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Family Leave and Work Life Balance

Adoption Leave and Fostering Policy

Adoption/Fostering Board Policy – please note this is currently being reviewed and updated.

Adoption

The Board supports all employees who wish to adopt a child/children with a period of leave to assist the family in adjusting to their new circumstances. 

Granted this can be exciting but stressful and therefore the service will support as much as possible with a period of paid time off to attend appointments relating to the adoption process.  

Full details of provisions available for prospective adoptive parents are detailed below in our guidance and frequently asked questions.

Fostering 

Fostering can be for varying lengths of time, from very short term to long term fostering and the Board will adopt a flexible approach to this.
Employees should therefore discuss their intention to foster with their line manager as soon as possible to determine the level of support they consider appropriate to their circumstances. For very short term fostering it would be more appropriate to consider time off under the Special Leave Policy. For longer term fostering, the manager should consider providing time off under the arrangements for Adoption Leave/Pay (outlined below), Parental Leave or Career Breaks.

Return to work arrangements

Employees should be provided with information and support regarding return to work arrangements. These include:

  • The right to return to their job under the original contract on no less favourable conditions;
  • The right to request a return to work on flexible working arrangements;
  • The right to parental leave.

Keeping records up to date

We need to know when you’re at work and when you have any type of time off. This is important to make sure we pay you correctly too.

All managers should ensure that SSTS is updated correctly and payroll is informed, where SSTS is not available.
The HR Support and Advice Unit can be contacted on 0141 278 2700 if you have any further questions or need advice on this policy area.

Please contact the HR Support and Advice Unit if you wish clarification on the application of this policy.

Adoption FAQs

What is Adoption Leave?

Adoption Leave is a period of absence from work granted to a primary carer before and after the placement of an adopted child into their care.

Am I entitled to Adoption Leave?

An employee working full-time or part-time will be entitled to paid and unpaid adoption leave under the NHS contractual pay scheme if:

You have twelve months continuous service with one or more NHS employers at the beginning of the 11th week before the expected week of adoption

You notify your employer in writing before the end of the 15th week before the expected date of adoption (or if this is not possible, as soon as is reasonably practicable thereafter):

  • of your intention to take adoption leave
  • of the date you wish to start your adoption leave
  • that you intend to return to work with the same employer for a minimum period of 3 months after your adoption leave has ended
  • provide the adoption certificate
How much time off am I entitled to?

All employees will have the right to take 52 weeks of maternity leave. Please refer to the FAQ guide for details on pay entitlement related to length of service.

Am I entitled to any time off prior to the adoption date?

A maximum of up to one working week will be available to attend court sessions, interviews and any other meeting as required for legally approved adoption agencies in the UK , along with proof of your appointment.

How do I apply for Adoption Leave?

In order to apply for Adoption Leave you must complete an adoption leave transaction through eESS employee self service. This will allow you to enter the dates for your adoption leave which will be submitted to the appropriate manager to approve the initial request which then progresses to HR Support and Advice Unit.  One you have completed the adoption leave transaction you must provide your manager with your original adoption certificate. There is a function on eESS to electronically attach the adoption certificate.

Once confirmed your manager will then record further details on eESS manager self service which will authorise the dates requested and allow the transaction to proceed to HR Support and Advice Unit who will confirm your pay entitlements. HR Support and Advice Unit will then provide the details to Payroll Department.

If you do not have an eESS ID due to not having a GGC email or access to GGC network then your manager can complete the adoption leave transaction on your behalf via manager self service.

Your paperwork will then be processed by HR and Payroll. You/ your manager will be able to view your adoption leave dates via eESS self service functions: Adoption Standard Operating Procedures.

Forms

The following document can be downloaded as part of the adoption leave process – 

eESS Adoption Standard Operating Procedure

Please contact the HRSAU for further information or clarification on their use.

Breastfeeding

Board Breastfeeding Policy

NHSGGC aims to support mothers who wish to breastfeed after their return to work. This policy details how NHSGGC will do this including promoting breastfeeding amongst our workforce and patients; providing information on breastfeeding to pregnant employees; allowing, where possible, flexibility in hours including regular breaks for employees who wish to breastfeed or express milk and where possible and as necessary, make available suitable rest areas and dedicated space to store milk for use by breastfeeding employees.

Please contact the HR Support and Advice Unit if you wish clarification on the application of this policy.

Board Breastfeeding Policy

Please contact the HR Support and Advice Unit if you wish clarification on the application of this policy.

Guidance

What is the breastfeeding policy?

NHSGGC aims to support and encourage mothers who wish to breastfeed after they return to work.

We will support breastfeeding by:

  • Support the promotion of breastfeeding amongst our staff and patients
  • Provide information about breastfeeding to pregnant employees
  • Allow, where possible, flexibility in hours and regular breaks for employees wishing to breastfeed or express milk
  • Where possible and necessary make appropriate rest areas and storage facilities available for breastfeeding mothers.

What should you do if you are considering breastfeeding at work?

Arrange to meet with your line manager at least 4 weeks before you are due to return to work to discuss arrangements which will allow you to continue to breastfeed.

What should I as a manager consider?

To support the employee, a temporary change of hours may need to be considered. Consideration should also be given to the length of shift to ensure that hours are not excessively long and therefore potentially detrimental to breastfeeding.

Where possible, time off during working hours should be granted to allow an employee to breastfeed or express milk.

Appropriate facilities nearby should also be considered. Somewhere comfortable and private to sit and a dedicated storage place to store expressed milk and sterilised equipment.

The HR Support and Advice Unit can be contacted on 0141 278 2700 if you have any further questions or need advice on this policy area.

Career Break

By implementing the Career Break Policy NHSGGC aims to create an environment that will allow all employees to utilise their skills, talents and expertise and thereby allow it to both recruit and retain a well motivated and committed workforce.

