F70 – Entitlement to Ordinary Maternity Leave
A civil servant is required to satisfy the following conditions:
a) no later than the end of the 15th week before her expected week of childbirth (if that is not reasonably practicable, as soon as is reasonably practicable) she notifies her line manager, in writing, of:
- her pregnancy
- the expected week of childbirth, and
- the date on which she intends her ordinary maternity leave period to start
b) produce for inspection a certificate from a registered medical practitioner or a registered mid-wife stating the expected week of childbirth
F71 – Notice periods
No later than the end of the 15th week before her expected week of childbirth (or if that is not reasonably practicable, as soon as is reasonably practicable), the civil servant must complete the Statement of Intention (see Regulation F72 – Statement of intention) notifying her line manager of:
- the expected date of childbirth
- the intended date of finishing work and ordinary maternity leave commencing, which shall not be earlier than the beginning of the 11th week before the expected week of childbirth
- a civil servant can vary the date that maternity leave will start provided that notice in writing is given at least 28 days prior to the new date commencing (or, if not reasonably practicable, as soon as it is reasonably practicable)
The line manager will ensure that, within 28 days of receiving appropriate notice, the civil servant is advised of the date the maternity leave period will end (see model letter at Annex F3). If the civil servant is entitled to additional maternity leave (see Regulation F77 – Maternity Leave), the end date will be calculated on the assumption that she is taking it.
If the civil servant changes the date her leave will start, the line manager must notify her of the amended end date within 28 days of the start of her leave.
A civil servant who intends to return to work earlier than the end of her maternity leave period shall give her line manager not less than 28 days’ notice of the date on which she intends to return. Where a civil servant qualifies for additional maternity leave, but only wishes to take ordinary maternity leave, she must give 28 days’ notice of her return to work. Should such notice not be given, the return date may be postponed by the line manager/department to allow for the appropriate 28 days notice (but not to a date later than the end of her ordinary or additional maternity leave)
A civil servant must give the normal notice (see Regulation A20.1 – Conditions of Service Notice Periods) if she does not intend to return to work after her maternity leave
F72 – Statement of intention
A civil servant who is pregnant should advise her manager and complete the Statement of Intention at Annex F2 as soon as possible and no later than 15 weeks before the expected date of childbirth (or if that is not reasonably practicable, as soon as is reasonably practicable).
On receipt of the completed form the manager should:
- Retain a copy
- Send a copy to the appropriate Pay Section and the Public Sector Pensions Authority
- Send a copy to the departmental HR Section (if applicable)
- Send the original to the Office of Human Resources for retention on the civil servant's personal file
- Arrange for a letter of confirmation to be issued to the civil servant with 28 days of receipt of her notification (see model letter at Annex F3)
Note: the Office of Human Resources must also be notified of the date of the civil servant's return to work. The appropriate Pay Section and the Public Sector Pensions Authority should also be notified of any unpaid leave taken by the civil servant.
Last updated: 6 June 2013 - Amendment no. 13-007
F73 – Defintions
A) Definition of Childbirth
'Childbirth' for the purposes of these Regulations is defined as the birth of a living child or the birth of a child whether living or not after 24 weeks of pregnancy
B) Definition of ‘Expected week of Childbirth’
The week beginning at midnight between Saturday and Sunday, in which the baby is actually born
F74 – Antenatal care
A civil servant who is pregnant and who has on medical advice made an appointment to receive antenatal care will normally be given time off to keep the appointment.
Except for the first appointment she may be asked to produce a certificate of pregnancy and proof that the appointment has been made. If permitted time off, she will be paid for the period of absence at the normal rate of pay (including any shift disturbance allowance).
Such absences should be recorded as maternity leave for absence purposes. It will not be treated as absence for the purposes of calculating the amount of maternity leave taken.
F75 – Reinstatement after resignation
A civil servant who:
- resigns because she does not then intend to return to work, but
- later wishes to return because of a radical change in circumstances (such as the child's still birth)
has no absolute right to return but should be allowed to do so, if at all possible, in accordance with Regulation F90 – Permission to Return to Work. If she returns before the end of the period of maternity leave to which she would have been entitled if she had applied (such period beginning with the week in which the period of paid maternity leave would have commenced) her resignation will be cancelled and the period of absence will be counted as paid and/or unpaid leave in accordance with the provisions of this Section.
