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Document updated/added on 09.05.2019

Topic: Work and parents

Reply to keeping in touch day request
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Reply to keeping in touch day request

Reply to keeping in touch day request

If an employee asks to work a “keeping in touch” day during their maternity or adoption leave, you can either agree to their request or decline it; it’s entirely your choice and our letter covers both options.

Statutory provisions

An employee can agree with you to work for up to ten “keeping in touch” (KIT) days during their maternity or adoption leave period without bringing their leave to an end and without the loss of statutory maternity or adoption pay. Any work undertaken is by agreement - there’s no right for you to insist that an employee work a KIT day and no right for them to demand they work one. For these purposes, “work” can include any activity undertaken to keep in touch with the workplace, as well as work done under the employment contract, so it can include training days, meetings, appraisals, workplace events, etc. A KIT day can also be worked from home.

Request response

Where the employee asks to work a KIT day, use our Reply to Keeping in Touch Day Request to reply to them. Our letter has two alternative options. The first option applies where you’re willing to agree to the employee’s request. In this case, the optional section confirms your agreement, asks them to contact you to make the necessary arrangements and sets out your position on pay. You’ll still need to continue to pay any statutory maternity or adoption pay, but you would normally also pay an additional amount to reflect the fact the employee is working. This could be either a top up of statutory maternity or adoption pay to the employee’s full pay rate or an alternative hourly rate. Payment is entirely a matter for agreement; you just need to ensure you’re not paying below the relevant national minimum or national living wage rate. The second option applies where you’re not willing to agree. In that case, the optional section refuses the employee’s request and reiterates the date on which you’re expecting them to return to work from their maternity or adoption leave. You’re not obliged to provide them with a reason for declining. Be aware that any work or activity which is done on a KIT day counts as a whole KIT day for these purposes, so even if the employee only attends work for an hour, that still counts as one of the ten permitted KIT days.

Other provisions

Work on KIT days doesn’t extend the total duration of the maternity or adoption leave period, i.e. if the employee works on ten KIT days, they don’t get an extra two weeks of maternity or adoption leave. If the employee works in excess of ten KIT days, they’ll lose a week’s statutory maternity or adoption pay for any week/part week they work during the statutory maternity or adoption pay period. Our letter confirms these two points. Finally, a KIT day can’t be worked during a period of compulsory maternity leave, i.e. the two weeks immediately after birth (or four in the case of factory workers).

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