Maternity Leave


Congratulations at this exciting time.

Please contact the NES HR Trainee Services team at GPTraining.HR@nes.scot.nhs.uk to notify them of your pregnancy. Please ensure you also notify the Scotland Deanery.

The Scotland Deanery will recalculate your end date of training and update your ePortfolio accordingly.

If you are employed by NES you will follow the NES Maternity Policy regardless of where you are on placement. The NES HR Trainee Services team will be responsible for processing your maternity paperwork and will be your first point of contact for any maternity leave queries. They can be contacted at GPTraining.HR@nes.scot.nhs.uk

You should complete a maternity risk assessment as soon as possible in relation to your health and safety during your pregnancy.

General Practice:

Hospital Placements: Risk assessments should be requested from the department you are currently working in on placement.

You should read through the Maternity Policy and submit Appendix C and Appendix D to your Placement Board HR department. Appendix C is the initial notification of pregnancy and Appendix D should be completed when you receive your MATB1 certificate informing your Placement Board and NES of your planned leave.  Please ensure that you complete your personal details on the MATB1 certificate.  

Please click on the link below for further information and a video link on maternity leave.

https://vimeo.com/218962975

Please note that you will be entitled to paid time off to attend antenatal appointments.  Should your appointment take you away from your workplace for a half day or more, please complete a Special Leave form and send to your Placement Board HR department.

Employees are usually paid the same amount every month which is calculated from your annual salary divided by 12.  However Maternity Pay is calculated on weekly basis and paid depending on the number of full weeks there are in a month.  Therefore, some months you will be paid 4 weeks and some 5.

Maternity pay is taken as an average of the earnings made in the 2 months prior to the 15th week before the EWC (Expected Week of Confinement). For example, if your EWC was 14th July 2013 then your 2-month average earnings period would be February and March 2013.  The average of your earnings during those two months will form your maternity pay. Your employing board will contact your previous employer if the 2 months were not under different employment. Any tax benefits received during those months like childcare vouchers may reduce your entitlement as payment is based on the lower contractual earnings.   If you have an increment during your maternity leave, this will still be applied.

All employees should fall under one of the following entitlements:

1. OMP (Occupational Maternity Pay)+SMP (Statutory Maternity Pay) - During the first 8 weeks when you receive the full OMP payment, SMP will be paid and offset for the first 6 weeks at the higher rate of 90% of your salary and also paid and offset for the following 2 weeks at the lower MA (Maternity Allowance) rate (6+2 = 8).  As you are technically entitled to both OMP+SMP this must be recorded but you cannot receive more than your full pay so it is simply an 'in and out' transaction through the payroll and will not affect your OMP payment. After the first 8 weeks your OMP will decrease to half pay and SMP will continue to be paid at the lower MA rate of £145.18 per week.  During this time you will be allowed to receive both OMP + SMP payments combined as this will not breach your full pay limit.  After 18 weeks your OMP payment will stop and you will continue on the lower SMP rate for a further 13 weeks.

2. SMP only - For the first 6 weeks you will receive 90% of your salary and then the payment will decrease to £145.18 for a further 33 weeks.

3. MA only - Your employer will provide you with an SMP1 form that you will need to submit along with your MATB1 certificate to get payment for up to 39 weeks from Jobcentre Plus.

If you started with NES during or near to the start of your pregnancy you may find that you do not qualify for all of your maternity payment from NES.  You may have the required 12 months’ service within the NHS to receive OMP (Occupational Maternity Pay) but find that you were employed for your SMP (Statutory Maternity Pay) period (26 weeks up to and into the 15th week before your EWC (Expected Week of Confinement)) by another employer and therefore will receive OMP from your new employer + SMP from another employer.  You may find that you qualify for OMP from your new employer but have a break in your employer during the 26 weeks which means that you do not qualify for SMP and therefore have to claim MA (Maternity Allowance) for Jobcentre Plus.   You may find that you do not qualify for OMP or SMP and therefore have to to claim MA only from Jobcentre Plus.

