve
excessively long working days which might be detrimental to breastfeeding.
3. Resolution of Disagreements

No request for leave under this policy will be unreasonably withheld. Should a disagreement
arise, the individual has the right to raise a formal grievance. It may be preferable in such
circumstances, however, for the manager to seek advice on resolving the matter from the
local HR Officer and a Staff Side Representative.
                                                                                Appendix G




............................ (Date)


For the Attention Of ...........
Human Resources Officer
NHS Education for Scotland
...............................................
...............................................
...............................................




Dear ...........................

Please accept this letter as notification that I am breastfeeding my child and that I would
appreciate NES‟s assistance to help me to continue to do so on my return to work.

I shall notify you when I no longer require breastfeeding facilities at work.


Signed ………………………………………                            Date …………………………………


Name …………………………………………………. (Print Name)
                                                                                       Appendix H

                                  USEFUL CONTACT DETAILS

The following list of organisations may be of interest to the employee:

Association of Breastfeeding Mothers (020 7813 1481)

PO Box 207
Bridgwater
Somerset
TA7 7YT
(Information on breastfeeding)

Health Promotion Library, Scotland (08459 125442)

Health Education Board for Scotland
The Priory
Canaan Lane
Edinburgh
EH10 4SG
(Information on general health during pregnancy)

Maternity Alliance Advice Line (0207 588 8582)

45 Beech Street
London
EC2 2LX
(information on ante-natal care, health and safety at work, maternity rights and pay, returning to
work, changes to the law etc)

National Childbirth Trust Scotland (0870 444 8707) Details of local branches are available by
contacting the national number.

Alexander House
Oldham Terrace
London
W3 6NH
(A charity concerned with promoting help and support to pregnant women and their partners –
also have breastfeeding counsellors)

				
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