What pay am I entitled to?
All University of Cambridge staff are entitled to receive 18 weeks of full-pay (regardless of length of service), on the provision that you will return to work for a period of 3 months after your maternity leave. If you receive enhanced pay and subsequently do not return to work for the full 3 months, you will be required to pay back a proportion of this as below:
Up to one month
All maternity pay
One month up to two months
Two-thirds of maternity pay
Two months up to three months
One-third of maternity pay
If at the point of applying for maternity leave you are aware you will not be returning to work, it is advisable to complete the form requesting to receive SMP only.
There are eligibility requirements to receive Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), in relation to your length of service and average weekly salary. Further guidance on this can be found on the University webpages (http://www.hr.admin.cam.ac.uk/policies-procedures/maternity-policy/statement-policy) or .gov.uk (https://www.gov.uk/maternity-pay-leave/eligibility). If you are not eligible to receive SMP, you will be able to apply for Maternity Allowance (MA) through your local job centre with your MATB1 and a completed SMP1 form. Your HR Team will provide you with these with your letter confirming arrangements.
What if I become unwell during pregnancy?
If you are off work with an illness unrelated to pregnancy, you will be able to remain on sick leave until the start date of your maternity leave (subject to the standard requirement of submitting Statements of Fitness for Work (or “Fit Notes”) obtained from a doctor as required after 7 calendar days of absence, as per the Sickness Absence Policy: http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/offices/hr/policy/leave/sickness/index.html)
If you are on sick leave due to a pregnancy-related illness, at the beginning of the 4th week prior to the expected week of childbirth your sick leave will automatically transfer to maternity leave. If you become unwell with a pregnancy-related illness after the 4th week prior to the expected week of childbirth, your maternity leave will start with effect from the first day of illness.
What if my baby is born early?
If your baby is born early, your maternity leave will start from the date of birth. In usual circumstances, you are not able to start maternity leave until 11 weeks prior to the expected week of childbirth (except in exceptional circumstances). If however, your baby is born prior to the 11th week before the expected week of childbirth, your maternity leave and pay will commence immediately.
Please ensure to inform your line manager or departmental administrator if your baby is born early, as soon as reasonably possible after the birth.
What if I suffer a miscarriage or stillbirth?
If your pregnancy sadly ends in stillbirth after the 24th week of pregnancy, you will still remain eligible to take your full entitlement of maternity leave and pay. This will commence from the date of birth.
As mentioned in the “what benefits do I retain whilst on maternity leave?” section, whilst on maternity leave you will still have full access to University support services, including the University Counselling Service.
What are KIT days?
“KIT” days, or Keeping in Touch days, are the provision for you (with the agreement of your Head of Department) to carry out up to 10 days’ work during maternity leave (excluding the first two weeks from the date of birth) without ceasing your maternity leave. In accordance with legislation, any work carried out on any day shall constitute a full days’ work.
“Work” means any work done under your contract of employment and may include training, attending meetings or any activity undertaken for the purposes of keeping in touch with the workplace.
Neither you nor your Department are obliged to make use of these days, and the provision does not confer the right for the Department to require work to be carried out, or for you to request to work during your maternity leave.
Can I attend ante-natal classes during working hours?
Yes. You are entitled to take time off with pay in order to attend ante-natal appointments, to include classes. Your line manager or Department may request you to produce appointment cards from your clinic.
What benefits do I retain whilst on maternity leave?
During maternity leave your contract of employment continues in force. All terms and conditions of the contract (with the exception of salary) continue, and your continuity of service is maintained. Any standard incremental progression due to take place during your maternity leave will be implemented. Access to non-contractual benefits (such as CAMBens Discounts) will also continue.
All academic staff eligible for sabbatical leave under Statute D,II,5 are entitled to retain any terms falling during any maternity leave period as reckonable, for future sabbatical leave purposes.
Annual leave entitlement as stated in your contract of employment will continue to accrue as normal during your maternity leave. All accrued annual leave will need to be taken within 3 months of your return from maternity leave. Your Department will be able to inform you of the amount of leave you have accrued prior to or on your return.
Whilst on maternity leave, you will remain entitled to access all the usual support networks available to you. This includes administrative staff within your Department, the HR team, and the Occupational Health Service and University Counselling Service.
Whilst on maternity leave, you will remain entitled to redeployment support and advice if your contract is due to come to an end. You can access this by contacting Catherine Upton (Employee Relations Administrator) or your dedicated HR Adviser:
If your contract is due to come to an end, you may find the “What if my contract is due to end before or during my maternity leave?” section helpful.
What if I do not wish to return to work full-time?
If you wish to return to work on a part-time basis or working less than your contractual hours, you may request to return to work in graduated stages under a “graduated return”. Alternatively, you may request to decrease your hours on a fixed-term or permanent basis. If you wish to discuss any changes to your working arrangements following your return from maternity leave, you should contact your Head of Department or departmental administrator at the earliest opportunity (where possible, at least 8 weeks prior to your return to work). Requests will be considered on the basis of the operational requirements of the Department.
What if my contract is due to end before or during my maternity leave?
If your contract is due to cease whilst you are on maternity leave, the standard procedures of the ending of a fixed-term or open-ended contract will be followed, and the usual consultation periods will apply.
If your contract ends during the 18 week period that you are in receipt of enhanced pay, your full-pay will cease with effect from your contract end date but your SMP/MA will continue for the remainder of the full 39 weeks. You will not be required to pay back any full-pay you have already received.
If your contract ends after the 18 week period that you are in receipt of enhanced pay, you will not be required to pay back any full-pay, and your SMP/MA payments will continue for the remainder of the full 39 weeks.
If your contract ends prior to the start of your maternity leave but after the qualifying week (15 weeks prior to the expected week of birth), you will still be entitled to take the full 52 weeks maternity leave, but you will not be entitled to any full-pay. You will receive any SMP/MA payments you are entitled to for the full 39 weeks.
You may also wish to refer to the redeployment section, under “what benefits do I retain whilst on maternity leave?”
What is Shared Parental Leave?
Shared Parental Leave (or “SPL”) is the provision to share up to 50 weeks of your maternity leave and 37 weeks of your SMP with your child’s father/your partner. This enables you to be off work together, or at different times, to give you flexibility in considering how best to care for and bond with your child during the first year following the birth.
Further details on the policy and eligibility requirements can be found on the University webpages: http://www.hr.admin.cam.ac.uk/policies-procedures/shared-parental-leave-policy
Who can I talk to if I do not wish to contact my Department about maternity leave?
If you have any questions or concerns around maternity leave or pregnancy which you do not wish to discuss directly with your Department, please contact a member of the HR team. We will help provide any answers you require, whilst treating your query confidentially.
There are also additional internal support services available for you to contact.