Employees are encouraged to share the news of pregnancy with their department as early as possible as it will mean that their department knows that they are entitled to time off for antenatal appointments and that particular health and safety rules apply.
In order to qualify for and to claim maternity leave and pay, an employee must notify her department of:
- the fact she is pregnant; and
- the EWC; and
- the date when she intends to start taking leave; and
- whether she intends to return to work after the birth of her baby. A woman who does not intend to return will not qualify for the University's contractual pay scheme. A woman who has indicated that she intends to return and then does not, or returns for less than three months, will be liable to repay the non-statutory element of any maternity benefits which have been paid.
If an employee is on a fixed-term contract, please refer to the information about 'Fixed-term contracts'
She should notify them no later than the qualifying week if she is employed by the University then, or if her employment begins after the qualifying week she should inform the University as soon as possible after she starts work.
The Maternity Leave Plan, which can be downloaded from the right hand side of the webpage, is provided for employees and departments to use to collect the above information and other details relating to the proposed maternity leave period. If the Maternity Leave Plan is completed fully by the employee and the department, this will ensure that the notification requirements are met. Within 28 days of completing the Maternity Leave Plan, if the employee plans to return to work, her return to work date should be confirmed (if appropriate) with her in writing. If an employee does not intend to return to work after the birth of her baby, any entitlement to statutory maternity benefits should be outlined to her, as she will not qualify for the University contractual maternity pay scheme. A pregnant employee is entitled to up to 52 weeks of maternity leave regardless of whether or not she qualifies for any type of maternity pay.
As soon as the department has been notified by their employee that she is pregnant, they should arrange to carry out appropriate risk assessments. The employee will also need to notify her department of her antenatal appointments, once they have been confirmed by her healthcare provider.
The employee should also provide her department with a copy of her 'MATB1' form that she will have been given by her healthcare provider sometime around the 25th week of pregnancy. For further information see: https://occupationalhealth.admin.ox.ac.uk/pregnancy.
The employee should notify her department of her antenatal appointments, once they have been confirmed by her healthcare provider.
Additionally, the employee and the department should discuss, explore and/or agree on the following:
- 'Keeping in Touch' (KIT) days arrangements;
- arrangements for staying in touch during the maternity leave period;
- how the work will be covered in the employee's absence, and any other concerns or issues, such as issues related to externally funded contracts;
- how the employee's employment benefits are affected during a period of maternity leave;
- the option (if eligible) of using the provisions under the Shared Parental Leave (SPL). Both, the employee and her partner will need to meet the eligibility criteria for the scheme, and additional processes will need to be followed. Find out more about Shared Parental Leave including the eligibility criteria.