The purpose of the career break policy is to allow employees an opportunity to leave their employment on a long-term basis mainly to undertake further education or to fulfill domestic commitments. The policy is not intended to support people in taking up alternative paid employment.

The policy will enable employees to keep up to date during their career break and help them return to work at the end of the break.

Please note that the following information supersedes the information in the Policy relating to Superannuation on career break, pending review of the Career Break Policy: 

The NHS scheme provides for members of both the 1995 and 2008 sections (excluding locum practitioners) who are on an authorised break  (including a career break), to choose to continue to pay contributions towards membership for a limited period. This is provided that their contract of employment is retained. From 1 April 2013, members who choose to continue to pay contributions to the scheme can do so for a period of six months. During this period, contributions also remain payable by the employer. The member can choose to extend the period for a further 18 months. However, if this option is taken, the member would be responsible for payment of both employee and employer contributions. Please note that contributions must be paid for the first six months to allow the member the option to extend for a further 18 months if required. Please see attached circular.

Policy

Board Career Break Policy.

Should you require further advice please contact the HR Support and Advice Unit.

Guidance

What is a Career Break?

A career break allows employees an opportunity to leave their employment on a long-term basis mainly to undertake further education or to fulfil domestic commitments.

Am I entitled to apply for a Career Break?

So long as you have at least 12 months’ service with the NHS then you are eligible to apply for a career break. Applications will be considered on the merits of each individual case.

How much time off am I entitled to?

The minimum period for a career break is 6 months and the maximum period is five years. An employee may, however, make a number of breaks throughout their employment with the Board provided that the total periods of absence do not exceed five years.

How do I apply for a Career Break?

You should initially discuss your intention to apply for a Career Break with your line manager.  An application should then be made, in writing, to your line manager at least 3 months before commencing the proposed career break. This timeframe can be waivered at the Manager’s discretion. If approved, your line manager will then issue you with an agreement detailing the terms and conditions of the career break and ensure a copy of this is sent to Payroll Department. Your line manager is also required to update your assignment status on eESS: Career Break

Return to Work Arrangements

Three months’ notice of an intention to return to work must be given to the line manager.While no guarantee of a return to a particular post can be given, every effort will be made to place individuals in posts of similar band, hours and responsibility to that held prior to the break, and will take into account the employee’s experience, achievements and qualifications.

Are there any expectations of employees while on Career Break?

Employees are expected to fulfil the following requirements while on a career break:

  • Attend any seminars or meetings to which they are invited by the Board.
  • Maintaining professional membership or state registration.
  • Keep their knowledge updated by reading relevant professional journals and attending professional meetings.
  • Attend a minimum number of training sessions, as agreed with the Head of Department to update and refresh their knowledge and skills.
  • Undertake a minimum of two weeks paid employment per year as agreed with their Head of Department
  • Advise their manager of any changes in circumstances, such as home address.
  • If the career break lasts for more than one year, employees must notify their manager of their intention to continue the break at least three months prior to the end of each year.

Please refer to the full Career Break Policy for details on general terms and conditions of a Career Break and for information on SPPA contributions, lease cars, organisational change and sick and maternity leave.

Keeping records up to date

We need to know when you’re at work and when you have any type of time off. This is important to make sure we pay you correctly too.

Once a career break has been agreed this should be recorded on eESS via manager self service: Career Break Standard Operating Procedure

All managers should ensure that SSTS is updated correctly and payroll is informed, where SSTS is not available.The HR Support and Advice Unit can be contacted on  0141 278 2700  if you have any further questions or need advice on this policy area.

Line managers should ensure that a copy of the career break confirmation letter is sent to Payroll and that the employee’s assignment status is updated on eESS.

Career Break Tools and Templates

Career Break Template

Please contact the HR Support and Advice Unit if you wish to clarify the application of this template in conjunction with the policy and guidance associated with career breaks.

Flexible Working

All employees within NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde with 26 weeks continuous service (at time of the application) have a right to request flexible working.  

The Board Flexible Working Policy details the process for requesting flexible working, and describes three main types:

  1. Flexi-time
  2. Self-rostering
  3. Annualised Hours.

Successful applications will result in a permanent change to that employee’s terms and conditions of employment (unless otherwise agreed).

Non-acceptance of an application for flexible working can only be for

valid and objective service/operational reasons and the line manager must, confirm these reasons in writing to the employee outlining their right of appeal.

Top Tips on using the POLICY…..

  1. Only one flexible working application can be submitted within a 12 month period.
  2. For successful applications the employee has no right to revert back to their previous working pattern.
  3. The manager must arrange a meeting within 4 weeks of receipt of an application and respond in writing no later than 2 weeks after the meeting.

Should you have any questions in relation to this policy please contact the HR Support and Advice Unit.

Guidance

What is Flexible Working?

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde being an employer committed to the principles of work/life balance, recognises that, as one of a range of options, flexible working arrangements gives employees some discretion in their starting and finishing times each day. The policy describes 3 types of flexible working:

Am I entitled to make an application for Flexible Working?

Yes, if you have been continuously employed by the NHS for at least 26 weeks at the date of application; are not an agency/bank worker and you have not made any application to work flexibly during the previous 12 months. 

If I am eligible, what can I request?

You can submit an application for a change to the hours you work; a change to the times when you are required to work or a change to the place you are required to work. An acceptance of a request for flexible working will result in a permanent change to your terms and conditions of employment (unless otherwise agreed). You will have no right to revert back to the previous working pattern.

How do I make an application for Flexible Working?

All applications for flexible working must be made on the Flexible Working  Application Form. The completed form should then be submitted to your line manager which will then be acknowledged in writing.

Are the any exemptions?

What happens next?

Your line manager will hold an initial meeting with you to discuss the application within 4 weeks of the date received. After the initial meeting your manager will inform you of their decision in writing within 2 weeks.If the request is accepted, your line manager will confirm this in writing, specifying the new working pattern and the date from which it will take effect. Your line manager will also complete a Notification of Change Form for the Payroll Department.

