Maternity Policy

Maternity Policy


1. Purpose

This policy is intended to provide guidance on statutory entitlements and the College’s position in respect of maternity leave and pay.

Notification requirements

2. Notification
Staff should inform the College as soon as possible if they are pregnant. This must be done before the end of the 15th week before the Expected Week of Childbirth (EWC), or as soon as reasonably practicable afterwards. Staff will also need to inform the College when they want to start their maternity leave. The College may require the staff member to provide a MATB1 medical certificate. This is a form from the government providing medical evidence of pregnancy and the baby’s due date. It is filled in by a midwife and issued after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

3. Information from the College
Following receipt of the staff member’s notification, the College will write to the staff member within 28 days confirming the last date at which the maternity leave will end.

Health and safety

4. The College’s duty
The College has a general duty to take care of the health and safety of all employees. The College is also required to carry out a risk assessment of the workplace risks to pregnant women, those who have given birth within the last six months and those who are still breastfeeding.

5. Information
The College will provide information regarding any risks identified in the risk assessment and any preventative and protective measures taken or required.

Maternity leave

6. Informal discussion
Before the maternity leave commences, the College will discuss with the staff member arrangements for covering their work and the opportunities for that staff member to remain in contact, should they wish to do so during their leave. Unless the staff member requests otherwise, they will remain on circulation lists for internal news, job vacancies, training and work-related social events.

7. Types of leave
The maternity leave is split into two separate periods:

7.1. Ordinary Maternity Leave (OML) – up to 26 weeks.

7.2. Additional Maternity Leave (AML) – up to 26 weeks immediately following OML.

8. Commencement
Staff are entitled to commence their OML at any time after the start of the 11th week before the EWC. The maternity leave will usually start automatically if the staff member is absent for a pregnancy related reason during the four weeks prior to the EWC. The staff member can postpone or bring forward the intended start date of their maternity leave by informing the College in writing at least 28 days before the original intended start date, or if that is not possible, as soon as is reasonably practicable.

Statutory maternity pay (SMP)

9. Entitlement
Staff are entitled to SMP provided they:

9.1 Have complied with the notification requirements specified earlier in this document

9.2 Have been continuously employed by the College for 26 weeks at the end of the 15th week before the EWC

9.3 Make National Insurance contributions.

10. General
If the staff member is entitled to SMP, this shall be paid for the first 39 weeks of their maternity leave; this will be the minimum amount received (see clause 14). The remainder of their AML will be unpaid.

11. Duration
Staff will receive SMP for the first 39 weeks of their maternity leave period even if they do not intend to return to work.

12. Commencement of SMP
Staff members entitlement to SMP will begin when they commence their OML unless they are absent for a pregnancy related illness at any time after the start of the fourth week before the EWC, in which case their maternity leave and SMP will begin at this time.

13. The Maternity Allowance
If staff do not qualify for SMP, they may be eligible for Maternity Allowance for the first 39 weeks of maternity leave. Staff should contact their local Jobcentre Plus office for further details.

14. Rates
The College offers a maternity package based on the number of years of service, which is calculated upon the commencement date of the SMP (see point 12). See below the breakdown of the maternity pay over the course of 39 weeks.

Level Years of service 100% pay 50% pay SMP Total weeks
1 Less than 2 years 6 weeks 0 weeks 33 weeks 39
2 Between 2 and 5 years 6 weeks 6 weeks 27 weeks 39
3 More than 5 years 9 weeks 9 weeks 21 weeks 39


14.1 For Yearly staff, the average weekly earnings are calculated over a period of 52 weeks (i.e. Annual salary divided by 52 weeks), extras are not included (e.g. Open Evening).

14.2 For Hourly-Paid Teachers, the average weekly earnings is calculated as follows:

a) Hourly rate x no. of hours taught per week at time of OML x 31 teaching weeks x 12.1% (holiday pay)

b) 30 hours during Easter x Hourly rate x 1 week of Easter Revision x 12.1% (hp)

c) Total number of weeks to generate earnings – 32 (31 teaching weeks and 1 week for Easter)

Total = (a + b)/c

An example:

Hourly rate Hours/week Weeks Holiday Pay (12.1%) Total
a) £35.00 30 31 1.121 £36,488.55
b) £35.00 30 1 1.121 £1,177.05


Total/weeks = £37,665.60 / 32

Average weekly earnings = £1177.05

Note that B is only included if this is a normal way of working – The College will review the previous year’s Easter Revision schedule to clarify the last arrangement.

