Up to 10 Keeping-In-Touch (KIT) days can be worked by pregnant employees without it affecting their rights to maternity leave or pay. KIT days cannot be taken during the period of compulsory maternity leave (i.e. the first 2 weeks after the child’s birth).

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Keeping-In-Touch Days During Maternity Leave

Employees may, in agreement with you, do up to ten days’ work – known as KIT days – under their contract of employment during their maternity leave period without it affecting their right to maternity leave or pay.

An employee cannot take a KIT day during compulsory maternity leave – see the A fuller article from the Business Link website in this guide on the right to maternity leave.

During KIT days, employees can actually carry out work for you. This could be her normal day-to-day work or could, for example, be attending a conference, undertaking training or attending a team meeting.

Any amount of work done on a KIT day counts as one KIT day. Therefore, if an employee comes in for a one-hour training session and does no other work that day, she will have used up one of her KIT days.

If work on a KIT ‘day’ straddles midnight, this counts as one KIT day – as long as this is the employee’s normal working pattern.

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Payment for Keeping-In-Touch Days

You and the employee should agree on how much you will pay her for a KIT day – this could be set out in her contract of employment or you may decide on a discretionary, case-by-case basis.

If the employee is receiving statutory maternity pay (SMP) when she works a KIT day, you must continue to pay her SMP for that week. If the employee does more than ten days’ work for you in her SMP period, she is not entitled to SMP for any week in which she works if she has already worked ten keeping-in-touch days. You do not have to pay her SMP for any week in which she works both the last of her KIT days and any additional days.

The SMP the employee receives for the week in which she works a KIT day can count towards any contractual pay you agree with her for working that KIT day. However, you could agree that she will receive her normal daily rate in addition to the SMP for that week.

Whatever the arrangement, you can still continue to recover SMP from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) as normal – see the page in this guide on maternity pay.

You will need to comply with your statutory obligations, such as paying at least the national minimum wage, as normal.

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Reimbursements for GP Cover for Maternity Leave

The GPC has confirmed that NHS England is amending its policy on reimbursement for costs incurred due to cover for maternity/paternity leave. NHS England intends to reflect in that policy that the maximum period for which financial support may be provided for maternity leave will be 26 weeks (rather than 20 weeks as originally stated in the GMS contract guidance for 2015/16).

To claim the maternity leave reimbursement, please contact the Primary Care Team at your ICB who will be able to provide you with the appropriate form.

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Protection Against Detriment or Dismissal in Relation to Keeping-In-Touch Days

An employee can only work a KIT day if she wants to and you agree to it – you cannot make an employee work a KIT day against her wishes, nor can the employee insist she works a KIT day if you don’t agree to it.

It is unlawful for you to treat an employee unfairly or dismiss her because she:

  • refused to work a KIT day
  • worked – or considered working – a KIT day

If an employee believes that you have treated her unfairly or dismissed her under in these circumstances, she may:

  • resign and claim constructive dismissal
  • raise a grievance with you, which may result in a tribunal claim for detrimental treatment, unfair dismissal and/or sex discrimination if you fail to address it

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