Yes, there are two exemptions to this: the procedure for employees returning from maternity or adoption leave who wish to job share is described in the job share policy, and the procedure for introducing annualised hours described within the annualised hours guidance. 

What if my application is unsuccessful?

Non-acceptance of an application for flexible working can only be for valid and objective service/operational reasons. Your line manager will confirm the reasons in writing to you following the initial meeting and will also provide details of the formal appeal procedure.

How do I appeal?

You can appeal against the decision to refuse your application by submitting a Flexible Working Appeal Application Form to Human Resources within two weeks of receiving written confirmation that your application has not been successful. The notice of appeal must be dated and clearly set out the grounds of appeal. 

What is the appeal process?

A hearing will be held to discuss the appeal within two week of the appeal form being received by Human Resources. The appeal panel will consist of a senior manager who is at a more senior level than your line manager and Human Resources. Following the hearing you will be informed, in writing, of the outcome of your appeal within 2 weeks.

Am I entitled to be accompanied?

Yes, you are entitled to be accompanied by a trade union/professional organisation representative or accompanied by a fellow colleague, friend or relative not acting in a legal capacity at all stages of the process.

The HR Support and Advice Unit can be contacted on 0141 278 2700 if you have any further questions or need guidance on this policy area.

Forms
Tools and Templates

The HR Support and Advice Unit can be contacted on 0141 278 2700 if you have any further questions or need advice on this policy area.

The material contained in this section is management guidance, rather than guidance that has been agreed in partnership.

Flexible Working Letters

Home Working

The Board Home Working Policy is part of our work/life balance policies. This is where work is performed at or from home instead of at or from the Board’s premises for a significant proportion of the contractual working hours. 

“Working from home” and “working at home” have specific definitions in the policy and operate in different ways. These options are desirable because they can provide greater flexibility for our staff and increase the scope to meet the Board’s commitment to equal opportunities.

In addition, we can broaden the traditional recruitment market and gain access to alternative labour markets allowing us to attract and retain staff.

There are also environmental advantages by avoiding unnecessary car journeys.  

Top Tips on using the Homeworking Policy

  • Individuals working at home retain an NHSGGC base
  • Individuals working from home have their home as their office base
  • Suitability for home working will depend on the post
  • Home working must be approved by the line manager
  • Subject to regular review
  • Regular and effective communication between employee and line manager is paramount.
  • A home working risk assessment must be completed for everyone working from home
  • Same Employment Rights apply to home workers
Guidance

What is the guidance for working at home?

 In order to compliment the Home Working Policy, guidance was created in partnership in September 2020, which is available to view here.

What are the benefits of Homeworking?

There are a number of reasons why homeworking and working at home
is desirable including:

• providing greater flexibility
• increasing scope to meet the Board’s commitment to equal
opportunities, (e.g. it may enable a person with disabilities to do a job they otherwise would not be able to do)
• reducing energy consumption and pollution from unnecessary car journeys
• attracting and retaining staff
• providing a working environment which allows work to be carried out effectively and efficiently

The HR Support and Advice Unit can be contacted on 0141 278 2700 if you have any further questions or need guidance on this policy area.

Maternity Leave

The purpose of the maternity leave policy is to detail the eligibility of employees to receive occupational NHS maternity pay. The policy details the eligibility criteria for the occupational scheme and the application process.

The policy also details the ability to return to work during maternity leave for KIT (Keeping in Touch) days if you would like to do so and the obligations on the employer to ensure an appropriate risk assessment is carried out to ensure your health and safety when pregnant and on your return.

More detailed guidance and frequently asked questions can be found under the guidance tab.

Update to Childcare Voucher Scheme

Application Process for Doctors and Dentists in Training

Doctors and Dentists in training with GGC currently on placement at another board – please use the link below to complete the paper application, this should be submitted to your placement board:

Maternity Leave Application Form 

All other trainees who are working within GGC should apply through eESS (Employee Self Service).

Policy

Please note: The Maternity Leave Policy is currently under review, therefore please refer to the guidance notes for the most update changes.

Board Maternity Leave Policy.

If you have any questions in relation to this policy please contact the HR Support and Advice Unit.

Update to Childcare Vouchers Scheme

Forms

The following documents can be downloaded as part of the maternity leave process – 

eESS Maternity Standard Operating Procedure

Maternity Communication Checklist

Risk Assessment Form

Please contact the HRSAU for further information or clarification on their use.

Please note: Doctors and Dentists in training are required to complete a paper based application. Use the link below to locate and complete the application. This should then be passed to your placement board to process:

Maternity Leave Application Form

Maternity Leave Guidance

What is Maternity Leave?

Maternity Leave is a period of absence from work granted to a mother before and after the birth of her child.

Am I entitled to Maternity Leave?

An employee working full-time or part-time will be entitled to paid and unpaid maternity leave under the NHS contractual maternity pay scheme if:

You have twelve months continuous service with one or more NHS employers at the beginning of the 11th week before the expected week of childbirth

You notify your employer in writing before the end of the 15th week before the expected date of childbirth (or if this is not possible, as soon as is reasonably practicable thereafter)

  • of your intention to take maternity leave
  • of the date you wish to start your maternity leave
  • that you intend to return to work with the same employer or other NHS employer for a minimum period of 3 months after your maternity leave has ended
  • provide a MATB1 form from your midwife or GP giving the expected date of childbirth

How much time off am I entitled to?

All employees will have the right to take 52 weeks of maternity leave. Please refer to the FAQ guide for details on pay entitlement related to length of service.

How do I apply for Maternity Leave?

In order to apply for maternity leave you must complete a maternity leave transaction through eESS employee self service. This will allow you to enter the dates for your maternity leave which will be submitted to the appropriate manager to approve the initial request which then progresses to HR Support and Advice Unit.  One you have completed the maternity leave transaction you must provide your manager with your original MATB1 form before the end of the 15th week before the expected date of childbirth. There is a function on eESS to electronically attach the MATB1 form.