You will fall under one of the following entitlements:

1. OMP from lead employing board + SMP from another employer - When you submit your Maternity Application form you will need to give consent for your new employer to contact your previous employer to get your payment values. You will then be provided with an SMP1 form which you will need to submit along with your MATB1 certificate to your previous employer.  NES will pay your OMP payment only.  During the first 8 weeks NES will pay full pay minus the SMP payment of 90% of your salary from your previous employer for the first 6 weeks and then minus the lower rate of £145.18 for the following 2 weeks.  You should be receiving the deducted SMP amounts from your previous employer and cannot receive more than full pay.  After the first 8 weeks NES will then pay you for the following 18 weeks at half pay and then you will move on to no pay from your new employer.  You should receive SMP payments from your previous employer for up to 39 weeks.

2. OMP from NES + MA from Jobcentre Plus - You will be provided with an SMP1 form which you will need to submit along with your MATB1 certificate to Jobcentre Plus.  NES will then pay your OMP payment only.  During the first 8 weeks your employer will pay full pay minus the MA rate of £145.18 per week.  You should be receiving the deducted MA rate from Jobcentre Plus and cannot receive more than full pay. After the first 8 weeks your employer will then pay you for the following 18 weeks at half pay and then you will move on to no pay from your employer.  You should receive MA payments for up to 39 weeks.

3. MA only from Jobcentre Plus - You will be provided with an SMPL1 form which you will need to submit along with your MATB1 certificate to Jobcentre Plus.  You could get either £145.18 a week or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower) for up to 39 weeks.  Please contact the Jobcentre.

For budgeting reasons, you may choose to spread your payments over your maternity period so that instead of receiving 8 weeks full pay then 18 weeks half pay plus SMP and then the lower rate SMP, you get more of an equal weekly amount.

Only the OMP part of the payment can be split so the SMP will not be affected.  The 8 weeks’ full pay amount plus 18 weeks half pay amount will be added together and then divided over the 39 weeks.  During the first 6 weeks it will be added to the higher rate SMP (90% of salary) so these weeks will be slightly higher and then for the following 33 weeks it will be added to the lower SMP rate.

If you go onto a period of no pay then you will have gap in your superannuation payments.  You can arrange to make these payments up by requesting a lump sum deduction from payroll. 

Any guidance needed in regards to your pension should be sought from SPPA on 01896 893300.

Whether related or unrelated to the pregnancy, where the employee is absent from work prior to the beginning of the 4th week before the Expected Week of Confinement (EWC) this will be treated as sickness absence and should be certificated in the normal way.

If you are beyond the 4th week before EWC then sickness absence for reasons unrelated to pregnancy would be classed as ordinary sick leave and maternity leave would not commence until the date agreed.  However, a pregnancy related absence beyond the 4th week before EWC would mean that Occupational Maternity Leave (OML) would automatically commence at the beginning of the 4th week before the EWC or the beginning of the next week after the employee last worked, whichever is the later, although odd days of sickness may be disregarded.

Annual leave and bank holidays will continue to accrue during maternity leave. If maternity leave crosses over into a new leave year you will be at risk of losing any annual leave not already taken in the current leave year and in this case, it is therefore recommended to schedule some annual leave prior to commencing your maternity leave.

You are entitled to do 10 KIT days while on maternity leave without it affecting your maternity payment.  Any more than this and you will be classed as returning to work and your maternity payments will end.  Days should be agreed with your Line Manager/Practice Manager.  If you do a KIT day while on paid maternity leave you will either be paid for your KIT day or that weeks maternity pay, whichever is the higher.  If you do a KIT day while on your no pay maternity leave period, you will be paid for the KIT day.

You must give HR at least 28 days’ notice regarding any changes to your maternity start date or return to work date.  If you wish to return to work part time this must be discussed with your Line Manager and an application must be made to the Deanery. 

After taking paid maternity leave you are required to return to work for at least 3 months.  If you choose not to return to work you will be required to repay NES the amount of OMP you have received.  If there is no right of return to be exercised because the contract would have ended if pregnancy had not occurred, then repayment will not apply.

Tax-Free Childcare is a new government scheme to help working parents with the cost of childcare. Parents of the youngest children can now open an online account, which they can use to pay for childcare from a registered provider. For every £8 a parent pays in, the government will pay in an extra £2. Parents can receive up to £2,000 per child, per year, towards their childcare costs, or £4,000 for disabled children. The scheme will be available for children under the age of 12, or under 17 for children with disabilities. To qualify, parents will have to be in work, and each expecting to earn at least £120 a week. Each parent must not have income over £100,000 per year.

Information on the scheme including details on how to apply can be found on the government website: https://www.gov.uk/help-with-childcare-costs/tax-free-childcare