Please note that the following is only a general guide, and should not be taken as an authoritative statement of the full maternity entitlements within the Statutory/Contractual/Regulatory provisions.
Police officers are entitled to take up to 15 months maternity leave, irrespective of their length of service. Maternity leave can be taken in one or more blocks, 6 months before and 12 months after the week the baby is due. Leave can be started at any time after the 13th week of pregnancy.
All maternity leave must start on a Sunday.
Officers should give notice of their intention to take maternity leave by the 15th week before the Expected Week of Confinement, but are encouraged to inform line managers as soon as possible. Form MAT1A (available from Administration Sections) should be completed and forwarded to line managers.
Completion of Form MAT1A will enable a mandatory risk assessment to be carried out as soon as pregnancy is confirmed. The purpose of this is to ensure that neither staff nor expected babies are placed at risk by work or the working environment. For some staff, this may mean a change of duties whilst pregnant or breast feeding. Night shift duty can be replaced by daytime working on receipt of a certificate from a doctor, which states the health concerns, and the adverse effect of continuing to work night duty.
Police officers may need to consider
The maternity certificate, MATB1 can be issued by Doctors/Midwives from 27th week of pregnancy and should be forwarded to Personnel Administration. On receipt of Form MAT1A and MATB1 certificate, applicants for maternity leave will be notified within 28 days of a proposed return to work date, based on the assumption that the full entitlement of leave will be taken.
When a baby is born before the maternity pay period was due to start, notice is required of the birth of the baby no later than three weeks after the event. The maternity pay period will then begin the Sunday after the birth.
If, in the unfortunate event that a baby dies or is stillborn after 24 weeks of pregnancy, the provisions within the maternity scheme will apply. When this occurs before 24 weeks (miscarriage), sympathetic consideration will be given to any request for special leave.
Expectant mothers are entitled to take time off with full pay during normal working hours for antenatal examinations with GPs and hospital clinics. However, wherever possible, appointments should be arranged at the start or the end of the working day. Evidence of appointments must be provided on request from supervisors, who should be advised of antenatal appointments as far in advance as possible.
From the 1st April 2012 Officers who have 63 weeks continuous service at the beginning of the Expected Week of Confinement (EWC) Sunday, will be entitled to full pay and allowances for the first 18 weeks of maternity leave. Officers have the option with the agreement of their Chief Officer to spread the final 5 weeks maternity pay over 10 weeks at half their full pay.
To receive maximum benefit of 18 weeks regulatory maternity pay and 39 weeks statutory maternity pay, officers must start their maternity leave 24 weeks before the EWC. Where PMP and Statutory Maternity Pay coincide, officers will be paid the greater of the two, not both.
Where officers receive PMP, they must return to work for at least 1 month following maternity leave. This requirement affects both those working reduced hours and full time and includes both sick and annual leave taken during that time. If an officer does not return to work for 1 month then the difference between the statutory and regulatory maternity pay must be repaid.
Police officers who have at least 26 weeks service by the end of the 15th week before the Expected Week of Confinement (EWC) will be entitled to receive Statutory Maternity Pay whether or not there is an intention to return to work.
For babies due on or after 1st April 2007, SMP is payable from the 11th week before the EWC for a maximum of 39 weeks comprising 9/10ths of average salary for the first six weeks, followed by a set statutory rate per week (£135.45) for the remaining 33 weeks, subject to the usual deductions.
Officers in receipt of 13 weeks police maternity pay will also be entitled to housing allowance. Once rpolice maternity pay has ceased, officers will no longer be entitled to this allowance. However, if an officer’s husband is also a serving police officer and eligible for housing allowance, the full married allowance may be claimed for the period when the allowance is not longer received by a spouse. In order to claim the allowance, officers must notify the Finance Department at least 1 month prior to the start of the unpaid leave.
Regulations require 21 days notice of an officers intention to return to work (unless returning at the end of the maternity period) The officer can change the date of the return at any time provided they give at least 21 days notice of the re-arranged date.
An officer must return in any case 12 months after the birth.
An officer may like to consider returning on a part time basis or take a career break.
All maternity leave, whether paid of unpaid, is regarded as service for the purpose of calculating annual leave.
Although annual leave is accrued during maternity leave, it cannot be taken during maternity leave. However, it may be taken either at the beginning or the end of the maternity leave.
Officers may carry forward 5 days into the next leave year.
If a decision is made not to return to work, leave entitlement will be a proportion of the full annual leave year calculated from 1 April to the last day of service.
Officers will continue to pay their pension contributions at the appropriate percentage whilst on PAID maternity leave.
Officers will have up to 6 months from their return to work following maternity leave to make contributions in arrears.
Any members taking Statutory Maternity Leave or Unpaid Leave as part of their absence of Maternity Leave will cease to have their premiums for Federation schemes taken from their salary. See this page for more details.
If a police officer is required to attend court whilst on maternity leave, she should attend unless her doctor certifies she is unfit to do so.
Attendance at court as a police witness is classed as duty and an officer must ensure she is booked on duty and a risk assessment has been completed.
Officers on unpaid maternity leave will be regarded as being on duty and will be paid for and receive an appropriate allowance for the days attended at court, their maternity period will not be extended.
The first 26 week of maternity leave are counted for the purposes of assessing pay progression, leave and probationary service for police officers. Additionally, officers who have 40 weeks service at the EWC are entitled to a maximum of 29 weeks reckonable service after the birth.
Police Officers who are the fathers or nominated carers of expected babies will be entitled to paid leave at or around the time of the baby’s birth. A nominated carer is the person nominated by the mother to help in the care of the child and is the primary provider of support to a mother at or around the time of the birth. Leave entitlement for those working reduced hours will be calculated in the same way as annual leave.
All Police Officers are entitled to 2 weeks (10 days) maternity support leave; the first week (40 hours) is paid.
Police officers with more than 26 weeks service at the 14th week before the EWC will be entitled to 1 weeks paid and 1 weeks statutory paternity leave. The second week will be paid at the statutory rate (currently £135.45 per week).
If, in the unfortunate event that a baby dies within the paternity leave period, or is stillborn after 24 weeks of pregnancy, entitlement to paternity leave will still apply.
NB Only one period of leave may be taken irrespective of whether more than one child is born as a result of the same pregnancy.
A Police Officer who has served continuously for a period of 12 months and has or expects to have responsibility for a child is entitled to take unpaid time off work to look after the child until the age of 5. In the case of a disabled child until they reach their 18th birthday.
Officers are entitled to 13 weeks in total in respect of any individual child. 18 weeks if the child is disabled. The leave can be taken in blocks or multiples of one day.
In adoption cases for 5 years after the child is placed with the officer for adoption (or 18th Birthday which ever is sooner)
Police paid adoption leave is available to officers who adopt and comprises:
An officer who is not the adoptive parent but whose spouse or partner becomes an adoptive parent is entitled to adoption support leave of 2 weeks at or around the time of adoption. The first week of which will be at full pay.
Officers who have 26 weeks continuous service will be entitled to be paid for the second week at Statutory Paternity Rate (£117.18 per week)
Adoption support leave is pensionable, reckonable for incremental pay & leave purposes and for inclusion in any period of probationery service.
An officer is entitled to a reasonable amount of time off (at the discretion of the OCU commander) during his/her normal duty period in order to take action, which is necessary:
A dependant is one of the following:
Any leave that is granted shall be treated as duty. West Midlands Police policy is up to 7 days authorised by OCU commander any more than that H.Q Personnel.