Maternity

If you feel that you're being treated unfairly because of your pregnancy contact your Federation Representative immediately.

The 1st Steps

  • As soon as a Medical Practitioner confirms the pregnancy, you should notify your line manager in writing and keep a copy for yourself.

  • If you become pregnant during your probation period, you may need to discuss an extension to this period with your Line Manager.

  • You need to obtain a MATB1 from your doctor or midwife and send this to HR as soon as possible and in any case at least 15 weeks before the Expected Week of Child Birth (EWC).

  • You need to decide when you want your Maternity Leave to begin and inform both your Line Manager and HR. An MAT1A from (available from administrative sections) should be completed and forwarded to your Line Manager.

  • You may have time off for antenatal appointments during duty time but, wherever possible, appointments should be made either at the beginning or end of duty time. You may be required to provide details of appointments. All requests given with reasonable notice should be granted. However, you may need to be flexible and re-arrange appointments in exceptional circumstances.

Risk Assessment

  • A risk assessment should be undertaken with your line manager: this assessment is ongoing and should be examined and updated regularly. This is available via the managers' Portal on the Force's intranet in the Maternity section under Health & Welfare.

  • The purpose of a risk assessment is to ensure that neither staff not expected babies are placed at risk by work or the working environment.

  • This assessment identifies what alterations need to be made in order for you to work safely. The force is ultimately responsible for the health of you and your unborn child but should take your views and the opinions of your medical advisors into account when drawing up your risk assessment. If the assessment identifies any risks, the Force can:

  1. Alter your terms and conditions e.g. your hours or place of work 
  2. Provide you with alternative work e.g. non-operational duties.
  3. Suspend you from work if the risks cannot be reduced by any other means. This is referred to as ‘maternity suspension' and you will continue to receive full pay.

Note: Make sure you use the most up-to-date template for your risk assessment from the Health and Safety intranet site.

  • If anything changes, which may affect the assessment, you must consult your line manager immediately. This is a legal requirement to protect you, your child and the organisation.

  • If a pregnant officer remains in uniform for as long as appropriate, this must be considered as part of the risk assessment.

  • If you experience problems, complications or symptoms such as morning sickness, you should discuss this with your Line Manager as part of the assessment. Normal sick leave applies but, if you are off sick 4 weeks before your EWC, the Force can start your Statutory Maternity Pay. The Force is not able to start your Maternity Leave early.

Maternity Leave

  • You are entitled to 15 months Maternity Leave, which can start anytime from 6 months before the EWC and finish up to12 months after the birth.

  • You can take up to 15 months altogether.

  • You must take at least two weeks off after the birth.

  • Try and take your Annual Leave before you go on Maternity Leave as you can normally only carry 5 days over into the next year. Only in exceptional circumstances and with the agreement of your Chief Officer will you be able to carry more days over.

Keep In Touch Days (Kit Days)

  In relation to KIT days, the position broadly is :-

  • KIT day while on police paid maternity leave - the kit day itself is payable, and should extend period of paid police maternity pay (because police mat leave can be taken in more than one period, so effectively the police mat leave stops and starts again the next day).  pensionable because paid.  

  • KIT day while on SMP only mat leave - the kit day itself is payable, but there is no extension of the SMP paid period as a result - SMP paid period ends when it would have ended anyway.  pensionable because paid.  

  • KIT day on unpaid leave - kit day is payable.  pay for the day itself is pensionable because paid.   

You do need to be aware of the Impact on pension buyback of  taking a kit day during unpaid leave -  as this is a paid day – the buyback rate is determined by the rate of pay 'immediately' before the unpaid leave period.  So there may only be an issue if the KIT day is immediately before the unpaid leave period, as you will end up buying back your pension at a very much higher rate than if you had not taken the kit day – as it would have been on smp.     

Police Maternity Pay (PMP)

  • If you have 63 weeks continuous service (with any Police Force) by the Sunday of the week the birth is expected, you are entitled to PMP.

  • PMP is full pay for the first 18 weeks of the officers maternity leave or she can elect to receive full pay for the first 13 weeks and then half pay in the ten weeks from the 14th week to the 23rd week of her maternity leave

Statutory Maternity

  • If you have 26 weeks continuous service with your Force at the ‘qualifying week' (15 weeks before the EWC) you are entitled to Statutory Maternity pay and leave.

  • Statutory Maternity Leave is made up of 26 weeks unpaid leave.

  • Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) is made up of 6 weeks at 90% of you average pay (the pay you receive during the 8 weeks 15 weeks before the EWC) and 33 weeks of Statutory Paternity Pay at the lower rate (this is currently £108.85)

Note: The extent of the PMP and the SMP periods is dependent on when you start your Maternity Leave. In most cases, the two periods will overlap. You will only be entitled to the higher rate of pay in any one week. To ensure you know your entitlement, please check the dates with the Federation Officer and HR.

Maternity Support Leave

  • Police Officers who are the fathers or nominated carers of expected babies will be entitled to paid leave at or around the time of the baby's birth.

  • A nominated carer is a person nominated by the mother to help in the care of the child and is the primary provider of support to a mother at or around the time of birth.

  • Leave entitlement for those working reduced hours will be calculated in the same way as annual leave.

  • All police officers are entitled to two weeks (10 days) maternity support leave' the first week (40 hours) is paid.