14.3 For Hourly-Paid Operations Staff, the average weekly earnings is calculated as follows:

  1. Hourly rate x no. of hours per week (average over the last year) x no. of weeks per year (52)

14.4 SMP is the prescribed rate set by the government for the relevant tax year. SMP is currently set at:

  • 90% of average weekly earnings (before tax) for the first 6 weeks
  • £156.66 or 90% of average weekly earnings (whichever is lower) for the next 33 weeks.

15. Pay rises
If staff become eligible for a pay rise before the end of their maternity leave, this will be applied to the calculation of pay for staff and Maternity Pay will only be adjusted at the point of the pay rise.

16. Benefits during maternity leave
Whilst staff are absent on maternity leave, they will continue to be entitled to receive the non-cash benefits provided under their contract of employment. For the avoidance of doubt, non-cash benefits do not include wages or salary.

17. Holiday pay and other pay
Irrespective of the date that the staff member starts their maternity leave, the above maternity pay will override all other salary payments that the staff member is entitled to, except for holiday pay for hourly paid work which will be paid in addition.

Note that holiday pay for that academic year can only be accrued as a result of hours worked prior to OML.

Keeping in touch

18. Keeping in touch days
Staff may work (including attending training) for up to ten days during their maternity leave without bringing the maternity leave or SMP to an end. The arrangements, including pay, can be set by agreement between the staff member and the College.

19. Before the staff member returns
Shortly before the staff member is due to return to work, the College may invite them to have a discussion (whether in person or by telephone) about the arrangements for their return. This may include updating the staff member on any changes that may have occurred, discussing any necessary training and any changes to working arrangements.

Return to work

20. Notification
The College will notify the staff member of the date on which the maternity leave will end within 28 days of when that individual notified the College of their intention to take maternity leave.

21. Returning early
If the staff member wishes to return to work earlier than the end of the full period of leave to which they are entitled they must notify the College in writing not less than eight weeks before they expect to return to work. Failure to notify the College of their intention to return early may mean that their return to work is postponed. The staff member will not under any circumstances be allowed to return to work during the two weeks immediately following childbirth.

22. Returning late
If the staff member wishes to return later than the end of their full period of leave, they should either request unpaid parental leave, giving the College as much notice as possible, or request paid annual leave (if they are entitled to take leave at such a date). If the staff member is unable to return to work due to sickness or injury, this will be treated as sickness absence. In any other case, late return will be treated as an unauthorised absence.

24. Return from OML
Upon their return to work from OML the staff member will be employed in the same position that they occupied before their leave period began. The staff member will be entitled to return on the same terms and conditions as if they had not been absent.

25. Return from AML
Upon the staff members return to work from AML they will normally be able to return to the same position that they occupied before their leave period began. If this is not reasonably practicable, they will be redeployed to a job which is suitable and appropriate for them in the circumstances. The staff member will be entitled to return on terms and conditions no less favourable than they would have been entitled to had they not been absent, with their seniority, pension rights and similar rights as they would have been if the period of employment prior to their AML period had been continuous with the period of employment following it.

Deciding not to return

26. Notification
If the staff member does not intend to return to work, or is unsure, they should notify the College as early as possible. If the staff member decides not to return they should give notice of resignation in accordance with their employment contract. The amount of maternity leave left to run must be at least equal to their contractual notice period, otherwise they may be required to work for the remainder of the notice period. Once they have given notice, they cannot change their mind without our agreement. This does not affect their right to receive SMP.

Returning to work part-time

27. Requests
The College will deal with any requests by employees to change their working patterns (such as working part-time) after maternity leave on a case-by-case basis. There is no absolute right to insist on working part-time or to change working patterns generally, but the College will try to accommodate the staff members wishes unless there is a justifiable reason for refusal, bearing in mind the needs of the organisation. It is helpful if requests are made as early as possible.

Authorised by The Principal
Date September 2023
Effective date of the policy September 2023
Circulation Teaching staff / all staff / parents / students on request
Review date September 2026
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