PRP

Our Parental Leave Policies

We want potential employees to make an informed choice about coming to work with us and with this in mind we have decided to publish our policies on parental leave.

Pregnancy and Maternity Rights

You have certain statutory rights if you are pregnant. These are addressed below.

ANTE-NATAL CARE
You are entitled to reasonable time off work with pay to attend ante-natal appointments made on the advice of a registered medical practitioner, registered midwife or registered health worker. If requested, you must provide a certificate of pregnancy and an appointment card.

MATERNITY RISK ASSESSMENT
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSWR) require employers to carry out suitable and sufficient risk assessments when considering the health and safety of all employees at work, and then to take steps to ensure that those risks are avoided. However, there are more specific regulations that need to be taken into account for new or expectant mothers. The purpose of an initial assessment is to identify:

  • the presence of any females of potential child-bearing age (these females will usually be employees but may also be visitors, contractors (e.g. cleaners) or volunteers)
  • which work activities and/or areas of the workplace may pose a risk of harm to female employees and therefore warrant a full risk assessment

These activities, and any actions taken, should be recorded.

Employers are only required to take action specifically to protect a pregnant worker when they have been advised in writing of the employee’s condition (i.e. that she is pregnant), has given birth in the last six months, or is breastfeeding.

HOLIDAYS
Holiday entitlement will be accrued throughout your maternity leave at your normal rate. If you return to work after maternity leave, your holiday entitlement will continue to accrue as normal.

Annual leave can be taken either before maternity leave starts, at the end of your maternity leave, or within the annual leave year once you have returned to work (wherever possible).

You must have prior approval and authorisation for when these holidays can be taken.

STATUTORY MATERNITY PAY (SMP)
If you stop work and meet all of the following conditions you are entitled to receive SMP. You must therefore:

  • have been continuously employed for at least 26 weeks ending with the 15th week before the Expected Week of Childbirth (EWC)
  • have average weekly earnings of not less than the figure set by the Government for the payment of National Insurance contributions
  • still be pregnant at the 11th week before the EWC or have given birth by that time
  • give at least 28 days' notice in writing of the date that you intend to stop work
  • provide medical evidence of the EWC

Where an employee has one year of service at the time of notifying of the pregnancy, they will be eligible for the following:

  • 8 weeks of full pay, followed by 6 weeks at 50%, then 6 weeks at 25% of basic salary and the remaining 19 weeks at the statutory rate as set by the Government, (or 90% of average weekly earnings if this is less than the standard rate).

Where an employee has less than one year of service at the time of notifying of the pregnancy, they will eligible for the following:

  • 6 weeks of full pay, and the remaining 33 weeks at the statutory rate as set by the Government (or 90% of average weekly earnings if this is less than the standard rate).

MATERNITY LEAVE
If you stop work no earlier than the 11th week before the EWC, and you meet the following conditions, you are entitled to 52 weeks’ maternity leave. To comply, you must notify the Company in writing as soon as possible or by the 15th week before the EWC, unless that is not reasonably practicable, of the following:

  • that you are pregnant (preferably by submitting a MAT B1 form)
  • the EWC
  • the date on which you intend your ordinary maternity leave to start, and
  • if requested, provide medical evidence of the EWC

The Company will confirm to you in writing the date upon which your 52 week maternity leave period will end.

You are legally prohibited from working during the two weeks immediately after the birth. This is known as the ’compulsory maternity leave period’ and is considered part of the maternity leave period.

If you give birth before your intended maternity leave start date, your maternity leave will start automatically on the day after the birth of the child.

During the 52 week maternity leave period all contractual benefits except for your pay will be maintained as if you were not absent.

If you wish to return to work before the end of the 52 week period of maternity leave you must give at least 8 weeks’ notice of your intended date of return.

If you decide to return to work early, and this is at the end of the first 26 week period known as ’ordinary maternity leave’, you are entitled to return to the job you were in before your absence. If you return to work either during or at the end of the second period of 26 weeks’ known as ’additional maternity leave’, you may be able to return to your original job (or another job which is suitable and appropriate).

Right to Time off to Accompany a Pregnant Woman

If you have a qualifying relationship with an expectant mother or her expected child, you may be entitled to unpaid time off to accompany her to an antenatal appointment on up to 2 occasions.

Paternity Leave/Pay

If you are eligible you may be entitled to choose to take either one week or two consecutive weeks' ordinary paternity leave (not odd days) if you:

  • have been continuously employed for at least 26 weeks by the 15th week before the Expected Week of Childbirth (EWC) or by the week in which an approved adoption agency matches you with a child
  • have given notice of your intention to take the leave in or before the 15th week before the EWC specifying the EWC, length of period you have chosen to take and the date you have chosen the leave to begin, and
  • take the leave within 56 days after the birth (or the date on which the child is placed for adoption) or if the child is born early, within a period from the actual date of birth up to 56 days after the first day of the expected week of birth

Employees who are eligible for Paternity Leave will receive full pay during this leave.

