Managing maternity leave | Contact

You must contact her about:

  • Any reorganisation, or other changes, that affect her job.
  • Any promotion or other job opportunities, explaining what she needs to do to apply.
  • Possible or planned redundancies.

Before your employee starts her maternity leave it is good practice to discuss:

  • How much contact you will have.
  • What form the contacts will take, for example by email, access to the intranet, letter or telephone call.
  • What the contacts should cover, for example about staff leaving, new staff who have joined, training events, social activities.
  • Whether your employee wants to receive news bulletins. 
  • When an appraisal will be held, if it is due during her maternity leave.
  • If she wants to take part in any training.
  • Keeping In Touch days and the pay for such days.
  • Other information that the employee would like to receive.

It is good practice to explain to the employee that:

  • There will be times when you are legally required to contact her, for example if there is a redundancy situation or where there are developments that affect her job, promotion possibilities, new job opportunities.
  • She is not under any obligation to work during maternity leave.
  • If she wants to attend training, you will provide details of any training taking place and she should say what training she can attend.
  • What she will be paid for any days worked.
  • Apart from times when you must contact the employee, you will provide as much, or little, contact as agreed.

If you agree, an employee can work for up to 10 days during her maternity leave without this affecting her entitlement to Statutory Maternity Pay. These are called Keeping in Touch days.

If an employee takes shared parental leave (SPL) she (and her partner if they take SPL) can work a further 20 days during SPL. These are known as Shared Parental Leave in touch (SPLIT) days:

You can ask an employee to work, but you cannot require an employee on maternity leave to work .You must not treat her unfavourably if she does not want to work. Working during maternity leave is voluntary for both employer and employee.

No, you are not legally required to offer an employee Keeping in Touch days. They are voluntary for both employer and employee. However, if there are training events available for employees and a woman on maternity leave would be disadvantaged if she did not attend, it would be good practice to offer her the opportunity to attend using Keeping in Touch days.

You are not legally required to pay for Keeping In Touch days. However, if an employee is working it would be good practice to pay her for the day she works. You can offset any contractual pay against statutory maternity pay.

Last updated: 13 May 2016