If you do not have an eESS ID due to not having a GGC email or access to GGC network then your manager can complete the maternity leave transaction on your behalf via manager self service.

Your paperwork will then be processed by HR and Payroll. You/ your manager will be able to view your maternity leave dates via eESS self service functions.

eESS Maternity Leave Standard Operating Procedures

What happens with my holiday entitlement?

Employees continue to accrue all their annual leave and public holidays as normal throughout the entirety of their maternity leave, it does not need to be recalculated.

For example, if a nurse took maternity leave from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020 – i.e. a whole annual leave year – then they would return to work on 1 April 2020 with double their normal annual leave entitlement and 16 rather than 8 public holidays (still pro rata for part-time staff)*.

However, as early as possible between a manager being notified of an employee’s pregnancy and before that employee goes on maternity leave, the manager and employee need to discuss how best to plan to use this annual leave, pre- and post-maternity leave, including how much might need to be carried forward into a new annual leave year as it is not possible to take annual leave during maternity leave.

*Doctors and dentists have different annual leave years and entitlements than in the example above – please see Medical and Dental Policies – NHSGGC – however the principle of not losing any entitlement on account of maternity leave applies equally to all staff. 

What are keeping in touch days?

Keeping in touch (KIT) days are intended to facilitate a smooth return to work for women returning from maternity leave.

An employee may work for up to a maximum of 10 KIT days without bringing her maternity leave to an end. Any KIT days will not extend the maternity leave period and will be paid at the employee’s basic daily rate.

It is important that the employer and employee have early discussion to plan and make arrangements for KIT days before the employee’s maternity leave takes place.

Please note: Employees who agree to work KIT days will not be paid for work done in addition to SMP. The statutory rules provide for payment at a rate no less than the weekly value of SMP for work done on a KIT day, so if you work 10 hours on a KIT day with a contractual payment of £145.00 you will not receive the £145.00 in addition to the weekly rate of SMP (£139.58 from 6 April 2015) however since that exceeds the SMP rate you will be paid £145.00 instead of SMP. If you work 8 hours on a KIT day and the contractual payment is £80.00, you will receive £139.58 SMP which is higher than the contractual payment. Payment is made of the higher value only.

Return to Work Arrangements

Employees should be provided with information and support regarding return to work arrangements. These include:

  • The right to return to their job under the original contract on no less favourable conditions;
  • The right to request a return to work on flexible working arrangements;
  • The right to parental leave; and
  • Provision of support for mothers who wish to breastfeed after they return to work.

Not returning 

On the occasion you notified your manager of your intention not to return to work with the same or different NHS employer, in accordance with the most recent NHS Circular: PCS(AFC)2019/7– if an employee fails to return within 15 months of the beginning of their maternity leave they will be liable to refund the whole of their maternity pay, less any Statutory Maternity Pay received.

Keeping records up to date

We need to know when you’re at work and when you have any type of time off. This is important to make sure we pay you correctly too.

All managers should ensure that SSTS is updated correctly and payroll is informed, where SSTS is not available.

The HR Support and Advice Unit can be contacted on 0141 278 2700 if you have any further questions or need advice on this policy area.

FAQs

Informing my employer

What Evidence Do I Need To Give My Employer?

If you are expecting a baby you will need to submit to your manager a MATB1 form or a letter from your midwife or doctor that confirms the week your baby is due. This week is called the Expected Week of Confinement or EWC.

When Should I Tell My Manager That I’m Expecting A Baby?

You should tell your manager as soon as possible but no later than 15 weeks before the EWC. You will receive a MATB1 from your midwife or GP once you are at least 20 weeks pregnant. To find the 15th week before the EWC, find the Sunday before the due date (unless your baby is due on a Sunday, in which case use the due date), and count back 15 weeks.

Will I Receive Written Confirmation from My Employer?

You will be able to view the details of your maternity dates via eESS employee self service.

If you are not entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), you will also be given a Form SMP1, which you should use to claim Maternity Allowance from Job Centre Plus.

My entitlements

Am I Allowed Time Off For Ante-Natal Care?

Yes, but you must provide evidence of appointments and give your Manager reasonable notice of your leave.

How Long Am I Entitled To Take Off Work for my Maternity Leave?

All pregnant employees are entitled to take up to 52 weeks’ statutory maternity leave (SML) around the birth of their child. 

Am I Entitled To Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)?

Do you have at least 26 weeks service with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde 15 weeks before your baby is due?

a) Yes, you will receive 39 weeks statutory maternity pay as long as you have at least 26 weeks continuous service with NHSGGC by the 15th week before the week your baby is due and your average earnings exceed the Lower Earnings Level for National Insurance purposes (£112.00 per week for 2015/16 tax year).

b) No, not if you are employed for less than 26 weeks prior to the 15th week or your average earnings are less than the current Lower Earnings Level for National Insurance purposes. 

c) If you are unsure if you qualify, the payroll department can advise you on this.

Do I accrue annual and public holiday hours whilst I am on Maternity Leave?

Yes, all employees on Maternity Leave will accrue both annual leave and public holiday hours.

With agreement from your line manager, these hours can be used either at the start of the leave, at the end or a combination of both.

Payments

SMP – What Is the current rate and the current Lower Earnings Level for National Insurance?

A3.1 The current rate of SMP is £148.68 per week (or 90% of an employee’s average weekly earnings before tax if lower than £148.68). You can find this at https://www.gov.uk/maternity-pay-leave/pay.

To qualify for SMP you must have average earnings at least equal to the Lower Earnings Level for National Insurance purposes which is currently £118 per week. You can find this at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rates-and-allowances-national-insurance-contributions/rates-and-allowances-national-insurance-contributions

How do I Calculate SMP?