F76 – Redundancy during maternity leave
In the event of staff surpluses, the agreed framework of procedures to be followed is in accordance with Regulation B69 – Redundancy. Should a redundancy situation arise, there is statutory entitlement for a civil servant on maternity leave to be made an offer of any suitable alternative vacancy available.
F77 – Maternity leave
All pregnant civil servants are entitled to Ordinary Maternity Leave (OML) of 26 weeks from its commencement, provided they satisfy the conditions set out in Regulation F70 – Entitlement above. There is a compulsory maternity leave period of 2 weeks which commences with the day on which childbirth occurs.
In addition, civil servants entitled to OML will be entitled to additional maternity leave (AML) of 26 weeks from the day on which it commenced (equating to 52 weeks total maternity leave OML + AML). AML begins at the end of OML.
Last amended May 2021 Amendment number 15-140
F78 – Granting maternity leave
The grant of maternity leave is subject to the provisions of this section and to the civil servant completing the Statement of Intention.
F79 – Confidentiality agreement
During maternity leave civil servant is bound by all terms of her appointment relating to disclosure of confidential information, acceptance of gifts or other benefits and participation in any other business.
F80 – Maternity pay
A civil servant who is entitled to maternity leave will also be entitled to maternity pay as follows:
- At least 1 year continuous service at the beginning of the 14th week before the expected week of childbirth - 4 weeks at full pay followed by 4 weeks at half pay
- At least 2 year's continuous service at the beginning of the 14th week before the expected week of childbirth - 12 weeks at full pay followed by 6 weeks at half pay
Last updated: 10 July 2013 - Amendment No 13-004
F82 – Superannuation
Paid maternity leave is reckonable service for superannuation purposes – contributions will continue to be deducted during paid maternity leave.
Last updated: Amendment No. – 09-006
F83 – Qualifying service
Unpaid maternity leave does not reckon for the calculation of pension benefits, but does count as qualifying service.
F84 – Annual leave and public holidays during maternity leave
Contractual annual leave allowance continues to accrue during periods of ordinary maternity leave (OML). No contractual annual leave allowance will accrue for periods of additional maternity leave (AML), see Regulation F11 – Periods of absence where leave does not accrue. Public and privilege holidays falling during unpaid leave will be unpaid.
During periods of additional maternity leave when contractual leave does not accrue, statutory leave will accrue accordingly (4 week’s leave per annum in total, made up of both contractual and statutory leave). Public/Privilege holidays falling within either OML/AML will not be carried forward after maternity leave. Accrued statutory leave cannot be carried forward into a new leave year.
Where possible, to avoid the loss of annual leave, a civil servant should try and take any unused, accrued annual leave, prior to going on maternity leave. The provisions in relation to carrying over leave referred to in Regulation F14 – Deferment of leave – still apply.
Should a civil servant return to work on reduced hours, credits of annual leave accrued prior to and during maternity leave will be proportionate to the contract in force at the time and will not be reduced on a pro-rata basis in accordance with the newly contracted hours, for example a civil servant working full time prior to taking maternity leave, who reduces her hours to half time on return to work, will have accrued her annual leave at a daily rate of 7.24 hours and she will be credited at 7.24 hours daily rate, not at the new half time rate of 3.42 hours.
Last updated : 19 October 2010 - Amendment No 09-005
Note: Regulation F85 is blank.
F86 – Premature birth
In the event of premature birth (even if this is before the 11th week before the expected week of childbirth) maternity leave will start on the day after the birth and all the normal provisions of the scheme will apply. Qualifying period for AML will still be calculated based on the expected week of childbirth.
F87 – Still birth or death of a baby
In the unfortunate event of still birth after 24 weeks of pregnancy, or the death of the baby shortly after birth, the civil servant will still be entitled to the maternity provisions for which she is eligible, specifically Maternity Leave and Maternity Pay.
F88 – Timing of maternity leave
A civil servant may begin her maternity leave at any time from the beginning of the 11th week before the expected week of childbirth.
If a civil servant is absent from work due to a pregnancy-related reason after the beginning of the 4th week before the expected week of childbirth, but before the date she has notified as the start of her maternity leave, her maternity leave period begins automatically on the day after the first day of her absence.
