Sample Maternity Policy Maternity Still Birth

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                                Sample Policy / Procedure

This sample policy should be read in conjunction with the associated
Guidance notes in order to help ensure that you produce a policy and
procedures that are suitable for your own organisation.

Note that this policy is based on statutory minimum entitlements. The
associated Guidance notes give an example of an enhanced maternity pay
scheme which could be incorporated into this policy.

Every care has been taken to ensure the information given is accurate and
based on current law and best practice. Each of the Policies and Guidance
notes in the Community Toolkit download file library are intended for guidance
only and are not a substitute for professional advice. The author, Glasgow
Council for the Voluntary Sector, Voluntary Action Orkney, Scottish Council for
Voluntary Organisations, the Big Lottery Fund or Skye and Lochalsh Council
for Voluntary Organisations cannot accept any claims arising from error or

1      Introduction
This document provides the framework and formal guidelines within which
managers and staff at the organisation will address maternity leave and
maternity pay. The policy applies to all staff and a copy will be supplied to
existing employees and to new staff on commencement.

This document does not form part of a contract of employment and may    be
changed from time to time in line with current best practice and statutory
requirements, and to ensure that business needs are met. Staff will be
consulted and advised of any changes as far in advance as possible of the
change being made, unless the change is required by statute.

2      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 Line 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.

3     Risk Assessment
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
they have been informed that there are any.

The organisation has a responsibility to identify hazards in the workplaces 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 bearing age, not just

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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 ensure that an individual risk assessment for that
employee is performed 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, the organisation 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 a nd 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.

4      Maternity Leave
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
the organisation. 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 immediately following the birth. This is known as
compulsory maternity leave.

There are two phases of Maternity leave: Ordinary Maternity Leave (OML)
and Additional Maternity Leave (AML).

           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.

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. All contractual terms continue to apply throughout OML except for

            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. All contractual terms continue to apply throughout AML except for

5      Giving Notice of Maternity Leave

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To be entitled to Statutory Maternity Leave, you must

       tell the employer that you are pregnant
       inform the employer of your EWC (expected week of childbirth)
       give notice to the employer of when you intend to commence your
        maternity leave — this must be given by the end of the 15th week
        before the EWC if this is reasonably practicable.

Employees should use the form provided at Appendix A.

Employees must provide medical evidence of their EWC in the form of a
maternity certificate. This certificate is the MAT B1 form and is available from
the employee’s doctor or midwife after the 20th week of pregnancy. It must be
forwarded to the employer as soon as possible, but no later than three weeks
after the start of the Maternity Pay Period. No Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)
will be payable without this certificate.

Where the MAT B1 is provided late, the employer or manager will decide
whether or not the employee could have provided it earlier and will advise her
of his or her decision.

6      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 Line manager at least 28 days
beforehand (or, if this is not possible, as soon as is reasonably practicable

7     Confirming Maternity Leave and Pay
Following receipt of notice from the employee of their intention to take
maternity leave, the Line manager should confirm in writing, within 28 days:

        (a)     The employee’s statutory entitlements;

        (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;

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

        (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.

A record of the employee’s Maternity Leave should be kept by completing the
‘Maternity Leave Recording Form’ (Appendix B) written confirmation should be
given in accordance with Appendix C.

8     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

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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.

9     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
Line 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 Chief Executive 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 time worked. If employees
choose to work for less than a day, it will count as one KIT day.

10   Statutory Maternity Pay - Eligibility
An employee working full-time or part-time will be entitled to Statutory
Maternity Pay (SMP) if she:

       (a)    Has at least 26 weeks continuous service with the organisation by
              the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth.

       (b)    Has average earnings at least equal to the lower earnings limit for
              National Insurance contributions

       (c)    Notifies the line manager in writing by completing ‘Notification of
              Intention to take Maternity Leave Form’ (attached as Appendix B)
              before the end of the 15 th 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) and provides a MATB1 form from her midwife or GP giving
                    the expected date of childbirth.

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         (d) is still pregnant 11 weeks before the start of the expected week of
             childbirth (or has already given birth);

         (e) provides a MAT B1 form stating her expected week of childbirth;

          gives the organisation proper notification of her pregnancy in
          accordance with the rules set out above.
SMP is payable for up to 39 weeks and comprises:

        6 weeks at 90% of average weekly earnings
        33 weeks at a flat rate set by the Government (or 90% of average
         weekly earnings if this is less than the flat rate).

Payment of SMP is made in the same wa y and at the same frequency as
normal wages or salary and NI and PAYE deductions are made.

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 local Job Centre Plus or social security office along with their
Certificate of Expected Date of Confinement Form MATB1, in order to claim
state Maternity Allowance.

11    Returning to Work
An employee who intends to return to work at the end of her full maternity
leave will not be required to gi ve 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. In the event that her post is made
redundant, suitable alternative employment will be offered, if available.

