Keeping in touch during SPL and SPLIT days

This guidance was last updated on January 2015

Keeping in touch during SPL

During any period of SPL, a department may make reasonable contact with an employee and, in the same way, an employee may make contact with their department. What constitutes "reasonable" contact will vary according to the circumstances and should be discussed before a period of SPL begins. The frequency and nature of the contact will depend on a number of factors such as: the nature of the work and the employee's post; any agreement that the department and employee might have reached before SPL began about contact; and whether either party needs to communicate important information to the other, such as news of changes at the workplace that might affect the employee on his/her return.

The contact between department and employee can be made in any way that best suits them. For example, it could be by telephone, email, letter, the employee making a visit to the workplace, or in other ways.

Departments should note that they must, in any event, keep the employee up to date with any information relating to their job that they would normally be made aware of if they were working.

Departments and their employees will often find it helpful, before SPL starts, to discuss arrangements for staying in touch with each other. This might include agreements on the way in which contact will happen, how often, and who will initiate the contact. It might also cover the reasons for making contact and the types of things that might be discussed.

SPL in touch (SPLIT) days and pay

SPLIT days allow work to be carried out under the employee's contract of employment, and the employee is entitled to be paid for that work. Both parents are entitled to 20 SPLIT days each, which can be worked without bringing their SPL or ShPP to an end. SPLIT days are available in addition to the mother’s/primary adopter's KIT days. KIT days can only be used during a period of maternity/adoption leave, and unused KIT entitlement cannot be carried forward into a period of SPL.

If an employee attends for work, they should be paid the equivalent of their normal hourly rate for the hours they work on the day in question. Therefore during the period of SPL that the employee is being paid ShPP at the rate of full pay, no further payment would be due. If an employee works their SPLIT day(s) during a period of statutory ShPP, their statutory pay should be enhanced to full pay for the hours worked, and if work takes place during a period of unpaid SPL, they should be paid the equivalent of their normal hourly rate for the hours they work.

The employee will continue to be paid the statutory payments for the week in which the work is done.

The hours/days to be worked must be agreed in advance between the department and the employee. The University is not obliged to offer SPLIT days and the employee does not have to agree to them.

If an employee works more than their permitted SPLIT days, ShPP will be deducted for the whole week in which the additional work is undertaken.

Any questions from departments about payment during SPLIT days should be directed to their HR Business Partner.