If the civil servant gives birth before the date she has notified, or before she has notified a date, her maternity leave will start automatically on the day after the date of the birth.
F89 – Health and safety
Definition of the term ‘New and Expectant Mothers’
- who are pregnant
- who have given birth within the last 6 months or
- who are breastfeeding
Suspension from work on Maternity grounds
When assessing risks in the workplace, the line manager should pay particular attention to risks that could affect the health and safety of new or expectant mothers or their babies. If a risk remains which could damage the health and safety of a new or expectant mother or her baby, the line manager should make sure she is not exposed to that risk.
If necessary, suitable alternative work may be offered if available. If such alternative work is not available and it is deemed appropriate, the Accounting Officer may consider instigating suspension from work on maternity grounds; this may be prior to commencement of maternity leave, or when maternity leave has expired. Whilst on maternity suspension, a civil servant will be paid her normal remuneration.
If a civil servant unreasonably refuses an offer of suitable alternative work, no remuneration will be payable for the period during which the offer applies.
Managers are required to assess risks to the health and safety of new and expectant mothers and their babies, who may be particularly at risk from different physical, biological and chemical agents, processes and working conditions. These risks will vary depending on the civil servant’s health and at different stages of the pregnancy. Assistance in this respect can be sought from the department’s Health & Safety Adviser, or the Government Health & Safety Adviser.
If civil servant believes there is a risk to her health or safety, or to that of her baby, which has not been considered in the risk assessment, she should bring the risk to the attention of her line manager.
If hazards are identified by the assessment, information about the level of risks should be given to all women of childbearing age in the workplace. Managers should explain what they will do to make sure that new and expectant mothers are not exposed to the risks that could cause them harm; they should also inform them of the need to receive written notification of pregnancy/ breastfeeding as early as possible.
F90 – Permission to return to work
A civil servant who is absent from work on maternity leave will be eligible to return to work in the same grade and working the same hours at any time before the end of the period of maternity leave. She will normally be employed in the same location and post she filled before taking maternity leave, although this may not always be possible.
A civil servant who has been advised of the date her maternity leave period will end, but intends to return to work earlier than the end of her maternity leave period, is required to give her line manager not less than 28 days’ notice of the date on which she intends to return. Should such notice not be given, the return date may be postponed by the line manager/department to allow for the appropriate 28 days notice.
F91 – Sick absence during or following pregnancy
If during or following pregnancy, a civil servant is unfit for work but there is a reasonable prospect of her recovery and return to duty, the normal provisions for paid sick leave will apply.
However, paid sick leave will not be allowed:
- during the period of maternity leave requested by the civil servant or
- for absence due to pregnancy-related reasons, for any period after the beginning of the 4th week before the expected week of childbirth, when the maternity leave period will begin automatically on the day after the first day of absence
F92 – Sick absence during early months of pregnancy
Sick absence in the early months of pregnancy, for any cause, will be treated as ordinary sick leave.
F93 – Repayment of maternity pay
If a civil servant does not return to work on or before the end of her entitlement to maternity leave and complete at least 13 weeks paid service she may be required to repay all pay paid to her during the period of maternity leave. The repayment will be waived if she is unable to return to work for medical reasons certified by a general medical practitioner, either in respect of her or her baby.
F94 – Calculating date
If a civil servant fails to return to work after maternity leave her last day of service for pay and related purposes such as reckonable service and the accrual of annual leave will be taken as her last day at work before commencing maternity leave. If she returns, but does not complete 13 weeks service, normal notice periods will apply.
Last amended November 2019 – Amendment # 15-087
F95 – Return to work Flexibility
A civil servant wishing to return to work on a flexible basis (ie amended hours, job-share) is required to submit such a request in accordance with the provisions set out in Regulations F140 to F151.
Note: Regulation F96 is blank.
F97 – Number of times paid maternity leave permitted
Paid maternity leave for any civil servant on more than 3 occasions will only be permitted at the discretion of the Public Services Commission. Each case will be considered on its merits and applications should be forwarded to the Secretary of the Commission via the civil servant's Accounting Officer, whose views on the merits of the application should be attached.