The calculation period is the eight weeks, if you are paid weekly, up to and including the 15th week before your baby is due. If you are paid monthly, the calculation period is usually based on the last two monthly payments received before the end of the 15th week before your baby is due. To work out the weekly average if you are monthly paid, add up the pay on the payslips, divide by 2 , multiply by 12 and divide that number by 52. Pay can include holiday pay, bonuses, overtime, sick pay and any previous periods of SMP but not Maternity Allowance. National pay awards, usually effective from 1st April, which fall due after the assessment period will result in the reassessment of SMP based on values derived from the increased salary. The revised SMP will be payable from the start of the maternity leave or from the effective date of the pay award (usually 1st April), whichever is later.

What If I Am Not Entitled To Statutory Maternity Pay?

If you do not qualify for SMP, you may still be able to receive Maternity Allowance. You must forward your MATB1 to the payroll department who will then return it to you with the relevant documentation (i.e. Form SMP1 – Statutory Maternity Pay Exclusion Form). You should take this to the Department of Work and Pensions who in turn will advise you if you qualify for Maternity Allowance.

How Is Statutory Maternity Pay Paid?

You will receive your pay on your normal pay day. SMP is paid in complete weeks. If you are monthly paid, some months will have four weeks SMP and others will have five. The number of weeks is determined by the number of Saturdays in the month. Your pay slip will be sent to your home address from your department.

How Much Payment Will I Receive During Maternity Leave?

A3.5 The payment for Occupational and Statutory Maternity Pay run concurrently and the amount you will be paid depends on your entitlement to each.

a). If you are eligible for occupational maternity pay and SMP :

8 weeks @ full pay

18 weeks @ half pay + SMP (£139.58 effective from 6 April 2015 or 90% of average weekly earnings, whichever is less) provided the total receivable does not exceed full pay.

13 weeks @ SMP only (£139.58 effective from 6 April 2015 or 90% of average weekly earnings which ever is less).    

13 weeks @ no pay

b). If you are not eligible for occupational maternity pay but you do qualify for SMP :

6 weeks @ 90% of average weekly earnings.

33 weeks @ SMP only (£139.58 effective from 6 April 2015) or 90% of average weekly earnings, whichever is less).       

c). If you are eligible for occupational maternity pay but do not qualify for SMP :

8 weeks full pay less **Maternity Allowance

18 weeks half pay provided half pay plus **Maternity Allowance does not exceed full pay

13 weeks **Maternity Allowance

**Maternity Allowance is not paid by NHSGGC but by Dept of Work & Pensions 

Note:

Generally, Maternity pay starts on a Sunday. It is paid out in whole weeks.

e.g. If you start your maternity leave on Sunday 6th September 2015. you will receive: 

5 days basic pay 1st to 5th September

3 weeks mat leave 6th September to 26th September

The 27th to 30th September is not a full week therefore it will be added to your October pay.

How is Occupational Maternity Pay Calculated?

OMP is calculated using your earnings in the same fixed pay periods described for the SMP calculation. National pay awards and annual increments which fall due after this assessment will result in a reassessment of OMP based on values derived from the increased salary. Revised OMP resulting from a national pay award or increment will be applied from the start of the maternity leave or from the effective date of the pay award/increment, whichever is later.

What If I Change My Contract After My OMP Earnings Have Been Assessed But Before I Commence Maternity Leave?

Any changes to your contract which take effect after the OMP earnings have been assessed will impact the OMP which you will receive. OMP will be recalculated to reflect contractual change to, for example, your grade, contracted hours or to the out of hours banding payment made to doctors in training. In some cases this reassessment will positively impact the level of OMP whereas in others the recalculation will produce a lesser value of OMP than the original calculation.

I Have Heard You Can Request That The Payments Are Given Evenly Instead Of Ending Up The Last Few Months With Very Little Income. How Does This Work?

Maternity Pay, by prior agreement with your employer, may be paid in a different way such as equal weekly values spread over the maternity leave period of up to 52 weeks.  However, HMRC regulations state employees must receive at least 90% of their salary for the first 6 weeks of their maternity leave; therefore, equal payments cannot be applied to this period. 

If you wish to apply for equal payments of your Occupational Maternity Pay, you can do so via section 18 of the Maternity Leave Application Form. This option, if selected, must be made prior to the commencement of your maternity leave and this cannot be changed afterwards.

I Am Currently Off Work On Maternity Leave And I Am Pregnant Again. How Will My Pay Be Calculated For This Second Period Of Maternity Leave?

Your entitlement to both Statutory and Occupational Maternity Pay are calculated on the payments received during the 8 week period prior to the Qualifying Week. If your earnings during that period have been reduced because you were receiving half pay or you were on unpaid maternity leave then OMP / SMP for the second period of leave will reflect these reduced earnings.

What Payment Will I Receive If I Do Not Intend to Return to Work?

The qualifying criteria for both OMP and SMP are the same whether you are returning to work or not. Therefore, providing you satisfy the qualifying conditions you will receive 6 weeks pay at 90% of your average weekly earnings followed by 33 weeks at the standard rate of SMP. These payments will be made on an ongoing basis and, if you are paid monthly, will be blocked into a number of weeks each month depending on the number of Saturdays in that month.

I Am Undecided Whether I Will Return to Work or Not – How Will I Be Paid?

You will be treated initially as if you do not intend to return to work and will be paid 6 weeks at 90% of average earnings followed by 33 weeks at the standard rate of SMP. If you subsequently decide to come back to work, and work for a minimum of three months, you will be paid the difference between what you have been paid under the leaver entitlement and the amount which would have been paid to you if you had declared your intention to return at the outset.

Sickness Absence during pregnancy

What If I Am Off Sick Prior To My Maternity Leave With An Illness That Is Not Connected To My Pregnancy?

f you are off work with a non-pregnancy related illness you will receive any sickness benefits that you are entitled to be paid up to the point of the notified date of maternity leave then SMP will commence.

