Maternity leave entitlement

Please see below the answers to some of the most common questions regarding maternity leave. Further information is available in the Maternity Policy or from Human Resources.

Frequently Asked Questions

All pregnant staff are entitled to up to 52 weeks’ maternity leave regardless of length of service and must take a minimum of 2 weeks maternity leave.

Entitlement to paid maternity leave is dependent on length of service by the expected week of birth.

If you have less than 41 weeks’ service by the expected week of birth, you are entitled to a Maternity Allowance which is paid directly by the Government.

If you have 41 weeks’ service or more by the expected week of birth, you are entitled to College Maternity Pay, which is 18 weeks at full pay (i.e. calculated before any salary sacrifice has been made), followed by 21 weeks at the Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) (current rates of SMP), followed by a maximum of 13 weeks unpaid leave.

You should notify your line manager that you are pregnant as soon as possible so that a Risk Assessment can be undertaken.

Once you have received your MATB1 form (after 21 weeks of pregnancy), you must inform the HR Staff Hub and arrange a Maternity meeting.

See Maternity leave process for further details.

Shared Parental Leave (SPL) provides eligible parents with the opportunity to choose to share between them the care of their child during the first year following the child’s birth. Parents have the option of converting their maternity leave and pay into Shared Parental Leave and Pay and sharing the remaining period of leave and pay between them.

SPL is available to parents who meet the employment and earnings eligibility requirements, if the parent with entitlement to maternity leave decides to curtail that entitlement. Leave must be taken within 52 weeks of the birth of the child.

You are eligible for SPL if you are the birth parent, primary adopter or spouse, civil partner or partner of the birth parent/primary adopter AND

  • You will share responsibility for the care of the child
  • You have completed 26 weeks continuous service with the College by the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth
  • You are still employed with the College in the week before the leave is taken
  • You or your partner are entitled to Statutory Maternity Leave and Pay and have curtailed this entitlement.

Your partner must also satisfy the employment and earnings requirements as outlined in the Shared Parental Leave policy.

For further information about Shared Parental Leave, please see the Shared Leave Policy.

All pregnant staff, regardless of their length of service, are entitled to reasonable paid time off to keep appointments for ante-natal care made on the advice of a doctor, registered midwife or registered health visitor. You should give your manager as much notice as possible of appointments.

You will continue to accrue annual leave and mandatory leave during your maternity leave. You are encouraged to take a proportion of your annual leave before the start and after your maternity leave.

If your maternity leave crosses two leave years, you can carry over any untaken annual leave but you must take it within 3 months of returning from leave.