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Maternity Leave

All pregnant women, irrespective of length of service or hours worked, are entitled to 52 weeks maternity leave consisting of 26 weeks Ordinary Maternity Leave (OML) and 26 weeks Additional Maternity Leave (AML).

Line Managers must ensure that all employees are aware of the procedure for notifying and applying for maternity leave in their departments and must carry out a workplace risk assessment.

Before you commence maternity leave your line manager should discuss with you suitable arrangements to maintain contact during your leave. It is recommended that during your maternity leave you are kept informed about organisational and department issues.  For example, copies of departmental correspondence, newsletters, minutes of staff meetings and where possible, invitations to social events should be forwarded.

We recognise that if you continue to feel part of your team, your return to work will be less traumatic and your commitment is more likely to be maintained. You may want to consider arranging ‘Keeping in Touch days’ during your maternity leave.

You are responsible for ensuring that you follow the correct certification process. All maternity absences must be covered by a MATB1 certificate which is provided by the midwife/Doctor at around 20 weeks into your pregnancy.

  • Maternity leave of up to a maximum of 52 weeks, commencing no earlier than 11 weeks before the expected date of childbirth.
  • Maternity pay during leave comprises two parts - statutory maternity pay and occupational maternity pay.
  • A right to return to work on conditions no less favourable than those which would have been applied if the leave had not been taken.
  • Regardless of length of service you are also entitled to necessary time off with pay for all hospital and ante-natal appointments.
  • Annual leave entitlement is taken according to your conditions of service
  • Ensuring your health, safety and welfare whilst you are at work.
  • To retain your terms and conditions of service
  • To receive an amount of statutory maternity pay (if eligible), paid via payroll.
  • Protection from dismissal for any reason connected with your pregnancy from the time of notification of pregnancy until you return to work.

You have the right to paid time off to attend ante natal care and must produce evidence of the first appointment if requested to do so by your line manager. Ante-natal care can include not only medical examinations but also relaxation and parent craft classes.

If attendance at the appointment is a matter of personal choice for you and is not on the advice of a registered medical practitioner, registered midwife or registered nurse, you can request unpaid time off/annual leave or flexi-time (if applicable).

We reserve the right to ask you to re-arrange appointments where it is reasonable to do so. You should wherever possible try to arrange these appointments as near to the start or end of the working day as possible.

From 1 October 2014, employees and agency workers who have a qualifying relationship with a pregnant woman or an expected child are entitled to take unpaid time off work to accompany them at up to two antenatal appointments.

You will have the right from day one of your employment. Agency workers will qualify after 12 weeks in the same assignment. The right to time off is capped at a maximum of six-and-a-half hours on each occasion, which can include travelling time, waiting time and attendance.

You have a qualifying relationship with a pregnant woman or her expected child if you:

  • are the husband or civil partner of the pregnant woman;
  • live with the pregnant woman in an enduring family relationship, but are not her parent, grandparent, sister, brother, aunt or uncle;
  • are the father of the expectant child; or
  • are an intended parent in a surrogacy situation who meets certain conditions.

You should inform your manager and the Absence Team by completing the application form no later than the end of the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth (EWC), or as soon as reasonably practicable.

The following information must be included:

You must receive and forward a completed certificate from your GP or midwife stating the expected week of childbirth, (known as a MATB1 certificate).  The Absence Team will write to you on receipt of the application and MATB1 form confirming the maternity leave dates and payments.

You may change the date from when you wish to commence maternity leave providing you give 28 days’ notice.

Any sickness absence before the 4th week before the expected week of childbirth (EWC) shall be treated and paid as normal sick leave, regardless of the reason for the sickness.

Absence after the 4th week before the EWC for health reasons not connected with the pregnancy will also be treated as sick leave. However, if you are absent for a pregnancy related reason after the beginning of the 4th week before the expected birth, your maternity leave will start automatically on the day after the first day of such absence. If you are absent prior to the 4th week before the EWC your maternity leave will automatically start on the 1st day of the 4th week before the EWC.

