Firstly, congratulations! You will be making a lot of new plans about the future right now and it is important that you know what you can expect from Police Scotland from today until you return to work after your maternity leave.
Do I have to tell the Force that I am pregnant?
The SPF encourages you to tell your line manager as soon as practicable so that proper protective measures can be put in place to protect you and your unborn child. Once you are 21 weeks pregnant your GP or midwife will give you a certificate (Mat B1) fo r your employer showing that you are pregnant. You MUST advise the Force that you are pregnant no later than 28 days before your baby is due or you will not comply with the requirements for Statutory Maternity Pay.
Can I continue to work as normal?
There is no reason why, if any identified risks are managed properly, that you cannot continue to work throughout your pregnancy. The Force is required to have Generic Risk Assessments available to all women who are pregnant or planning to have a baby.
But my pregnancy may be different to others?
Which is why, once you inform your line manager of your pregnancy, the Force is deemed to know that you are pregnant and must ensure that a specific risk assessment is carried out. This may be in consultation w ith the Occupational Health Department, the Force Medical Advisor and/or your own GP or obstetrician. The process should always include you and you should be provided with a copy of the completed risk assessment. The risk assessment should be reviewed at regular intervals during your pregnancy to highlight and identify any changes in your needs.
The Force wants to remove me from my current duties and have me working in an office. Can they do this?
If the risk assessment highlights any risks to you o r your unborn child in the role you are currently performing the Force must take reasonable steps to remove or reduce those risks. This may involve a djusting your conditions and/or hours of work or offering you an alternative role. This does not mean that the Force should be risk averse as many wo m en work throughout their pregnancy with little or no problems.
What if the Force cannot reduce or remove the risks?
In these circumstances the Force should give you paid leave for as long as is necessary.
Am I entitled to time off for ante – natal care?
Yes, you are entitled to reasonable time off to attend appointments for ante – natal care made on the advice of your GP, Midwife or health visitor. The time off will be paid if the appointment is in duty time. There is no limit to how much time off you can take for ante – natal care but, after your first appointment, you can be asked to show an appointment card or other document showing that an appointment has been made for you.
What Maternity Leave am I entitled to ?
You are entitled to 15 months Police Maternity Leave from up to 6 months prior to and up to 12 months after birth .
What Maternity pay am I entitled to ?
If you have 63 weeks continuous service as a police officer (in any Force) before the expected week of childbirth and you are pregnant or have given birth 15 weeks before the expected week of childbirth you are entitled to Occupational Maternity Pay (OMP ) which is 13 weeks on full pay ; You will also be entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) if you have 26 weeks continuous service in the Force as a police officer 15 weeks before the expected week of childbirth and you are pregnant at the 11th week before the expected week of childbirth or have already given birth. Statutory Maternity Pay is paid for up to 39 weeks – the first 6 weeks is paid at 90% of full pay followed by 33 weeks of SMP at the lower rate. The lower rate of SMP changes each year in April; in 2014 it is £138.18 The pay you receive depends on the timing of your maternity leave. In a week when you are eligible for both SMP and OMP, only the highest is paid.
What about my annual leave entitlement?
Your annual leave entitlement will accrue throughout your maternity leave and you can take this, before, during or after your maternity leave.
Do I have to maintain contact with the Force when I am on Maternity Leave?
Often people who are away from the workplace for a protracted period of time become disassociated and that in itself can cause frustrations. I t is good practice for your line manager to agree with you a form of contact that suits you and your needs whilst allowing the Force to keep you properly updated with news of your workplace.
Can I be recalled to duty during my Maternity Leave ?
You cannot be required to work within 2 weeks of giving birth. Thereafter you should only be recalled to duty for exceptional reasons such as court or to attend a misconduct hearing.
What compensation am I entitled to if I am recalled to duty or have to attend court whilst on paid maternity leave?
Compensation is different depending on the stage of maternity leave you are on when you are recalled to duty: • If you are on occupational maternity leave you will be paid for the period you attend work and your occupational maternity paid period will be extended • If you are on statutory paid maternity leave you will be paid for the hours you work but under the SMP rules you will lose your SMP and leave for the whole week in which you work. It may be better to take the time as TOIL at the end of your maternity period or take a KIT day (see below) • If you are on unpaid maternity leave you will be paid for the hours you work but you may wish to take the time as TOIL at the end of the maternity period. Remember that any paid duty that is undertaken during a period of unpaid maternity l eave could adversely affect the buy – back of pensionable service
What are Keeping in Touch days ?
Keeping in Touch (KIT) days allow women officers on maternity leave to return to work on a voluntary basis for up to a maximum of 10 day s during their maternity leave. KIT days should be agreed in advance between you and the Force and can be used to allow you to attend training courses, keep up to date with changes at work or just to keep in close contact with your workplace. In fact, KIT days could provide real benefits for you whilst you are on your maternity leave. A risk assessment will also be undertaken to ensure that you are fit and able to undertake the work but also that any risks are properly managed and reduced.
Will I be paid for working a KIT days?
You will receive your normal hourly rate for the hours you work on a KIT day in addition to your SMP for that week so can be used to enhance your pay whilst helping you remain in contact with your workplace. The pay you receive for worki ng on a KIT day is pensionable.
What notice must I give the Force when returning to work after my Maternity leave?
You must give at least 21 days written notice of your intention to return to work, or to change your date of return. This gives the Force time to ensure that a risk assessment is carried out on your retu rn.
I want to return to work but am still breastfeeding, can I do this?
The Force should make every effort to facilitate this on your return and you should give them written notification of your intention to continue breastfeeding on your return to work. A specific risk assessment will be required to be undertaken by the Force to ensure any risks are minimised and so that any specific needs are facilitated (this may include additional rest periods to allow you to attend to your baby out with the workplace or suitable facilities to express and store milk at work).
What about my pension when I am on maternity leave?
Any period of paid maternity pay will count towards your pensionable service. Pension contribution s paid at your usual pension percentage rate will be deducted from any pay you receive. You will accrue pension throughout your maternity paid leave as if you were still at work. In addition you can buy – back unpaid maternity leave at the rate of the last pay you received whilst on maternity leave – in most cases this will be SMP at the lower rate.
Is any of my maternity leave reckonable for service?
You can reckon a period of up to 52 weeks for pay and leave purposes when on maternity leave.
What if I am not well enough to return to work at the conclusion of my maternity leave?
In these circumstances the Police Service of Scotland Regulations 2013 in relation to sickness absence will apply.
What about my voluntary contributions and insurance payments to the Scottish Police Federation?
When you are on maternity leave and cease to receive any pay from the Force you will receive a letter from the SPF advising that to remain within the insurance scheme you must continue to pay your voluntary fund contributions and insurance premiums. A mandate will be included to allow you to ar range this with your bank. If you opt not to continue in the scheme you can only be accepted back into it on successful completion of a medical Questionnaire. Any additional medical examinations required by the insurers will be at your own cost.
If you have any further questions that are specific to your own circumstances you should contact your local Area Equality Lead representative who will be happy to assist you further.
Scottish Police Maternity Pay Chart for babies born before 1 April 2016
Scottish Police Maternity Pay Chart for babies born after 1 April 2016