This document is only applicable to employees of Blue Ring Digital Services Limited.
"Maternity and Paternity Policy" refers to this Maternity and Paternity Policy.
"You", "Your" refers to You the employee of Blue Ring Digital Services Limited.
"We", "Us", "Our", "Blue Ring Digital Services Limited" refers to Blue Ring Digital Services Limited.
We will try to keep everything in this document as straightforward as possible, but if there’s anything You don’t understand, please get in touch with Us.
The headings in this Maternity and Paternity Policy are for convenience only and shall not affect their interpretation.
The masculine shall include the feminine and the neuter and the singular the plural and vice versa.
If any provision or part of any provision of this Maternity and Paternity Policy is found by a court or other competent authority to be void or unenforceable, such provision or part of a provision shall be deleted from these Maternity and Paternity Policy and the remaining provisions or parts of the provision shall continue to be in full force and effect.
Tell Us You are pregnant
You must tell Your Us You are pregnant no later than the 15th week before Your baby is due.
You must tell Us in writing that:-
- You are pregnant;
- the date of the week Your baby is due (We may ask to see a medical certificate or 'MAT B1 form' – You get this from Your doctor or midwife at 20 weeks’ pregnant);
- the date You want to start maternity leave.
When You have notified Your Us the HR Team will confirm the date Your maternity leave will run to.
Taking Maternity Leave
When maternity leave starts
You can choose to either:-
- start Your maternity leave from up to 11 weeks before Your baby is due;
- work right up until You give birth.
After Your baby is borne, by law You must:-
- start Your maternity leave (if You have not already);
- take off at least 2 weeks (4 weeks if You work in a factory) – this is known as ‘compulsory maternity leave’;
- take all Your maternity leave in one go.
Your maternity leave and pay ends when You go back to work.
Changing the date You start maternity leave
If You want to change the start date of Your maternity leave, You must give Your Us 28 days’ notice, or agree a new date together.
When maternity leave can start early
If you’re absent from work:
- If you’re off because of Your pregnancy in the 4 weeks before Your baby is due, Your maternity leave starts automatically the day after Your first day off.
If Your baby arrives early:-
- If Your baby is born earlier than expected or is premature, Your maternity leave starts straight away. You’ll need to let Us know as soon as You can. You can ask Your partner, a friend or a family member to do this if You need to.
If Your baby is late:-
- If you’d planned to take maternity leave from a specific date:-
- If Your baby is late and You have told Us a specific date You want to start maternity leave, You can still start the leave from that date. You just need to tell Us the date when You have given birth so You start Your compulsory maternity leave from then.
- If you’d planned to work up to when Your baby is born:-
- If You told Us You want to start maternity leave the day after Your baby’s born, You do not need to change anything. If You want to start Your maternity leave early, You must notify Us as soon as possible.
You still accrue Your annual leave entitlement during maternity leave. It’s a good idea to talk with Us about annual leave before You go on maternity leave. You cannot take annual leave during maternity leave as this would end Your maternity leave and pay. You are eligible to take Your annual leave entitlement before or after Your maternity leave but this is inline with Our Annual Leave Policy.
If Your contract is due to end
If You have a temporary or fixed-term contract due to end while you’re on maternity leave, We do not have to renew it.
Working out maternity pay
When You have a baby, You might be eligible for one of the following:-
- Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP);
- Enhanced (‘contractual’) maternity pay;
- Maternity Allowance.
Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)
You can get Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) if all the following apply:-
- You’ve been working continuously for 26 weeks for the same employer before Your ‘qualifying week’;
- You earn at least £118 a week on average for 8 weeks before Your qualifying week.
Agency workers might also be able to get SMP.
If you’re not eligible for SMP, You might be able to get Maternity Allowance. You can find detailed guidance on SMP and Maternity Allowance on GOV.UK.