You must notify your manager that you were absent for a pregnancy related reason as soon as is reasonably practicable. This means that your maternity leave period may commence even though this was not the intention of either you or your manager.

Absence from work due to miscarriage, termination or stillbirth earlier than the 25th week of pregnancy will be treated as normal sickness and you will be entitled to statutory or contractual sick pay.

If miscarriage or stillbirth occurs from the 25th week onwards or should the baby not survive following its birth, you are entitled to receive maternity leave and pay in the usual way.

Statutory Maternity Pay is a scheme for most female employees to get a basic amount of maternity pay from their employers and is paid for up to 39 weeks. It will be paid to them along with Occupational Maternity Pay if they are entitled to this.

Statutory Maternity Pay can be received from the beginning of the 11th week before the week in which your baby is due and will commence on the day you have specified to start your maternity leave. It may be started on other days of the week if triggered by the birth of the baby or absence from work due to a pregnancy related reason in the four weeks before the expected week of childbirth (EWC).

You are entitled to SMP if:

  • you have been continuously employed by Carmarthenshire County Council for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the EWC, i.e. the qualifying week, and
  • you have average weekly earnings in the 8 weeks up to and including the 15th week of over the lower limit for National Insurance Contributions.

If entitled to SMP you will receive:

  • For the first 6 weeks - 9/10ths or 90% of your average weekly earnings.
  • For the subsequent 33 weeks – the lesser of the standard rate of SMP or 90% of your average weekly earnings.

Occupational Maternity Pay (OMP) is a payment made if you have at least 1 year’s continuous local government service by the 11th week before the EWC.

If entitled you (except teachers) will receive:

  • For the first 6 weeks of absence - 9/10ths or 90% of a week’s pay offset against SMP or Maternity Allowance payments.
  • For the subsequent 12 weeks – If you return to work you will also be entitled to half pay. This is not offset against SMP except where the combined pay and benefits (e.g. SMP or MA) exceed full pay. In this instance a week’s full pay will be offset against the SMP payments. You have the option to spread this over a maximum of 33 weeks if you wish to obtain more equal payments.
  • For the subsequent 21 weeks – the lesser of the standard rate of SMP or 90% of you average weekly earnings.

If entitled teachers will receive:

  • For the first 4 weeks of absence – full pay offset against SMP or Maternity Allowance payments.
  • For the following 2 weeks of absence - 9/10ths or 90% of a week’s pay offset against SMP or Maternity Allowance payments.
  • For the subsequent 12 weeks – If you intend to return to work you will also be entitled to half pay. This is not offset against SMP except where your combined pay and benefits (e.g. SMP or MA) exceed full pay. In this instance a week’s full pay will be offset against the SMP payments. You have the option to spread this over a maximum of 33 weeks if you wish to obtain more equal payments.
  • For the subsequent 21 weeks – the lesser of the standard rate of SMP or 90% of your average weekly earnings.

Both SMP and OMP will be subject to normal deductions, i.e. tax, national insurance and pension.

Having returned to work you must work for a period of at least 13 weeks. If you do not return to work for the stated period then you will have to repay any overpayment of Occupational Maternity Pay.

If you have less than 1 year’s service (at the commencement of the 11th week before the baby is due) you will be entitled to remain absent for up to 39 weeks (OML) and 13 weeks (AML) as detailed below:

Option 1 a: ­If you qualify for SMP your entitlement will be:

  • 6 weeks at 9/10ths of a week’s pay followed by
  • 33 weeks at £151.20 SMP per week (or 9/10ths of average weekly earnings if this is less) and
  • 13 weeks Additional Maternity Leave (unpaid)

Option 1 b:  ­If you do not qualify for SMP your entitlement will be:

  • 39 weeks OML (unpaid) and
  • 13 weeks AML unpaid

The Absence Team will provide you with a SMP1 Form so that a claim for maternity allowance and/or other benefits can be made to the Job Centre Plus or Department of Work and Pensions.