What If I Am Off Sick Due To A Pregnancy Related Illness?

Any sickness benefit or SSP is paid up to the 4th week before the expected date of confinement. If you continue to be off sick after this period you will start Maternity Leave and will be paid SMP. Odd days of pregnancy related illness within the last 4 weeks before EDC may be disregarded and treated as sick leave if you wish to continue working.

After my baby is born

What Happens If My Baby Is Born Early?

If your baby is born prematurely or before the notified expected week of confinement all entitlements for maternity leave and pay are the same as if your baby were born full term. If your baby is born before the 11th week of EDC and you have worked during that week, your maternity leave will start on your 1st day of absence. If you have been off on certified sick, your maternity leave will commence the day after the birth.

My Baby Is In Hospital. Do I Need To Take Maternity Leave?

Yes it is a legal requirement that you take a minimum of 2 weeks immediately after the birth however the occupational scheme rules allow you to return to work and take the rest of your leave when your baby comes home by mutual agreement between you and your manager. However, if you choose to do this you will forfeit SMP at the lower rate for each week worked.

What Happens If My Baby Is Born Late?

If your baby is born late this does not affect the payment of SMP.

Fixed Term

I Have A Fixed Term Contract, What Am I Entitled To?

If your contract is due to end after the 11th week before the EDC and you have 12 months continuous service your contract will be extended to allow you to receive 52 weeks leave including occupational and statutory maternity pay and 13 weeks of unpaid maternity leave. If you do not have 12 months continuous service you may still be entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay if you have 26 weeks continuous employment at the qualifying week. If your contract is due to end prior to the 11th week before the EDC you will not receive any occupational maternity pay from NHSGGC however you may still be entitled to SMP or maternity allowance. The Payroll Department will be able to confirm your entitlements.

Will I Be Able To Return To My Fixed Term Post?

There will be no right to return if your contract would have ended had your pregnancy and childbirth not occurred. Your contract will be terminated under the provisions of ending a fixed term contract at the end of your Maternity Leave.

Will I Be Required To Pay Back Any Occupational Maternity Pay I Received?

No, the repayment provisions will not apply if your contract would have ended had your pregnancy and childbirth not occurred.

I Have A Rotational Training Contract, will I be able to complete this?

If you are on a planned rotation of appointments with one or more NHS employer as part of an agreed programme of training, you will have the right to return to the same post or to the next planned post irrespective of whether your contract would otherwise have ended if pregnancy and childbirth had not occurred. In such circumstances, your contract will be extended to enable you to complete the agreed programme of training. Special rules apply if your rotation to another employer takes place between the 14th and 11th week before your baby is due which may see your entitlement to OMP being paid by your new employer and SMP being paid by your current employer. 

Keeping In Touch

Will My Manager Keep In Touch With Me During My Maternity Leave?

Yes, Your line manager should keep in contact with you throughout the period of your confinement and maternity leave, providing information and support where required and a link to the workplace.

What Is The Purpose Of Keeping In Touch (KIT) Days?

KIT days facilitate the process of an employee and their manager keeping in touch during the maternity leave period and support the smooth return to work for the employee returning from maternity leave. Examples of when they may be used include Training/Development sessions, team meetings, service or policy updates or working a normal shift.   

Do I Need To Use All 10 Available KIT Days During My Maternity Leave?

No. KIT days are optional.  You may choose to work any number in agreement with your manager or indeed decide that you do not wish to work any KIT days during Maternity Leave. The payment rules for KIT days worked, up to a total of 10 days.

Can I Work More Than The 10 Available KIT Days During My Maternity Leave?

No. If you work an 11th day,  your maternity leave will come to an end.

Are There Any Periods During My Maternity Leave When I Am Not Able To utilise KIT Days?

You may not work by law during the two weeks immediately following the birth of your child. 

I Understand That If I Only Use A KIT Day To Go Into Work For 2 Hours Training, This Will Count As Me Using 1 KIT Day. Does This Mean I Am Paid For 1 Days Work Or Only 2 Hours Work?

Any work done on any KIT day under your contract of employment will count as a whole (one) KIT day. Therefore, if you attend work for a 2 hour training session this will count as 1 KIT day. 

How Should Any Hours Worked As A KIT Day Be Input And Recorded On SSTS To Ensure The Correct Payment?

Hours worked on a KIT day should be recorded as a roster note in SSTS and the detail will be passed automatically to Payroll where a manual calculation of the KIT payment will be performed. The roster note should describe the date and hours worked together with an indication of how many KIT days have been worked (including this latest KIT day) in the current maternity leave absence.

Will Any KIT Days Worked Extend The Maternity Leave Period?

No.

Do The KIT Days Have To Be Worked Consecutively?

No. This is not essential and the planned KIT days can be worked consecutively or not, as agreed between the employee and their manager.

Will I Be Paid Any Worked KIT Days In Addition To Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)?

No. Employees who agree to work KIT days will not be paid for work done in addition to SMP. The statutory rules provide for payment at a rate no less than the weekly value of SMP for work done on a KIT day, so if you work 10 hours on a KIT day with a contractual payment of £145.00 you will not receive the £145.00 in addition to the weekly rate of SMP (£139.58 from 6 April 2015) however since that exceeds the SMP rate you will be paid £145.00 instead of SMP.  If you work 8 hours on a KIT day and the contractual payment is £80.00, you will receive £139.58 SMP which is higher than the contractual payment. Payment is made of the higher value only.

If I Work A KIT Day When Should I Expect To Receive Payment?

Payment will be made in the first pay bill run after input of the SSTS roster note.

What Happens If I Work More Than 1 KIT Day In A Week Or If I Work A Week Solely Made Up Of KIT Days?

he KIT days payment will be based on the total number of hours worked in that calendar week. The contractual payment for KIT days worked will be compared to the SMP value and the higher payment will be paid.