You need to work out when Your ‘qualifying week’ is so You know:-
- When You need to give notice to Us to get maternity leave and pay;
- whether you’ll get either Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) or Maternity Allowance.
To work out Your qualifying week, use a calendar to count 15 weeks back from the week you’re due to have Your baby. You can also use the maternity calculator on GOV.UK.
Time off for pregnancy appointments
You are entitled to have reasonable time off with full pay for pregnancy-related (‘antenatal’) appointments and care before You have Your baby.
The antenatal appointments need to be on the advice of a doctor, nurse or midwife and can include:-
- Pregnancy health checks;
- Relaxation classes, for example pregnance yoga;
- Parent craft classes.
If You work through an agency
You can get paid time off for antenatal appointments if you've worked through the same agency for at least 12 weeks.
What counts as reasonable time for an antenatal appointment
Reasonable time off for an antenatal appointment includes:-
- The length of the appointment or class;
- Travel to and from an appoinment or class.
If You have an appointment in the middle of a working day or shift, You will need to notify Us about how long it’ll take.
We may consider flexible working depending on the role of the job and will be entirely at Our discretion.
How much Statutory Maternity Pay You get and how long for
Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) is paid for 39 weeks.
For the first 6 weeks:-
- You get 90% of Your average weekly earnings.
For the following 33 weeks (which ever is lower):-
- 90% of Your average weekly earnings.
You get the same amount of maternity pay even if You have more than one baby, for example twins.
How much Statutory Maternity Pay You get and how long for
If You take the full 52 weeks’ maternity leave, the last 13 weeks are unpaid unless Your contract offers enhanced maternity pay.
If there’s a stillbirth, miscarriage or Your baby dies
You still get maternity leave and pay if:-
- Your baby is stillborn after the 24th week of pregnancy;
- Your baby only lives for a short time after birth at any stage of pregnancy.
If You have a miscarriage or stillbirth before 24 weeks, you’re not entitled to maternity leave and pay, however, We will consider flexible working and this will be dependent on the role and at Our discretion.
You’ll need to tell Us as soon as You can. You can ask Your partner, a friend or a family member to do this if You need to.
Employees may be eligible for Statutory Paternity Leave and Pay if they and their partner are:-
- Having a baby;
- Adopting a child;
- Having a baby through a surrogacy arrangement.
Statutory Paternity Leave
Employees can choose to take either 1 week or 2 consecutive weeks’ leave. The amount of time is the same even if they have more than one child (for example twins).
Leave cannot start before the birth. The start date must be one of the following:-
- The actual date of birth;
- An agreed number of days after the birth;
- An agreed number of days after the expected week of childbirth.
Leave must finish within 56 days of the birth (or due date if the baby is early). The start and end dates are different if the employee is adopting.
You must notify Your Line Manager of Your intentions as soon as reasonably possible.
Statutory Paternity Pay
Employees are eligible for SPP (Statutory Paternity Pay) or 90% of their average weekly earnings (whichever is lower). Tax and National Insurance need to be deducted.
You can calculate an employee’s paternity leave and pay using the maternity and paternity calculator available at GOV.UK.
Some employment types, like agency workers, directors and educational workers, have different rules for entitlement.
Extra leave or pay
Employees can get more leave or pay if:-
- Their partner returns to work and they qualify for Shared Parental Leave and Pay;
- Your company scheme offers more;
Leave for antenatal appointments
Employees can take unpaid leave to accompany a pregnant woman to antenatal appointments if they are:-
- The baby’s father;
- The expectant mother’s spouse or civil partner;
- In a long-term relationship with the expectant mother;
- The intended parent (if they’re having a baby through a surrogacy arrangement).
They can accompany the woman to 2 appointments of up to 6 and a half hours each.
You must notify Your Us of Your intentions as soon as reasonably possible.
Changes to Maternity and Paternity Policy
This Maternity and Paternity Policy replaces all previous versions. We reserve the right to change the Maternity and Paternity Policy at any time.