Option 2 (a and b) - this applies if you are unsure of whether you intend to return to work following your maternity (this does not apply where a resignation is/has been submitted).  

If you have over 1 year’s service (at the commencement of the 11th week before the baby is due excluding the EWC week) you will be entitled to remain absent for up to 39 weeks (OML) and 13 weeks (AML) as detailed below:

Option 2 a – if you qualify (except teachers) for SMP your entitlement will be:

  • 6 weeks at 9/10ths of a week’s pay followed by
  • 33 weeks at £151.20 SMP per week (or 9/10ths of average weekly earnings if this is less) and
  • 13 weeks unpaid additional maternity leave (AML).

Teachers who qualify for SMP will receive the following entitlement:

  • 4 weeks at full pay plus 2 weeks at 9/10ths of a week’s pay followed by
  • 33 weeks at £151.20 SMP per week (or 9/10ths of average weekly earnings if this is less) and
  • 13 weeks unpaid additional maternity leave (AML).

Option 2 b – if you do not qualify (except teachers) for SMP your entitlement will be:

  • 6 weeks at 9/10ths of week’s pay followed by
  • 33 weeks unpaid leave (OML) and
  • 13 weeks unpaid leave (AML)

The Absence Team will provide you with a SMP1 Form so that a claim for maternity allowance and/or other benefits can be made to the Job Centre Plus or Department of Work and Pensions.

Teachers who do not qualify for SMP will receive the following entitlement:

  • 4 weeks at full pay plus 2 weeks at 9/10ths of week’s pay followed by
  • 33 weeks unpaid leave (OML) and
  • 13 weeks unpaid leave (AML)

The Absence Team will provide you with a SMP1 Form so that a claim for maternity allowance and/or other benefits can be made to the Job Centre Plus or Department of Work and Pensions.

If following a period of maternity leave, you declare your intention to resume duties, then arrangements will be made to pay you 12 weeks at half pay in the next available pay period.

Option 3 (a and b) – this applies if you intend to return to work following your maternity.

If you have over 1 year’s service (at the commencement of the 11th week before the baby is due excluding the EWC week) you will be entitled to remain absent for up to 39 weeks (OML) and 13 weeks (AML) as detailed below:

Option 3 a – if you qualify (except teachers) for SMP your entitlement will be:

  • 6 weeks at 9/10ths of a week’s pay followed by
  • 12 weeks at half pay plus £151.20 SMP per week (or 9/10ths of average weekly earnings if this is less), except to the extent that the half pay plus SMP does not exceed full pay followed by a further
  • 21 weeks at £151.20 SMP per week (or 9/10ths of average weekly earnings if this is less).  Alternatively the equivalent amount of 12 weeks half pay (i.e. 6 weeks’ pay) may be paid on any other mutually agreed distribution within the pay period i.e. up to a maximum of 33 weeks – see employee election below and
  • 13 weeks unpaid additional maternity leave (AML) 

Teachers who qualify for SMP will receive the following entitlement:

  • 4 weeks full pay plus 2 weeks at 9/10ths of a week’s pay followed by
  • 12 weeks at half pay plus £151.20 SMP per week (or 9/10ths of average weekly earnings if this is less), except to the extent that the half pay plus SMP does not exceed full pay followed by a further
  • 21 weeks at £151.20 SMP per week (or 9/10ths of average weekly earnings if this is less).  Alternatively the equivalent amount of 12 weeks half pay (i.e. 6 weeks’ pay) may be paid on any other mutually agreed distribution within the pay period i.e. up to a maximum of 33 weeks – see employee election below and
  • 13 weeks unpaid additional maternity leave (AML)

Option 3 b – if you do not (except teachers) qualify for SMP your entitlement will be:

  • 6 weeks at 9/10ths of a week’s pay followed by
  • 12 weeks at half pay and further
  • 21 weeks unpaid leave and
  • 13 weeks unpaid leave (AML) 
The Absence Team will provide you with a SMP1 Form so that a claim for maternity allowance and/or other benefits can be made to the Job Centre Plus or Department of Work and Pensions.
 
