Frequently Asked Questions - Maternity Policy (Employee)

Below is a list of frequently asked questions. For more detailed information and a full explanation please read the Maternity Policy.

How much maternity leave am I entitled to?

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.

How much of my maternity leave is paid?

Entitlement to maternity pay differs depending on your length of service. For the purposes of calculating maternity pay entitlement, your length of service is measured at the end of the ‘Qualifying Week’, which is the 15th week before your expected week of childbirth.

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

When and how should I let the University know that I am expecting a baby?

It would be helpful if you are able to inform your manager of your pregnancy as early as possible. This helps the University to ensure you are fully supported in terms of your health, safety and wellbeing. 

It is acknowledged that employees may not always be comfortable providing early notification of their pregnancy, however in all cases the formal request for maternity leave (and submission of the Maternity Certificate (MATB1)) must be completed by the end of the Qualifying Week (i.e. the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth). 

I don’t want my line manager to know I am expecting a baby at the moment but I have lots of questions and would like to talk to someone, who can I speak to?

You are able to speak in confidence to a member of your local HR Team.

What happens once I've told my line manager I’m pregnant?

Your manager should work with you to discuss  the key considerations in planning for your maternity leave. The Checklist - Planning for Maternity Leave can be used by you both to guide any discussion and ensure that the important areas are covered. A Risk Assessment should also be carried out to ensure that you are safe at work during your pregnancy.

What is the earliest date or the latest date I can start my maternity leave?

You can start you maternity leave up to 11 weeks before the expected week of childbirth or on the actual date of birth at the latest.

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

You should inform your manager immediately and a risk assessment should be carried out. If an assessment has already been carried out, it should be reviewed. The University’s Safety and Environmental Protection Service (SEPS) can offer further advice and support. It may be appropriate for adjustments to be made to your role, or working environment or for alternative duties to be explored for the duration of your pregnancy. If this is the case it will always be done in full consultation with you, taking expert advice into account to ensure your safety at work.

My baby is due in eight weeks and my Doctor has signed me off work for six weeks with a pregnancy-related illness.

If you are off sick for a maternity related reason within four weeks of your due date then your maternity leave (and any maternity pay) must start automatically.

What are KIT days?

KIT stands for ‘keeping in touch’. KIT days are a way of attending work during your maternity leave and may be used to keep up-to-speed with developments, to attend a training event or meeting, or any other reason you believe to be beneficial. Further details can be found in the Keeping in Touch During Maternity Leave section of the Maternity Policy.

Do I have to let the University know when I want to come back?

The default expectation is that an employee will take the full 52 weeks of maternity leave. Should you wish to return sooner, you should provide notice in writing to your line manager at least 8 weeks prior to the date you wish to return on.