Frequently asked questions

Below is a list of frequently asked questions. For more detailed information and a full explanation please read the Maternity Guidance.

How much maternity leave am I entitled to? All staff are entitled to up to 63 weeks maternity leave, the University assumes you are taking 52 weeks maternity leave unless you tell us otherwise. You must take a minimum of 2 weeks maternity leave immediately after the baby is born

How much of my maternity leave is paid? Staff with more than 26 weeks continuous service at the EWC will be entitled to 13 weeks full pay, followed by 13 weeks half pay plus SMP, followed by 13 weeks SMP, the rest of the maternity leave period is unpaid. Staff who do not qualify for maternity pay will not be paid but will be provided with an SMP1 form so that you can claim maternity allowance through the Benefits Agency.

When and how should I let the University know that I am expecting a baby? You must inform the University by completing the leave and pay form, of the maternity guidance no later than 15 weeks before the EWC and send this to your link HR team and provide your line manager with a copy. The sooner you can do this the better so that the University can support you and ensure that you’re working in a safe environment.

I don’t want my line manager to know I am expecting a baby at the moment but I have lots of questions who can I speak to? You are able to speak in confidence to an HR representative from the HR Directorate.

What happens once I’ve told my line manager I’m pregnant? A maternity meeting will be arranged by your line manager. You should complete a risk assessment form. You should complete the leave and pay form and send it to the HR Directorate and give a copy to your line manager. You should send your MATB1 form to the HR Directorate. The leave and pay form and the MATB1 must reach the HR Directorate by 15th week before the EWC.

What is the earliest date or the latest date I can start my maternity leave? You can start you maternity leave up to 11 weeks before the EWC or on the EDD at the latest.

I think that my job could be hazardous to my baby who can I discuss this with?
Please contact the University Occupational Health team and complete the risk assessment record for pregnant workers. If the nurse is concerned about anything you have written on the form she will conduct a workplace assessment herself. If risks are identified (which is unlikely for most roles within the University) the University will manage them in an informed, rational and structured manner. An explanation will be given for any changes that are made. A variety of options are available and these are laid out in more detail in the maternity policy and guidance. The goal is always to ensure that new and expectant mothers or their babies are not exposed to risks that could cause them harm.

I feel guilty that I am taking time off to attend appointments to see my midwife and for appointments at the hospital, am I entitled to take this time off? Staff are entitled to not be unreasonably refused time off to keep appointments made on the advice of the registered practitioner, registered midwife or registered health visitor, for antenatal care. Where possible make appointments for the start or end of the day to reduce the amount of time away from the workplace.

My baby is due in eight weeks and my Doctor has signed me off work for six weeks because I have pre-eclamsia. I elected to start my maternity leave on the EDD, will this still be possible? If you are off sick for a maternity related reason at four weeks before the EDD then your maternity leave and maternity pay will automatically start whether you want it to or not and cannot be stopped once it has started so although you have been signed off for six weeks, you will not actually be able to return to work before the baby is born.

I am concerned that my line manager may not be aware of the Maternity Guidance, how will he/she be made aware of the policy? When you let HR and your line manager know you are expecting a baby your line manager will be responsible for organising a maternity meeting between you, your line manager and a representative from HR. At this meeting the entire maternity guidance will be discussed to make sure all parties have the same understanding. When you return from maternity leave there will be a return to work meeting with the same people.

What are KIT days? KIT stands for keeping in touch. You can come to work, if your line manager agrees, for up to ten days and the hours that you work can be recorded as TOIL and taken back at another point. Children cannot be brought to the workplace on KIT days.

Do I have to let Brookes know when I want to come back? Once you have submitted your leave and pay form to HR, HR will send you notification of the date that they are expecting you to return to work. This will always be 52 weeks from the date you are planning to start your maternity leave. If you are going to take 52 weeks then you don’t have to do anything else. But if you want to take the extra 11 weeks that the University offers all pregnant employees, or if you want to come back sooner, then you need to give the University at least 8 weeks notice of the date you are intending to return using the return to work form

If I want to change the dates or amounts of leave I’m going to take what do I need to do? Before you start maternity leave you can change the date that you want to start but you have to give the University 28 days notice of the new date. Once you’ve started maternity leave if you want to change the date you’re due to come back you have to give the University at least 8 weeks notice. If you want to come back earlier you must give at least 8 weeks notice from the new intended date of return. If you want to come back later you should give 8 weeks notice from the original return date.