Teachers who do not qualify for SMP will receive the following entitlement:
  • 4 weeks full pay plus 2 weeks at 9/10ths of a week’s pay followed by
  • 12 weeks at half pay and further
  • 21 weeks unpaid leave and
  • 13 weeks unpaid leave (AML)

The Absence Team will provide you with a SMP1 Form so that a claim for maternity allowance and/or other benefits can be made to the Job Centre Plus or Department of Work and Pensions.

Employee Election - Alternative Pay Arrangements during half pay period

The occupational maternity pay scheme provides 12 weeks at half pay in addition to SMP if you are returning to work for at least 13 weeks, as long as the two combined do not exceed full pay. The new arrangements provide that as an alternative the same sum (6 weeks’ full pay) may be spread over any other mutually agreed distribution within the paid leave period i.e. up to a maximum of 33 weeks.

The distribution of the payment will be agreed between you and the Absence Team. The requirement that earnings including SMP during the additional pay period are restricted to full pay remains in place under the new arrangement.

If after confirming your intention to return to work you do not return to local authority employment for at least 13 weeks you will be asked to refund the half pay or such part thereof, if any, as we may decide. Payments made to you by way of SMP are not refundable.

The earliest maternity leave can commence is the beginning of the eleventh week before your expected date of childbirth or from the time of childbirth if that is earlier.

Beyond this date you are free to work up to the expected date of birth without the need for medical certification to say you are fit to do so. You must however, give 28 days’ notice (wherever reasonably practicable) of the date on which you intend to commence your maternity leave.

Maternity leave will either start on:

  • The date you advise you wish your leave to start; or
  • if you are absent from work due to a pregnancy related illness after the 4th week before your expected week of childbirth, the day after the first day of your absence; or
  • if you give birth to your baby before maternity leave has started, on the day after the date of the birth.

You must take a minimum of 2 weeks’ maternity leave (compulsory) from the date of birth and you are not permitted to work during this time.

You can do 10 days’ (or less) work without bringing your maternity leave to an end. These 10 days are known as ‘keeping in touch (KIT) days’. Working for part of a day will count as one full day out of the 10 available KIT days.

You will be paid your contractual rate of pay which will be offset against SMP.

Such days will be by mutual arrangement, including the timing and type of work to be undertaken. These days are intended to encourage those on maternity leave to keep abreast of developments within the Authority as a whole, as well as within your own department. These duties may include attending team meetings, attending training or undertaking any work which you may do as determined by your contract of employment. However, they are more than social visits or visits to discuss your return to work.

Managers cannot insist on you attending any ‘keeping in touch’ days. Equally, you cannot insist on being given any work to do. However, managers are encouraged to arrange such days should you wish whilst on maternity to attend them.

You do not have the right to extend your maximum maternity leave due to the fact that you have attended ‘keeping in touch’ days.

You cannot attend ‘keeping in touch’ days during the first two weeks following the birth of your child.

To apply for a KIT day(s) please complete the ‘KIT’ form. Your Line Manager will authorise and forward to the Absence Team for processing.

The date on which you return to work is for you to decide providing it is before the end of the period of 52 weeks beginning with the week in which maternity leave commences.

It is suggested that the return to work date is discussed between you and your manager prior to the commencement of your maternity leave.

You will need to give at least 8 weeks (28 days for teachers) notice by completing the ‘Notification of Return From Maternity Leave Form’ of your intention to return to work following maternity leave.

If you change your mind about the date you want to return to work, you should give at least 8 weeks (28 days for teachers) written notice before the new date.

You are entitled to request to return to work on different hours or job share. Further information about such requests can be found in the Flexible Working Policy and Procedure and or Job Share Policy and Procedure.

We recognise that you may be undecided whether to return to work after the birth of your baby because you do not want to leave your baby.

If you wish to delay your return to work to a date after the end of your full Maternity Leave (52 weeks) you will need to apply either for unpaid leave, parental leave or a career break in line with our policies and procedures. All applications should be made at least 8 weeks before the expected date of return and are subject to the eligibility criteria within our policies and procedures.