12     Returning on Flexible Working Arrangements
If at the end of maternity leave the employee wishes to return to work on
different hours the employer has a duty to facilitate this wherever possible,
with the employee returning to work on different hours in the same job. The
woman should make a formal Flexible Working request.

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.

13     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.

14       Supplementary Notes

(a) 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

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leave will normally commence the day after the first day of pregnancy related
illness. Odd days of pregnancy related illness during this period may be
disregarded, at the discretion of the employer, if the employee wishes to
continue working till the maternity leave start date previously notified to the

Absence prior to the last 4 weeks before the expected week of childbirth,
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.

(b) Annual Leave
Annual leave will continue to accrue during paid or unpaid maternity leave,
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
this way, or carried over, should be discussed and agreed between the
employee and the line manager.

(c) Public Holidays
Public holidays will continue to accrue during your maternity leave.

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

(e) 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 unpaid leave 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 grant 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 the line manager’s agreement.

(f)   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.

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

(h)   Pre-term Birth

        (i)     If the baby is born after the Maternity Pay period has
                started SMP will not be affected and will be paid for the full

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                payment period. The employee will get SMP just as if the
                baby had been born when it was due.

        (ii)    If the baby is born before the MPP has started but after the
                qualifying week the employee must, if reasonably practicable,
                inform the employer of the birth within 3 weeks. She will then
                receive the SMP due but the pay period will now start on
                the day following the day that the baby is born.

        (iii)   If the baby is born before or during the qualifying week, then
                within 3 weeks of the birth, the employee must give written
                evidence that she was away from work because of the baby’s
                birth – the baby’s birth certificate will do. She must also still
                provide the employer with medical evidence of the date the
                baby was due to be born. Evidence of both the expected date
                and the actual date of birth can be provided together on part B of
                the maternity certificate (form MATB1) issued by the doctor or
                midwife. The employee must do this within 3 weeks of the
                baby’s birth. The employer may agree to extend this time limit
                to 13 weeks (but no longer) if they feel you had good reason for

(i)    Still Birth/ Death of a Newborn Child
In the event of a still birth in or after the 24th week of pregnancy the employee
shall be entitled to maternity leave and pay entitlements as if her baby had
been alive.
In the event that a child is born alive, but dies shortly after birth, the employee
shall be entitled to full maternity leave and SMP.

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.

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

(k) Breastfeeding
The Line manager is required to arrange that a risk assessment is undertaken
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 milk
       (c)      An appropriate refrigerator in which to store milk, if possible.

Requests for flexible working arrangements to support breastfeeding women
at work will be considered.

(l)  Redundancy
An employee on Maternity Leave will be given priority for alternative
employment, if any is available, should her post become redundant during her

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(m) 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 thus subjected 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

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: Notification of Intention to Take Maternity Leave

Appendix B: Line managers Maternity Leave Recording Form

Appendix C: Letter from manager confirming Maternity Leave & Pay


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                                                                    Appendix A

                Notification of Intention to Take Maternity Leave


Employee Name



Contracted Hours:

Expected Date of                Proposed Maternity Start   Do you intend to
Childbirth                      Date                       return to work?

Employee’s Signature


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

The 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 the Line manager in writing
28 days before the change date.

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 Finance Worker/ Payroll no later than 4 weeks before the Maternity
Leave Start Date. A copy should be held on the employee’s personal

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                                                                  Appendix B
                          Maternity Leave Recording Form

Employee Name
Line manager            Signature

Annual Leave due including accrued Maternity
Annual Leave and Public Holidays taken before
Maternity Leave
Annual Leave carried over until return from
Maternity Leave
Maternity Leave    Start Date:

Date the employee has to return to work by:
What Maternity Pay is the employee entitled to:
Date entitlement letter sent to employee:

Has the employee requested parental leave to be If Y please state how long
joined to the Maternity Leave? Yes/No
Has the parental 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 Maternity
Total annual leave due this financial year
Has employee requested change in working           if yes please specify
Can this request be granted Yes/No                 If no, please state


Please remember that if parental leave is to be taken the procedure laid
out in    the  Parental     Leave     Policy    should    be   followed.

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                                                              Appendix C
              Sample Letter – Confirming Maternity Leave & Pay

Maternity Leave
Thank you for submitting the Notification of Intention to take Maternity Leave
form and your Maternity Certificate (Form MAT B1), received on [date]

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 ………….. [date]... 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 ……………….. [date]…... 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.

As you have completed 26 weeks service at the 15th week before your baby is
due, earn as much as the lower earnings limit for paying National Insurance,
we can confirm that you will be eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay.

For the first 6 weeks you will receive 90% of normal pay and for the following
33 weeks you will receive Statutory Maternity Pay at the flat rate. At the
conclusion of this 39 week period you will not receive any further pay until you
resume work.

I note the guidance that you have received 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

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 your
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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