Maternity leave FAQs
Where can staff find maternity leave and pay entitlement information?
The Trust’s maternity leave procedure outlines the full maternity leave eligibility criteria and pay entitlements.
A member of staff would like to notify their manager that they are pregnant and discuss maternity leave arrangements. What do they need to do?
The member of staff should meet with their line manager at the earliest opportunity to notify them of their pregnancy.
The member of staff should start discussions regarding their maternity entitlements and leave arrangements at the earliest opportunity.
When does a member of staff have to let their manager know they are pregnant?
To access maternity leave and pay, the member of staff must inform their manager that they are pregnant and the expected date of birth by at least 15 weeks before the baby is due.
The member of staff must provide an MATB1 form from the midwife or GP that contains the expected date of birth.
A member of staff wishes to change the start date of their maternity leave. Can this be done?
Yes, they will need to inform their manager in writing 28 days before the original date or 28 days before the proposed new start date.
Maternity leave cannot start any earlier than eleven weeks before the baby is due.
How much notice should the member of staff give of their intention to return to work?
If a member of staff intends to return before the end of their maternity leave they must give eight weeks’ notice.
member of staffs can change their mind more than once about a return date. However, staff must provide at least eight weeks' notice before whichever is earlier, the date on which they now intend to return or the original return date.
What documents need to be completed when applying for maternity leave and pay?
Staff must notify their line manager in writing, using the maternity leave application form, at least 15 weeks before the baby is due.
The maternity leave application must be accompanied by a MATB1 form which the member of staff will receive from their midwife.
What do managers need to do with a maternity leave application and MATB1 form?
After confirming maternity leave arrangements with the member of staff, managers must confirm the discussions in writing using the maternity leave arrangement confirmation letter.
A copy of the maternity leave application, MATB1 and letter from the manager must be retained on the member of staff’s personal file.
The original documents must be submitted to Payroll by completing the HR2a form (QEHB) or ESR2 form (all other sites).
Payroll documents must be submitted prior to maternity leave commencing and not after the maternity leave has begun as this may cause pay issues.
Who is responsible for completing the pregnancy risk assessment?
It is the manager's responsibility to undertake the risk assessment at the earliest opportunity. If a manager forgets to do this, the member of staff can request for the risk assessment to be completed.
Risk assessments can be undertaken as and when needed as the member of staff progresses through their pregnancy.
Referrals to Occupational Health may also be necessary if the member of staff is required to take time off work due to ill health or if they require workplace adjustments due to their pregnancy.
Do staff continue to accrue leave entitlement during maternity leave?
Yes, the staff will continue to accrue annual and public holiday entitlement during maternity leave.
It is good practice for the member of staff and manager to discuss leave arrangements prior to the commencement of maternity leave or when discussing return to work arrangements eight weeks prior to the end of the maternity leave period.
Are member of staffs entitled to time off to attend antenatal clinic appointments?
Yes, all pregnant staff are entitled to time off to attend an appointment for antenatal care during normal, working hours.
Can a member of staff work during maternity leave?
The member of staff must not take up employment at any time during the maternity leave period (this includes the unpaid part of the maternity leave).
Staff may choose to use the ten keeping in touch (KIT) days as re-training or assisting them in returning back to work. Use of KIT days must be discussed and agreed in advance with their manager.
A member of staff wants to use one of their ten keeping in touch (KIT) days. How will payment be made?
Staff will be paid at their normal full pay for each KIT day and managers must inform Payroll in a timely fashion.
An employee on maternity leave has changed their mind and no longer wants to come back to work after their maternity leave. What happens next?
It is important to know that pregnant staff do not have to return to work at the end of their leave should they choose not to. Employees do not have to pay back their statutory maternity pay if they do not return to work.
To retain any enhanced maternity payments staff may have received under the special NHS scheme, they must return to work for three months to an NHS employer (not necessarily this Trust. If they fail to do this, they must repay all enhanced maternity payments (minus the statutory maternity pay).
Staff must also hand in their notice in writing, in the usual way.
A member of staff wishes to come back to work part time instead of full time. What do they need to do?
The member of staff must submit a flexible working request at the earliest opportunity to their line manager in writing in accordance with the Trust’s flexible working procedure.
Managers will then need to respond to the request subject to service requirements.
The partner of a pregnant member of staff called to say that, tragically, the baby was stillborn. What should the manager do?
If the baby was born after the 24th week of pregnancy, staff are entitled to the same amount of maternity pay and leave as previously advised.
If this occurred before the planned maternity leave start date please contact the HR First Contact team.
If it has happened before the 24th week of pregnancy, the normal arrangements for sick leave and/or bereavement leave apply. It is also advisable to inform staff of the support services available should they wish to access them.
Should managers contact the employee and keep in touch whilst they are on maternity leave?
Managers and member of staffs should agree a contact arrangement during maternity leave before the leave commences.
The agreement should include the frequency of contact and what the purpose of the contact arrangement will be.
It is a legal requirement for employers to notify staff on maternity leave, regarding any changes that will affect the employees terms and conditions of employment (e.g. restructure or changes to their role).
Keeping in contact is also good practice and encourages positive working relationships if the member of staff is kept informed of other changes, Trustwide as well as local changes.
A member of staff was due to return from maternity leave and has rung in sick on their first day. What should the manager do?
This would be treated as any other period of sickness. If the sickness absence lasts longer than seven days, please inform the member of staff they will need to provide a medical certificate covering the eighth day (and every day after that) of sickness.
A return to work interview must be completed as soon as possible following the return from sickness to confirm what measures (if any) are required to support the member of staff.