If for any reason connected with your health, you are not fit to return to work at the end of your maternity leave period (or at an earlier notified date), you will be deemed as having returned to work and the usual sickness reporting procedures and policies will apply. 

For school staff please refer to the schools adopted policy.

If you do not attend work when expected at the end of your maternity leave period without an explanation, then this absence will be regarded as unauthorised absence. Please contact your HR Officer for further advice and guidance.

You continue to accrue annual leave during the full period of your maternity leave (paid and unpaid). You are encouraged to take any outstanding annual leave due wherever possible before the commencement of ordinary maternity leave. You are reminded that wherever possible annual leave must be taken in the year that it is earned and therefore if the annual leave year is due to end during the maternity leave, you should endeavour to take the majority of your full year’s entitlement before starting maternity leave.

This also applies to any bank holidays that fall during Maternity Leave. A compensatory day will be given for each bank holiday that occurs (or for part time employees, the number of bank holidays that you would have received had you not been on maternity leave). These can be taken only after returning to work.

Leave entitlement for Term Time employees should be taken either before or after the maternity leave period during school closure periods. On return from maternity you should be allowed to take any outstanding leave during term time during that leave year if there are insufficient school closures to accommodate the leave in that year.

Where the return from maternity leave is so close to the end of the leave year that there is not enough time for you to take the leave entitlement, you must be allowed to carry over any balance to the following leave year. 

A member of the Local Government Pension Scheme who takes maternity leave will pay pension contributions on the whole period of paid maternity leave. The contributions will be paid on pay received and will count as reckonable and qualifying service.

Re-instating lost pension as a result of unpaid maternity leave

Members of the LGPS, are able to reinstate any ‘lost pension’ arising from a period of unpaid maternity leave by paying additional contributions under an Additional Pension Contribution (APC) arrangement on their return to work.  In order to do so, you will need to make an election to re-instate your lost pension within 30 days of returning to work.  Provided you make your election within this period, and the reason for the period of absence is authorised unpaid leave the cost will be shared with the Authority (1/3rd to the member and 2/3rds to the Authority). However, if the election is made after 30 days of the date on the payslip in which the deduction of unpaid leave is taken, the entire cost will fall on you, as the member.

If you wish to reinstate lost pension during your period of unpaid maternity leave, you will need to complete an online form via the Dyfed pension fund website.  Before accessing the online modeller, you will need the lost pensionable pay for the period of unpaid leave (you can request this information from The Absence Team) and the date you return to work.

 

If an overpayment of salary or Maternity Pay is made for any reason, we reserve the right to take the necessary steps to recover the overpayment from you. Similarly we will take steps to correct any underpayment of salary or any other payment to which you are entitled as soon as it is brought to the attention of the Absence Team.

This booklet helps you to raise children bilingually in Carmarthenshire. It explains what bilingualism is and what the benefits of being multilingual are. It also provides useful information on how to introduce the Welsh language to your children and what routes are available for them to follow to become bilingual individuals, fluent in both Welsh and English.

Whatever language you speak at home,bringing your child up bilingually can give your child additional opportunities, experiences and skills.

Go to 'Being Bilingual in Carmarthenshire' to find out more.

Maternity/Adoption Support Leave of 1 week with pay shall be granted to the child’s father or the partner or nominated carer of an expectant mother at or around the time of birth. To qualify for maternity/Adoption support leave the employee requesting this time will be the main support for the mother/ primary adopter and/or carer of the child. If the authority knows that the partner, father/ co-adopter intends to take his/her entitlement to maternity support leave (MSL) and/or statutory paternity leave (SPL) then there will be no need for a ‘nominated carer'.  

(Nominated Carer – there will be a requirement for a supporting letter from the expectant mother or primary adopter confirming that the employee has been elected as the nominated carer). 

For further details and to apply please click Application and Policy.

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Page updated: 13/07/2020 11:14:01