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Academy Maternity Policy – Support Staff

Consultation Period:

11th April 2016 – 29th June 2016

Date Approved by NET:

7th October 2016

Next Review Date:

Summer 2019

Maternity Policy - Support Staff






Who does this policy apply to?



Stages of leave


3.1 Ordinary Maternity Leave” (OML)


3.2 “Additional Maternity Leave” (AML)


3.3 “Compulsory Maternity Leave”



Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)



Start date of maternity leave



Notice to be given by the employee



Employees with Less than 1 Years’ Service



Employees with More than 1 Years’ Service



Issues Affecting All Employees


9.1 Birth before the Expected Week of Confinement (EWC)


9.2 Return to work before the end of maternity period

9.3 Time off for ante-natal care

9.4 Health and Safety considerations

9.5 Working with VDU’s during pregnancy

9.6 Pension contributions whilst on maternity leave

9.7 Breaks in service

9.8 Still birth

9.9 Vacancies with the Academy whilst an employee is on maternity leave

9.10 Keeping in Touch

9.11 Returning to Work

9.12 Returning to to work Part Time

9.13 Inability to return to work because of sickness

9.14 Other reasons for not being able to return to work

9.15 Not returning to work

9.16 Adoption Leave

9.17 Resignation and returning to Trust service at a later date


















Guidance for the Principal


Appendix 1 – Application


Appendix 2 – Undertake to Repay Form


Appendix 3 – Expectant Mothers Risk Assessment


Appendix 4 – Contacts


  1. Introduction

1.1 As the employer of staff in our Academies, Northern Education Trust (NET) recognises the statutory responsibilities related to employment. Day to day management of staff is delegated to the Principal and line managers in each Academy. Throughout this document reference is made to the responsibilities held by the Governing Body/Principal for operational purposes. Ultimate responsibility rests with the Trust.
1.2 The Trust is committed to equality of opportunity in employment for all its employees and to developing work practices and human resource policies that support work-life balance.
1.3 This policy is intended to inform employees of their rights to maternity leave and pay. It covers all support staff who have a contract of employment with the Trust and work in Trust academies.
1.4 Please note where reference is made to the Principal, this is either the Principal or the nominated person in the academy.
1.5 Further policies on Paternity Leave and Maternity Support Leave, Shared Parental Leave, Parental Leave and Adoption Leave and are also available. The Shared Parental Leave regulations provide an opportunity for parents to take advantage of additional flexibility in the way they choose to care for a new arrival to the family and should be read in conjunction with this policy.
1.6 For clarification regarding continuous service:

  • For Statutory Maternity Pay, HMRC regulations stipulate that continuous service is only counted with the current employer, i.e. the Trust. For those who TUPE transferred to the Trust, continuous service with the predecessor school is counted.

  • For Occupational Maternity Pay, the Trust recognises continuous service with any public body listed on the modification order subject to national NJC conditions of service

2.0 Who does this policy apply to?
2.1 The Statutory Maternity Scheme applies to all pregnant women employed under NJC conditions.
2.2 The scheme is made up of Ordinary Maternity Leave (OML), and Additional Maternity Leave (AML). All women are entitled to take both 26 weeks’ Ordinary Maternity Leave and 26 weeks’ Additional Maternity Leave providing a right to one year’s (52 weeks) maternity leave in total regardless of length of service.
2.3 The Employment Rights Act 1996 also provides for Compulsory Maternity Leave.
3.0 Stages of Leave
3.1 “Ordinary Maternity Leave” (OML)
Provided that an employee complies with the notification procedure detailed on the next page, all women are entitled to OML of 26 weeks.

3.2 “Additional Maternity Leave” (AML)
All women are entitled to a further 26 weeks AML. This will start at the end of the OML period, i.e. 52 weeks leave in total.

3.3 “Compulsory Maternity Leave”
No employee may return to work within:

  1. Two weeks of the date of childbirth; or

  2. Until some later date if there are other statutory requirements which stop the employee from working due to the fact that she has just given birth.

  1. Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)

4.1 To qualify for SMP an employee must as a minimum:

  1. Have been employed continuously with the Northern Education Trust (or predecessor school) for at least 26 weeks by the 15th week before the week the baby is due.

  2. Have average earnings at or above the Lower Earnings Limit for National Insurance calculated over a relevant period defined by statute.