If I Am Entitled To Maternity Allowance Only And Not Eligible For SMP, How Will My Payment Be Calculated?

Payment for KIT days worked will be made for any amount greater than the weekly value of Maternity Allowance. If the KIT day calculation is less than the value of MA then no payment will be made.

Am I Allowed To Utilise KIT Days When On Unpaid Maternity Leave (Normally Weeks 40 To 52) If So How Will The Payment Be Calculated?

KIT days will be paid at the normal hourly rate as if the employee were at work.

What Impact Will Working A KIT Day Have On My Occupational Maternity Pay?

If the KIT day is worked between weeks 1 to 26 of maternity leave, the calculation will be based on the greater of :

  1. payment for hours worked, or
  2. payment for 1 day OMP (i.e. at full or half pay), or
  3. Full week value of SMP

If the KIT day is worked between weeks 27 to 39 of maternity leave, the calculation will be based on the greater of :

  1. payment for hours worked, or
  2. Full week value of SMP

If the KIT day is worked between weeks 40 to 52 of maternity leave, the calculation will be based on

  1. Payment for hours worked

I’m Still Breast Feeding, Will This Affect Me Working Keeping In Touch Days?

Your employer is required to complete a risk assessment of your working conditions and provide you with the required facilities including an area to rest and express milk and a dedicated storage space for storing expressed milk.

Returning to Work

What Is The Earliest Date I Can Return After The Birth Of My Baby?

The legal minimum period of maternity leave is 2 weeks after your baby is born.

What Is The Latest Date That I Can Return?

52 weeks after the start of the maternity leave however, this may be extended by local agreement in exceptional circumstances.

Do I Have To Give Notice To Return?

Only if you wish to return earlier than your original return date, in which case you must give 28 days notice of your return. 

What If My Circumstances Change And I Am Unable To Return To Work?

You will be asked to repay the full amount of Occupational Maternity Pay received less 6 weeks at 90% of OMP. Arrangements can be made with the Payroll Department to repay the sum owed in reasonable instalments to avoid unnecessary hardship.

Will I Be Given Support To Continue Breastfeeding On My Return To Work?

Yes, We aim to support and encourage mothers who wish to breastfeed after they return to work. If you wish to continue breastfeeding your child when you return to work you should arrange to meet your line manager to discuss the provisions required. This meeting will need to take place at least four weeks before you plan to return to discuss working arrangements, which will allow you to continue to breastfeed.

 As a result we may need to change your working pattern temporarily in order to support you and this should be discussed with your line manager prior to your return. Where practicable, time off during working hours will be provided to allow you to breastfeed if your baby is cared for nearby, or to express milk.

 Please refer to Board Breastfeeding Policy for more information.

Parental Leave

The Parental Leave Policy is one of the NHSGGC Work-Life Balance Policies which allows our staff to spend more quality time with their children.

The policy document is currently awaiting review to ensure it reflects changes in the relevant legislation, however you can find all the information you need below until the revised policy appears here.

Who is eligible?

Employees who have both:

  • 12 months’ continuous service with one or more NHS employers; and 
  • Parental responsibility for a child under 14 (for paid parental leave) or under 18 (for unpaid parental leave).

What is available?

A maximum of 18 weeks per child:

  • Up to four weeks of paid parental leave per child to be taken before that child’s 14th birthday;
  • Up to 14 further weeks of unpaid parental leave per child to be taken before that child’s 18th birthday.

How do you apply?

Employees should complete this Parental Leave Application Form and submit it to their manager.

For more information please see the further guidance below and if you still have any questions please feel free to contact the HR Support and Advice Unit.

Please note: If you were looking for information about sharing Maternity or Adoption Leave between parents – or would like to know more about this – please see Shared Parental Leave

Further Guidance on parental leave

What?

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde recognise that all working parents have to maintain a healthy balance between their professional and personal responsibilities and that sometimes this includes taking some extra time off work to spend quality time with their children.

Parental Leave is designed to support them do this in a flexible way and is only available for that purpose.

It enables eligible employees request up to 18 weeks of leave per child: four weeks paid and then 14 weeks unpaid. Please note that the paid leave must be taken before the child’s 14th birthday or it is lost. The unpaid element can be taken up to the child’s 18th birthday.

NB. A week of parental leave equals the employee’s contracted hours in the week in which they wish to take it. Please see guidance on Record Keeping below for more information.

Who?

The eligibility criteria are 12 months of qualifying service (continuous service with one or more NHS employers) and parental responsibility for a child (aged under 14 for paid leave and under 18 for unpaid).

Please note that parental responsibility is a specific legal status, defined within the Children (Scotland) Act 1995, and in general only applies to the birth or adoptive parent/s. It can sometimes be granted to other guardians by the courts if necessary in the best interests of the child however it would not automatically apply other people involves in the child’s life, such as step-parents or grandparents, even if they live in the same household.

How?

Applications should be submitted directly to the relevant line manager with no less than three weeks’ notice and first time applications must be accompanied by a copy of the child’s birth certificate or adoption documentation.

When?

In exceptional circumstances, line managers may need to postpone parental leave if the needs of the service prevent them from granting some or all or the employee’s first choice of dates. Postponement should only take place after a discussion with the employee, with valid objective operational reasons provided, and the line manager is responsible for ensuring the employee can take the leave within six months of when they had requested to take it unless the employee chooses to withdraw the request instead.

Record keeping

In order for staff to be paid correctly, it is crucial that line managers ensure that SSTS is updated to accurately reflect any parental leave being taken (or inform Payroll directly where SSTS is not available).

Line Managers should also keep a record of all Parental Leave that has been authorised and transfer that information to any subsequent manager if the employee moves to a new role within NHSGGC.

NB. All parental leave should be recorded in (fractions of) weeks rather than days/ shifts.

