Maternity Leave (Employee) - Frequently Asked Questions

When can I start my Maternity Leave?

Last updated: Wed May 4 14:38


Maternity leave may start at any time from the 11th week before the expected week of childbirth up to the actual date of birth (subject to compliance with the notification procedures).

Can I get paid time off to go to ante natal appointments?

Last updated: Wed May 4 14:40


A pregnant employee can take reasonable paid time off to attend anti-natal appointments regardless of their length of employment with the University. This can cover, for example, pregnancy related medical appointments or parenting classes made on the advice of a Medical Practitioner, Health Visitor or Midwife. Employees may be requested to provide evidence of appointments to their line manager and, if possible, appointments should be made at times which cause minimal disruption to the working day. Partners of pregnant women also have rights to ante-natal care as detailed in Section 10 - Partners Rights During Pregnancy/Maternity Leave of the Maternity Policy.

How do I request a Keeping In Touch (KIT) day?

Last updated: Wed May 4 14:38

When a member of staff wants to work a Keeping In Touch (KIT) day, this should be agreed with the relevant line manager and the manager should complete a manager request (available within the HR/Payroll portal). 

Am I entitled to return to the same job following a period of Maternity Leave?

Last updated: Wed May 4 14:38


An employee returning to work from a period of Ordinary Maternity Leave (OML) will generally return to the job in which they were employed prior to the leave, on the terms and conditions that would have applied had they not been absent. Where an employee is returning from a period of Additional Maternity Leave (AML), they are entitled to return either to the same job, or if this is not reasonably practicable (for example due to exceptional circumstances such as a unit restructure), to an equivalent job which would be considered suitable alternative work, on terms and conditions no less favourable than would have applied if the they had not been absent.

How much maternity pay will I get?

Last updated: Wed May 4 14:40


The University pays an enhanced rate of maternity pay (equivalent to full pay) from the first day of employment (i.e. there is no service requirement). You will have the choice between two options (A or B). Option A provides 9 weeks at full pay followed by 18 weeks at half pay (plus any entitlement to Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) or Maternity Allowance (MA)) then 12 weeks at the appropriate rate of SMP or MA (if you are eligible for it as per the criteria set by the Government). The final 13 weeks of maternity leave would then be unpaid. Option B provides 18 weeks at full pay followed by 21 weeks at SMP or MA (if eligible). The final 13 weeks of Option B are also unpaid.

Please see the Maternity Leave & Pay Entitlement section of the 
Maternity Policy for full details.

How many Keeping In Touch (KIT) days can I do?

Last updated: Wed May 4 14:38


Employees may work up to a maximum of 10 days (as Keeping In Touch days) during their maternity leave period.

Do I qualify for Maternity Leave?

Last updated: Wed May 4 14:40


The provisions of the University's Maternity Policy apply to all employees from day one.

What happens if I want to return from my Maternity Leave early?

Last updated: Wed May 4 14:40


If an employee intends to return to work before the end of their full maternity leave period (i.e. 52 weeks), or before a date they had previously agreed, they must give 8 weeks’ written notice of the new date on which they intend to return to their line manager (with a copy to the relevant HR Team)

Do I receive double pay or leave if I have twins?

Last updated: Wed May 4 14:40


Maternity leave and/or pay and leave is the same for both single and multiple births.

What happens if I don't want to return to work after Maternity Leave?

Last updated: Wed May 4 14:38


If an employee does not intend to return to work following a period of maternity leave they should, as early as possible, inform their line manager of their intentions in the first instance. In any case they are required to give notice as set out in their terms and conditions of employment.

How much maternity leave am I entitled to?

Last updated: Wed May 4 14:40


All staff are entitled to up to 52 weeks maternity leave. You must take a minimum of 2 weeks maternity leave immediately after the baby is born.

The University pays an enhanced rate of maternity pay (equivalent to full pay) from the first day of employment (i.e. there is no service requirement). You will have the choice between two options (A or B). Option A provides 9 weeks at full pay followed by 18 weeks at half pay (plus any entitlement to Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) or Maternity Allowance (MA)) then 12 weeks at the appropriate rate of SMP or MA (if you are eligible for it as per the criteria set by the Government). The final 13 weeks of maternity leave would then be unpaid. Option B provides 18 weeks at full pay followed by 21 weeks at SMP or MA (if eligible). The final 13 weeks of Option B are also unpaid.

Please see the Maternity Leave & Pay Entitlement section of the 
Maternity Policy for full details.

Will I still accrue holidays whilst I am on maternity leave?

Last updated: Wed May 4 14:39


Annual leave and public holidays/'other days' entitlements will continue to accrue whilst you are on maternity leave. Your accrued annual leave does not automatically get added/carry over to your balance, therefore please contact your College/US HR Team to recalculate your annual leave balance.

I think my job may be hazardous to my baby, who can I discuss this with?

Last updated: Wed May 4 14:38


Having been notified of the pregnancy, the line manager will ensure that a risk assessment of the employee’s workplace is carried out as soon as possible. To discuss the outcome of this further and any potential hazards that exist please liaise with your Departmental Safety Advisor, Safety and Enviromental Protectoion Services and your local HR contacts.

If I'm off sick because of my pregnancy, will my maternity leave start early?

Last updated: Wed May 4 14:40


Absence during pregnancy will typically be managed in the normal way, however further supports may be considered or additional advice sought as appropriate. If however a pregnancy-related absence occurs during the four week period prior to the week in which your due date falls then your maternity leave will commence automatically regardless of when it was originally due to commence.

Where do I send my MATB1 form?

Last updated: Wed May 4 14:38


You should send your MATB1 form to your local HR team as soon as possible (and no later than the 15th week before your expected week of childbirth). The HR Team will then write to you to confirm leave and pay arrangements as appropriate.

What are (Keeping in Touch) KIT days?

Last updated: Wed May 4 14:40


On agreement with their line manager, employees may work up to a maximum of 10 days during their maternity leave period. These days are known as ‘keeping in touch’ (KIT) days. These days may be taken at any stage during the maternity leave, except within the first 2 weeks after the baby is born. Keeping in touch days should be mutually agreed – i.e. the employee is not required to undertake such days and the University is not obliged to agree to them. Employees will receive the normal hourly/salary rate for the hours worked on such days; inclusive of any maternity pay they are currently receiving (i.e. maternity pay will be ‘topped up’ by salary to the level of normal pay).

Do I still get public holidays when I'm off on Maternity Leave?

Last updated: Wed May 4 14:40


Public holidays/other days continue to accrue during any period of maternity leave.

How do I book Maternity Leave?

Last updated: Wed May 4 14:40


Requests for Maternity Leave should be made through the Employee Self Service Portal (via the 'Book Time Off' button). You will be able to choose between Option A or Option B with regards to how you wish to receive your Maternity Pay, as detailed in the Maternity Policy and will also be asked to specify the date on which your period of leave is expected to begin. Early notification is helpful wherever possible but in any case, the formal request for maternity leave should be submitted no later than the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth.

When do I need to let my manager know I'm pregnant?

Last updated: Wed May 4 14:38


To ensure that the University can provide full support with regards to health, safety and wellbeing, employees should notify their line manager of their pregnancy as early as possible. This may just be informally in the first instance. In any case, the Maternity Certificate (MATB1 form) should be forwarded to the relevant College/University Services HR team no later than the end of the qualifying week (i.e. the 15th week before the estimated week of childbirth).