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Guidance

What is Maternity Leave? 
Maternity Leave is a period of absence from work granted to a mother before and after the birth of her child.

Am I entitled to Maternity Leave? 
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:

• You have twelve months continuous service with one or more NHS employers at the beginning of the 11th week before the expected week of childbirth
• You notify your employer in writing 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):
  - of your intention to take maternity leave
  - of the date you wish to start your maternity leave 
  -  that you intend to return to work with the same employer for a minimum period of 3 months after your maternity leave has ended
  -  provide a MATB1 form from your midwife or GP giving the expected date of childbirth

How much time off am I entitled to?
All employees will have the right to take 52 weeks of maternity leave. Please refer to the FAQ guide for details on pay entitlement related to length of service.

How do I apply for Maternity Leave? 
You must complete a Maternity Application Form (hyperlink) and submit this to your line manager along with your original MATB1 form.

The Maternity Application Form and MATB1 form should be submitted to your line manager before the end of the 15th week before the expected date of childbirth.

Your paperwork will then be processed by HR and Payroll and you will receive a letter confirming the details of your requested maternity leave and pay.

What are keeping in touch days?
Keeping in touch (KIT) days are intended to facilitate a smooth return to work for women 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 KIT days will not extend the maternity leave period and will be paid at the employee’s basic daily rate.

It is important that the employer and employee have early discussion to plan and make arrangements for KIT days before the employee’s maternity leave takes place.

Return to Work Arrangements
Employees should be provided with information and support regarding return to work arrangements. These include:
• The right to return to their job under the original contract on no less favourable conditions;

• The right to request a return to work on flexible working arrangements;

• The right to parental leave; and

• Provision of support for mothers who wish to breastfeed after they return to work.

Keeping records up to date
We need to know when you’re at work and when you have any type of time off. This is important to make sure we pay you correctly too.

All managers should ensure that SSTS is updated correctly and payroll is informed, where SSTS is not available.

The HR Support and Advice Unit can be contacted on 0141 278 2700 if you have any further questions or need advice on this policy area.