Maternity leave checklist (for administrators)

This guidance was last updated on

January 2015

This checklist should be used as a guide to ensure that all aspects of an employee's maternity leave have been addressed.

Before the maternity leave

When your employee tells you she is pregnant

1. Arrange a workplace assessment.

Employers are required by law to protect the health and safety of employees who are pregnant, have recently given birth, or who are breastfeeding. Protection starts as soon as you know your employee is pregnant, so the assessment should be a priority following notification of the pregnancy.

2. Explain your employee's right to time off for antenatal care, and that except in the case of her first appointment, the employee must be prepared to show you evidence of such appointments.

3. Explain the time scales for notification and direct your employee to the information on maternity on the Personnel Services web pages.

At the qualifying week (15 weeks before the baby is due)

1. Check that you have issued a Maternity leave plan (74kb) for completion.

Completing the maternity plan is not a legal requirement to be able to claim maternity leave and pay, but it will give you all the information you will need. If you go through the form with your employee, it will help you to ensure that she understands her entitlements and obligations. Make sure that you use the Maternity leave dates calculator (13kb) to check the correct dates for the qualifying week.

2. Check that you have received a MATB1 form to notify you that an employee is pregnant. NB Academic staff must send their MATB1 forms to their divisional contacts.

MATB1 medical certificates are issued to pregnant women at approximately the 25th week of pregnancy. However, depending on appointment dates, the date the certificate is received could be a little later. You should ask your employee to give you her certificate as soon as she receives it.

3. Ensure that you have gone through the University maternity plan with your employee to make sure you are aware of:

  • her intentions with regard to returning to work;
  • the EWC; and
  • her intended maternity leave start date;
  • whether she intends (if eligible) to take up Shared Parental Leave (SPL).

When you have received the MATB1 certificate you can check the qualifying week dates on the maternity calculator. Payroll can also confirm the right date for the qualifying week.

4. Check that you have kept a copy of the maternity plan for your records and that you have given your employee a copy.

5. Check that you have acknowledged receipt of the plan with an acknowledgment letter within 28 days of receiving it.

6. Discuss the employee's wishes regarding arrangements for keeping in contact during the maternity leave.

7. Discuss the option of 'Keeping in Touch' days, what these might entail and how payment for these will be arranged.

28 days before the intended date of commencement of maternity leave

1. Ensure that you have an up-to-date record of all information relating to the employee's maternity leave.

2. Check that you have notified payroll about any changes in the start date notified to you by the employee.

3. Check that you have completed and sent a payroll notification form, together with the MATB1 certificate to payroll so that they can calculate pay and leave entitlements.

4. Confirm with your employee her expected date of return to work.

During the maternity Leave

Keeping in touch and KIT days

  1. Keep in contact with the employee about any changes in the workplace or regarding their employment, as previously agreed with them.

  2. If KIT days are worked, ensure that the employee is notified well in advance of these and that payment is made, as appropriate.

Changes to return to work date

  1. If the employee contacts you to request a change to a return to work date, ensure that you have been given eight weeks' notice of the new date and confirm the new date in writing within 28 days of the notification.

Return to work

Return to work plan

  1. Consider a return to work plan; it can be difficult for an employee to return to work after a long break.

Flexible working requests

  1. Give serious consideration to any request for flexible working.