  3. Provide proof of pregnancy with a valid form MAT B1.

  4. Have stopped working.

  5. Provide the correct notice.

If the above criteria are met, there may be other circumstances specific to an individual which mean that they will be ineligible for SMP. Where, for any reason, an employee is not entitled to SMP, they will be notified accordingly and may be able to claim maternity allowance from Job Centre Plus.
4.2 Where SMP is due it is payable for 39 weeks and is made up of:

  1. 6 weeks at 9/10ths (90%) of average earnings

  2. 33 weeks at a flat rate £139.58 (April 2016), or 9/10ths (90%) whichever is the lower

5.0 Start date of maternity leave
5.1 Maternity leave will start:

  1. No earlier than 11 weeks before the expected week of childbirth or the day after the birth of the child if this is earlier.

  2. No later than the date the employee has agreed with the Principal that she will commence leave or the day after the birth of the child, whichever is the earlier.

  3. The 4th week before the expected week of childbirth if the employee is on pregnancy related sickness absence.

  4. The day after the birth of the baby if the baby is born early before the intended leave date.

    1. An employee can work up to their expected week of childbirth.

6.0 Notice to be given by the employee
6.1 An employee must give 28 days’ notice to the Principal of the following:

  1. That they are pregnant.

  2. The expected week of childbirth (EWC).

  3. The date of the beginning of their maternity leave. The leave start date can be varied by giving 28 days notice to the Principal.

6.2 The employee will be also asked to provide a valid certificate from a Doctor or a registered Midwife stating the expected week of childbirth (MAT B1 certificate) which needs to be forwarded to the Principal along with the relevant notification forms which are enclosed at the back of this policy. (See Appendix 1)
6.3 Within 28 days of receiving notification from the employee, the payroll section will inform the employee of her ‘expected date of return’, calculated on the assumption that she will take the maximum amount of leave to which she is entitled
7.0 Employees with Less than 1 Years’ Continuous Service (see clarification on service at 1.6)
7.1 If an employee has less than one years’ service at the 11th week before the expected week of childbirth then the following is applicable:

    • Maternity Leave: Provided the employee complies with the notification procedures they will be entitled to OML for up to 26 weeks and AML for up to 26 weeks (52 weeks leave in total)

    • Maternity Pay: Subject to meeting the qualifying criteria at 4.1 the employee will have an entitlement to SMP only, a maximum of 39 weeks paid leave.

8.0 Employees with More Than 1 Years’ Continuous Service (see clarification on service at

8.1 If an employee has more than one years’ continuous service at the 11th week before the expected week of childbirth then the following is applicable:

  • Maternity Leave: Provided the employee complies with the notification procedures they will be entitled to 26 weeks’ OML and 26 weeks’ AML (52 weeks leave in total)

  • Maternity Pay:

The term “ a week’s pay” for employees whose remuneration for normal working hours does not vary with the amount of work done in the period, is the amount payable to the employee under the current contract of employment for working her normal hours in a week. Where there are no normal working hours, a week’s pay is the average remuneration in the period of 12 weeks preceding the date on which the last complete week ended, excluding any week in which no remuneration was earned.
Weeks 1 – 6 9/10ths (90%) of a week’s pay including SMP or Maternity Allowance payments if the employee is not eligible for SMP.
Weeks 7 – 18 12 weeks SMP entitlement. An employee who declares in writing that she intends to return to work will for the subsequent 12 weeks receive half a week’s pay without deduction except by the extent to which the combined pay and SMP (or MA and any dependant’s allowances if the employee is not eligible for SMP) exceeds full pay.

If the employee does not intend to return to work they will be entitled to SMP only.
Weeks 19 – 26 SMP entitlement for the remaining 8 weeks of OML.
Weeks 27 – 39 SMP entitlement for 13 weeks of AML.
Weeks 40 – 52 13 weeks unpaid AML.
8.2 The additional half pay element is made on the understanding that the employee will return to employment with the Trust for at least three months following their maternity leave. If they do not return for at least three months, on either a full time or part time basis, they will need to repay the half pay part of the payment, or such a lesser amount as the academy may decide. Employees will need to sign an undertaking to repay form prior to starting maternity leave in order to receive the half pay element. (See Appendix 1). It is also possible to have the half pay element paid over a mutually agreed period (a longer period than 12 weeks) or have the half pay element deferred until a later date if the employee is unsure whether they wish to return to work after maternity leave. Please contact Payroll to discuss this option further.

The Maternity Application Form must be completed prior to commencing maternity leave and sent to the Principal.
8.3 There will be some circumstances where the half pay element will not be reclaimed should an employee not return to the academy following maternity leave; i.e., if the employee gains employment in another NET academy during their maternity leave; if the employee has a fixed term contract which expires prior to her being able to return to work from maternity leave and if the employee is dismissed on the grounds of redundancy. There may also be other occasions where the Principal can exercise discretion over how much of the half pay should be reclaimed; i.e. where an employee does return to work but not for the full three months; or where there are other exceptional mitigating circumstances. Advice should be taken from the Trust HR function.

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