Maternity leave and pay

Employees may take up to 52 weeks’ leave.

This is a ‘day one’ right and there is no qualifying period. The level of pay depends on the length of service. 

  • Employees with 26 weeks’ service (but less than 1 years’ service) at the 15th week before the Expected Week of Childbirth (EWC) are entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) for 39 weeks.
  • Employees with more than one year’s continuous service at the expected week of childbirth who intend to return to work are entitled to Occupational Maternity Pay (OMP), which is an enhanced provision inclusive of the statutory provision.
  • Employees with less than 26 weeks’ service at the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth may be entitled to Maternity Allowance (MA).

What you need to do

  • Book a meeting with People and Culture (hrer@essex.ac.uk) as early as possible to talk about your plans/benefits/entitlements.
  • Complete a maternity leave application form (.pdf) to give notification of your intention to take maternity leave and send it to HR.  This should be provided no later than 15th week before the expected week of childbirth.
  • During your maternity leave, you can use up to ten keeping in touch (KIT) days. Please complete the KIT form (.pdf) for payment.
  • Before you return to work, you should complete the return to work form (.pdf).
  • If you are the holder of a Tier 2 or Skilled Worker visa, please also contact sponsoredstaff@essex.ac.uk to discuss any visa considerations.

What managers need to do

  • Make sure you are aware of the family leave policy (.pdf) and what is required in terms of documentation at different points.
  • Consider any reasonable adjustments that need to be made following the pregnancy risk assessment (.docx).
  • Allow her to attend ante-natal appointments.
  • Keep in touch during maternity leave, including the arrangement of keep in touch days.

Provide support on the return to work, carrying out a ‘re-induction’ to the workplace. 

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Contact us
Human Resources Employee Relations
Telephone: 01206 873353