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Keeping In Touch Days
You can work up to 10 days during your maternity, adoption or additional paternity leave. These days are called 'keeping in touch days'. They are optional and must be agreed between the employee and employer. It’s also a good idea to agree beforehand how much and when you’ll be paid for them.
What are Keeping In Touch (KIT) days?
The general rule while on maternity leave is that, if you do any work for your employer, you lose your right to maternity pay for that week. But there is a little bit of wriggle room as a result of 'keeping in touch' (KIT) days.
KIT days allow you to do up to 10 days' work during maternity leave while retaining your right to maternity pay and preventing your maternity leave from being brought to an end. KIT days are also available to those taking adoption leave.
What are SPLIT days?
Another form of days you can work while taking leave connected to parenting. You are also allowed to work up to 20 shared-parental-in-touch (SPLIT) days without bringing shared parental leave or pay to an end. This page will focus on KIT days but many of the same principles apply to SPLIT days.
How much should I be paid for KIT days?
There is no set amount, so it is a good idea to sort out how much you expect to be paid for KIT days in advance. Your employer is allowed to reduce your pay by the amount of maternity pay you would otherwise receive for that week so you need to be sure that you will be paid for the day and get your normal SMP payment. You are entitled to be paid for any KIT days worked during your maternity leave, and your employer should not withhold payment until you return to work. It’s a good idea to confirm what has been agree in an email.
You can find useful information on payment or KIT days here.
How do I arrange KIT days?
KIT days are not compulsory. Your employer can’t use them to make you work while on maternity leave if you don't want to. KIT days must be agreed between you and your employer.
When should I work KIT days?
You can arrange KIT days at any time during your statutory maternity leave, other than during the first two weeks after childbirth. You can work KIT days before the birth, as long as you’re already on maternity leave. You can take them one at a time or in blocks of several days in a row.
Do I have to work a whole day?
No. Working any part of the day counts as a KIT. Even if you only do half an hour on a particular day, it counts as a whole day of KIT gone.
What type of work can I do on a KIT day?
There are no rules or restrictions on what work you can do as part of a KIT day. They are often used for training days, or for handing over of information to the person who is covering your maternity leave, but you can do any sort of work, including working from home. KIT days can be used for meetings, if there’s an important one which you and your employer would like you to attend.
Does my employer have to offer KIT days?
No. You can't insist on having KIT days if your employer doesn't want to offer them. If your employer treats you badly because you considered taking KIT days, did undertake KIT days or refused to undertake KIT days, you may be able to bring a complaint to an employment tribunal.
But take advice quickly because, as with almost every aspect of maternity leave law, the time limits for claims are three months (less one day) from the bad treatment.
What should I do if my employer asks me to work more than 10 KIT days/20 SPLIT days?
Take advice from the one of the organisations discussed here. As mentioned already, you can work 10 KIT days on maternity leave. If your employer asks you to work more than ten days, establish beforehand that these will not be offset against your maternity leave pay and that your employer will not treat this as your having returned to work.