Maternity Leave – Entitlement of Leave & Pay?
Statutory Maternity Leave (SML) entitlement is 52 weeks. This is made up of Ordinary Maternity Leave- first 26 weeks and Additional Maternity Leave- last 26 weeks.
You do not have to take the full 52 weeks, but you must take 2 weeks’ leave after your baby is born.
SML entitlement is available from first day of employment- it does not matter how long you’ve been with your employer, how many hours you work or how much you get paid. You will qualify for SML if you are an employee and give your employer appropriate notice.
You must tell your employer you are pregnant at least 15 weeks before your baby is due and when you want to start maternity leave. Your employer may request this in writing. Your employer must write to you within 28 days confirming your start and end dates.
Your employer might ask to see a medical certificate or 'MAT B1' form. You can get this from your doctor or midwife once you're 20 weeks' pregnant.
During SML you may also be eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP). If you’re legally classed as an employee, you get SMP when both apply;
1.You have been working continuously for 26 weeks for the same employer before your ‘qualifying week
2.You earn at least £123/week on average for 8 weeks before your ‘qualifying week’
Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) is paid for up to 39 weeks. You get 90% of your average weekly earnings (before tax) for the first 6 weeks then £172.48 or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower) for the next 33 weeks.
SMP is paid in the same way as your salary is paid. Tax and National Insurance will be deducted. Your employer can claim your SMP back from HMRC.
If you are not eligible for SMP you may be able to get Maternity Allowance.
Maternity Allowance is payable to self-employed women if you have been self-employed for at least 26 weeks in the 66 weeks before your baby is due. You must be registered as self-employed with HMRC.
Many companies offer better than the legal minimum. Details of any enhanced maternity package will be stated in your contract and through your HR department.
Maternity pay questions - Maternity Action
Maternity pay and leave: Overview - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Time off work for parents | Acas
Maternity Leave: What are my rights?
You are entitled to all conditions of your contract when on maternity leave. The employment terms and conditions are protected and employees are entitled to any pay rises and improvements in terms and conditions given during the leave.
Employment benefits stated in your contract such as a company car, mobile phone, professional or club memberships, health and other insurance should continue as normal during maternity leave. You should be able to keep a company car or mobile phone if provided for personal use by your company throughout the time you are off. Also, participation in share schemes, professional subscriptions, free or subsidised travel, and subsidised childcare should continue.
During Ordinary Maternity Leave (OML) your employer must continue to pay full pension contributions as though you were working normally, whether or not you plan to return to work afterwards. Pension contributions usually stop if a period of leave is unpaid, unless your contract says otherwise. For example, during unpaid periods of maternity leave or parental leave.. Your employer’s contributions must be based on your normal pay.
WF maternity calendar 2019-2020 - A4 web version.pdf (workingfamilies.org.uk)
Employee rights when on leave - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Checking your pregnancy and maternity rights: Your maternity leave, pay and other rights - Acas
Maternity leave: Holiday
You still accrue your usual holiday entitlement while you're on maternity leave. This includes bank holidays. You cannot take holiday or get holiday pay while on maternity leave but you can arrange with your employer for you to take it before or after maternity leave.
Talk with your employer to agree how and when to take your holiday entitlement.
How much holiday you should get: Checking holiday entitlement - Acas
Maternity Leave- Student Loan Repayments?
Whether or not you pay your student loan while on maternity leave depends on your maternity package.
If your employer offers enhanced maternity you need to check what that amount will be and whether its above the student loan minimum repayment threshold. If you are on SMP only you won’t need to make any repayments as you will be below the threshold.
You don’t need to do any yourself to stop or restart the repayments- it will be done automatically as your earning change each month. It is important to note interest will still accrue on student loan repayments during any periods of non-payment.
Student Loans Company - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Maternity Leave- Contact with Work?
Your employer has the right to a reasonable amount of contact with you during your maternity leave. Before you go on maternity leave, your employer or manager should have a meeting with you to talk about how you'd like to stay in touch.
By law, while you're on maternity leave your employer must tell you if jobs are being advertised, of any promotion opportunities and if they're planning redundancies or reorganisation.
You can also agree with them what else you'd like to hear about, for example staff bulletins or social events, how you'd like to communicate, for example by email/call/text or keeping in touch (KIT) days and how often you'd like to be in touch.
Maternity Leave- KIT days?
Employees can work up to 10 days during their maternity, adoption or additional paternity leave. These days are called ‘keeping in touch’ (KIT) days.
KIT days are optional - both the employee and employer need to agree to them.
It's up to you to agree with your employer: if you want to work KIT days, how many days you want (upto maximum of 10), what type of work you'll do on the days and how much you'll be paid for the work (this cannot be below the National Minimum Wage)
It still counts as a full KIT day even if you only work part of it, for example a half day. If you work more than 10 KIT days, your maternity leave and pay automatically end by law.
Maternity Leave and CPD requirements?
RCVS annual CPD requirements remain at 35 hours for VS and 15 hours for VN, regardless of whether they are working full or part-time. If you’re absent from work and unable to meet the minimum CPD requirements you can apply to pause your CPD for up to 6 months. This means you only have to fulfil half of the annual CPD requirement if you take the full 6 month pause.
You can apply to pause your CPD through the online RCVS CPD recording platform, 1CPD. There are no restrictions on how many times you can apply to pause your CPD.
CPD Flowchart - Professionals (rcvs.org.uk)
Remember KIT days count towards CPD allocation. Anything that is relevant to you, as a veterinary professional, can be counted as CPD- it does not have to be clinically related or formal course attendance.
It is possible to change RCVS registration category during maternity leave to ‘non practising’ whilst remaining on the RCVS register. Members should Members are reminded that they are required to notify the RCVS within 28 days of any amendments to their Register entry (ie from UK practicing to Non-Practicing) and ensure you are reinstated to ‘UK practicing’ category before return to any type of veterinary work or doing any KIT days. Employers who pay RCVS registration as a part of your employment contract should continue to do so during maternity leave.
Registration categories - Professionals (rcvs.org.uk)
Change of category fees - Professionals (rcvs.org.uk)