This can be calculated by dividing the number of hours of parental leave being taken by the number of hours the employee is contracted to work in the week in which it is taken. For example, an employee who currently works full-time (37.5 hours) and an employee who currently works part-time (18.75 hours), both take 18.75 hours away from work on parental leave: the full-time employee has used 0.5 weeks of their parental leave entitlement (18.75 divided by 37.5) whereas the part-time employee has used one whole week (18.75 divided by 18.75).

It is also advisable for staff to keep their own record of their parental leave uptake, how much they have used and when, as they may already do in relation to annual leave as it is their responsibility to notify any new managers of their parental leave record.

Any Questions?

Please contact the HR Support and Advice Unit.

Reduced Working Year

Board Reduced Working Year Policy.

The purpose of this policy is to promote flexible working practices and to define one of these, the reduced working years. Most commonly the reduced working year is utilised as a term time arrangement where the duties of the post are carried out during school terms.

The policy details how a reduced working year contract would work in practice and the options for calculating pay.

Please contact the HR Support and Advice Unit if you have any questions in relation to this policy.

Guidance

What is a reduced working year?

A reduced working year can take a number of forms. One of the most common examples is term time working. This is a formal agreement whereby the duties and responsibilities of a post are carried out (either full-time or part-time) during school terms. The salary of the post is reduced proportionately to the hours worked by the employee. However, these principles would apply regardless of whether a reduced working year contract is explicitly linked to school terms or not.

What are benefits of a reduced working year?

A reduced working year provides the opportunity for employees to work during certain periods of the year while maintaining their career prospects and personal development. It allows employees to remain on a permanent contract and gives them unpaid leave during school holidays.

Am I entitled to submit an application?

Yes, an application to request a reduced working year contract is open to all employees as well as prospective employees, no matter what level in the organisation. Where posts are not considered to be suitable for a reduced working year contract, a full explanation will be given by the line manager.

How do I submit an application?

You should complete a Flexible Working Application form and submit it directly to your line manager. 

What are the options for payment?

There are two options available for payment of employees who work reduced working year contracts. Option 1 allows for twelve equal payments over the year to be made using a formula to deduct monies due for unpaid leave. Option 2 makes payments to staff on the basis of what they actually work and deductions for periods of unpaid leave.

The HR Support and Advice Unit can be contacted on 0141 278 2700 if you have any further questions or need guidance on this policy area.

Special Leave

Board Special Leave Policy.

NHSGGC understands that employees need to balance the demands of work requirements with domestic responsibilities. Whilst each employee is responsible for ensuring appropriate care mechanisms are in place to meet their personal responsibilities, NHS GG&C may assist in circumstances where arrangements have unavoidably broken down and time off work is required.

Our Special Leave Policy explains how time off from work is managed, for situations such as to deal with domestic emergencies, the serious illness or death of a partner, family member or relative, close friend or colleague or for short term carer’s leave.

Special Leave is also used for time off for public duties such as jury service, member of a public body such as Children’s Panel or training days with Volunteer Forces.

Please contact the HR Support and Advice Unit if you require further advice.

There is a separate Reserve Forces Training and Mobilisation Policy

Annual Leave

The Annual Leave Policy applies to all employees of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde employed on Agenda for Change terms and conditions.  

The aim of this policy is to provide a uniform and equitable approach to the calculation of annual leave and bank holiday entitlements which take into account the entitlements and arrangements defined under Agenda for Change.

The policy is to determine annual leave entitlement in hours not days for all staff regardless of whether the employee is full-time or part time. The benefit for all employees in calculating entitlement in hours is that this ensures equity for all by ensuring that staff who work variable hours/shifts do not receive either more or less leave than colleagues who work a standard pattern.

Starting/Leaving half way through the year

Entitlement to annual leave accrues from the date of commencement in post and entitlement in the first year is dependent on the number of days worked between the date of joining and before the end of the annual leave year. This can be calculated using the annual leave calculator.

All employees are entitled to public holidays from their start date that would fall on a normal working day, for example: employee starts on 12th December, they will be entitled to take all Christmas and New Year public holidays if they would normally have been a working day.

For the first year, an employee will be entitled to public holidays as and when they fall regardless of how much they are entitled to.

Therefore, to calculate an employee’s annual leave and public holiday entitlement for a part year, the annual leave calculator should be used for the annual leave component. For public holidays, this would be the public holidays remaining until the end of the annual leave year. For example, a full time employee working Monday to Friday commences employment on 1st September (no previous NHS experience) would be entitled to 118 hours annual leave. From 1st September there would be 5 public holidays remaining which would equate to 37.5 hours (5 x 7.5 hrs), therefore the employee would have 155.5 entitlements for the part year.

The above would be similar if an employee left employment through the annual leave year.

Annual Leave Policy

Please contact the HR Support and Advice Unit if you wish clarification on the application of this policy.

Annual Leave Calculator

Holiday calculators are provided to assist in the calculation of leave entitlements. This Annual leave calculator can also be used for Executive and Senior Managers.  Staff on Term Time Contracts should continue to refer to the HR Support and Advice Unit for help in calculating Annual Leave.  Departments are responsible for keeping the annual leave records of their own staff.

The Public Holiday element of the annual leave calculator should only be used for Part Time employees (to calculate their pro rata entitlement)

Please refer to Section 43 for staff who are either commencing/leaving the organisation as follows:

43. Staff who leave the employing organisation will receive their full annual leave entitlement per Table 2 for each day they have worked in the current leave year, less any annual leave taken plus any outstanding public holiday hours, i.e. for those hours still to be taken as a result of the employee working a public holiday.

Further information regarding employees commencing/ leaving during an entitlement leave can be found via Annual Leave Overview.

Please contact the HR Support and Advice Unit if you wish further information or clarification on annual leave entitlement and use of the calculator.

*Medical Staff are covered by separate terms and conditions and should refer to Medical Staffing for advice.