  • Police officers with more than 26 weeks service at the 14th week before the EWC will be entitled to 1 weeks paid and 1 weeks statutory paternity leave.

  • The second week will be paid at the statutory rate (currently £112.75 per week).

  • The 2 weeks paternity leave must be taken consecutively anytime from 6 months before and up to 9 months after the birth of the baby.

Parental Leave

  • A police officer who has served continuously for a period of 12 months and has or expects to have responsibility for a child is entitled to take unpaid time off work to look after the child until the age of 5.

  • In the case of a disabled child, until they reach their 18th birthday.

  • Officers are entitled 13 weeks in total in respect of any individual child.

  • 18 weeks if the child is disabled.

  • The leave can be taken in blocks or multiples of one day.

  • In adoption cases for 5 years after the child is placed with the officer for adoption (or 18th birthday, which ever is soonest).

Adoption Leave

Police paid adoption leave is available to officers who adopt and comprises:

  • 5 days (1 week) paid leave, irrespective of length of service.

  • From the 1st April 2007, officers with 26 weeks service, but less than one year continuous service at time of notification of being matched with a child, are eligible for a further 38 weeks adoption leave paid at statutory adoption pay rate (£112.75 per week)

  • All Officers who have over one year continuous service are entitled to full pay for the first 13 weeks adoption leave, then up to 26 weeks statutory adoption pay.

  • Any Police paid or statutory adoption paid leave taken is pensionable, reckonable for incremental pay and leave purposes and for inclusion in any period of probationery service.

  • To qualify for adoption leave an officer must be newly matched with a child for adoption by an adoption agency and does not include circumstances where a stepparent adopts their partner's children.

Before Returning to Work

  • You need to decide when you wish to return to work or if you wish to access a career break. Inform your Line Manager and HR of your decision as early as possible. (If you are on a career break and become pregnant you need to inform HR, as you will be eligible for benefits).

  • Regulations require 21 days notice of an officer's intention to return to work.

  • You need to decide whether you wish to return as Full or Part time. Inform your Line Manager and HR of your decision in writing and keep a copy.

  • You will need to discuss your options with your Line Manager.

  • You have to return to work for at least one month or you may face a claim from the Force for all money paid in excess of Statutory Maternity Pay.

  • In most cases, you are entitled to return to the same or similar role on the same number of hours that you were in before you became pregnant. If you wish to change your hours or role then you will need to negotiate so make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to do this.

Returning to Work

  • You can choose to return to work earlier than 26 weeks.

  • You can choose to return to work later but will not be paid after 26th week.

  • Maternity Leave ends 12 months after the EWC but then you must return. If you are sick and cannot return to work you will return to work on sick leave. The normal sick leave rules apply.

  • Make sure you discuss these choices with HR and your Line Manager. You will make your life easier if you keep them informed.

  • When you come back their will be a formal return to work discussion and a risk assessment with your Line Manager.

  • If you wish to breastfeed during the working day you will need to discuss proper arrangements with your Line Manager.

  • TVP has access to various childcare schemes: contact the Finance Departments or HR for information.

Pensions, Allowances & Voluntary Deductions

  • Whilst you are off and being paid your pension, allowances and voluntary deductions will be paid as usual.

  • When you stop being paid you will need to consider provisions to cover the pensions contributions that will be unpaid whilst you are off and also your Federation Subs and any voluntary deductions that would normally come out of your salary such as: Group Accident Life (GAL), Beneovolent Fund (Flint House). PMAS or Copperpot savings. To continue to remaineligble for Flint House you will need to send payment directly to Flint House once you go to no pay and your deductions stop.

  • Officers in receipt of 13 weeks maternity pay will also be entitled to housing allowance. Once the police maternity has ceased, officers will no longer be entitled to this allowance.

  • If your spouse is a serving officer then they may apply to increase their housing rent or transitional allowance pending your return. They must apply to the Director of Human Resources (Gen 46) at least one month prior to the start of unpaid leave.

  • There is no facility in Police Regulations to remove your SE Allowance.

Continuity of Service

  • The first 26 weeks of maternity leave are counted for the purposes of assessing pay progression, leave and probationary service for police officers.

  • Officers who have 40 weeks of service at the EWC are also entitled to a maximum of 29 weeks reckonable service after birth.

Attending Court

  • If you are required to attend court you must do so unless you have a Doctor's Certificate to state that you are not well enough to do so. Even then, the Court may require you to attend.

  • Court attendance must be risk assessed by your Line Manager.

  • You must be booked on duty for the attendance and will be paid the appropriate daily rate. (This could affect your SMP and pension-buy back of any unpaid leave - check with HR or the Federation for your entitlements.)

  • When you return to work you may be able to claim this time as time off in lieu or as overtime.

Premature Birth

  • When a baby is born before the maternity pay period was due to start, notice is required within three weeks of the event.

  • The Maternity Pay period will begin the Sunday after the birth.

Death of a Baby or Stillbirth

  • If, in the unfortunate event that a baby dies or is stillborn after 24 weeks of pregnancy, the provisions within the maternity scheme will apply.

  • When this occurs before 24 weeks (miscarriage), sympathetic consideration will be given to any request for special leave.

If you have any further questions please contact the relevant Federation Officer.

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