Adoption Leave/Pay

APPOINTMENTS
If you have been notified by an approved adoption agency that a child is being or is expected to be placed with you for adoption, you may take paid time off work to attend up to 5 adoption appointments, arranged/requested by the agency ahead of the placement of the child.

If you are jointly adopting a child, the primary/main adopter (i.e. the employee electing to take adoption leave) may take paid time off work to attend up to 5 appointments and the secondary adopter may take unpaid time off work to attend up to 2 appointments.

The purpose of the appointment must be to have contact with the child or for any other purpose connected to the adoption.

The maximum time off work permitted per appointment is 6.5 hours.

If requested you must provide a declaration confirming the appointment is in connection with the adoption and has been arranged/requested by the adoption agency, as well as an appointment card.

ADOPTION LEAVE
If you are adopting a child and you meet certain qualifying conditions you have the right to take 52 weeks' adoption leave.

Employees may be eligible for adoption leave if they:

  • have been notified by an approved adoption agency that they have been matched with a child and have confirmed the placement with the agency, or
  • are or expect to be the parent of a child under a parental order, or
  • are local authority parents who are prospective adopters

You must notify the Company of your intention to take adoption leave within 7 days of being notified that you have been matched with a child for adoption. Your notification should include the date on which the child is expected to be placed with you for adoption and when you wish your adoption leave to start. You may be asked to provide documentary evidence of the match from the adoption agency.

You may commence your adoption leave from the date of the placement of the child or at any time within 14 days prior to the placement. You can change the start date by giving 28 days’ notice prior to the original commencement date. Adoption leave cannot start after the date on which the child is placed with you for adoption.

The qualifying conditions are slightly different if you are adopting a child from abroad. If you are considering adopting a child from abroad, you can seek further information from HR.
During the 52 week adoption leave period all contractual benefits except for your pay will be maintained as if you were not absent.

If you wish to return to work before the end of the 52 week period of adoption leave you must give at least 8 weeks’ notice of your intended date of return.

If you decide to return to work early and this is at the end of the first 26 week period known as “ordinary adoption leave” you are entitled to return to the job you were in before your absence. If you return to work either during or at the end of the second period of 26 weeks known as ’additional adoption leave’, you may be able to return to your original job (or another job which is suitable and appropriate).

You may also be entitled to shared parental leave and pay for a child placed for adoption on or after the 5th April 2015.

STATUTORY ADOPTION PAY

Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) is payable for up to 39 weeks if you meet the qualifying criteria.

Where an employee who is the primary adopter has one year of service at the time of notifying of the pregnancy, they will be eligible for the following:

  • 8 weeks of full pay, followed by 6 weeks at 50%, then 6 weeks at 25% of basic salary and the remaining 19 weeks at the statutory rate as set by the Government, (or 90% of average weekly earnings if this is less than the standard rate).

Where an employee who is the primary adopter has less than one year of service at the time of notifying of the pregnancy, they will eligible for the following:

  • 6 weeks of full pay, and the remaining 33 weeks at the statutory rate as set by the Government (or 90% of average weekly earnings if this is less than the standard rate).

Shared Parental Leave/Pay

You and your spouse/partner/child’s other parent may be eligible to share up to 50 weeks’ shared parental leave (SPL) provided you both meet certain eligibility criteria.
SPL allows working parents to take up to 50 weeks leave between them in order to care for their child. They may take leave at the same or different times, once the mother/primary adopter has notified his/her employer of his/her intention to end his/her maternity/adoption leave period.

Leave can be taken in a continuous block or over a number of discontinuous periods.

You may also be eligible to receive shared parental pay for the remainder of the maternity/adoption pay period to a maximum of 37 weeks provided you meet the qualifying criteria. Employees can benefit from our enhanced Company Maternity and Adoption Pay by receiving the remainder of the enhanced payments depending on when Shared Parental Leave commences.

Keeping in Touch Days

During maternity leave, adoption leave and shared parental leave, the Company may offer you the opportunity of taking ‘Keeping in Touch Days’; up to 10 days for maternity and adoption leave and up to 20 days for shared parental leave (referred to as ‘shared parental leave in touch’ or SPLIT days). These are days when you may work for the Company without bringing your maternity leave, adoption leave or shared parental leave to an end. Work can be any work under your contract of employment and may include any training or activity undertaken with the purpose of keeping in touch in the workplace. Any payment for these days will depend on the type of work, training or activity and will be agreed between you and the Company.

Parental Leave/Pay

If you are the parent/adoptive parent of a child or have or expect to have parental responsibility for a child, provided you have 1 year’s continuous service with the Company, you are entitled to take up to 18 weeks unpaid ordinary parental leave for the purpose of caring for a child, up to the child’s 18th birthday.
Leave must be taken in a minimum of 1 week blocks (except for where a child is disabled, then leave may be taken as single days or multiples of 1 day) and is limited to a maximum of 4 weeks in any year for each child.

At least 21 days’ notice must be provided and leave may be postponed apart from leave taken immediately after the birth or adoption, depending on the needs of the Company.