We’re experiencing a lot of queries lately surrounding Keeping in Touch (KIT) days, with employers’ main queries relating to how these should be paid. So, we thought we would provide you with some key information relating to KIT days that will hopefully give you the knowledge and confidence to handle these effectively with your employees on maternity or shared parental leave.
KIT or SPLIT – Who’s eligible?
Employees on maternity or adoption leave may have up to 10 Keeping in Touch (KIT) days without bringing their leave or pay to an end.
Those on Shared Parental Leave are entitled to up to 20 Shared-Parental-Leave in Touch (SPLIT) days, up to 10 for each parent.
Whilst employees are not obligated to take KIT/SPLIT days, they may choose to for the purpose of attending training, staff meetings or to aid them settling back into work nearer the time their leave is due to end. Even if an employee only attends work for a few hours, this will be classed as one full day out of their KIT day entitlement.
Discussing Your Options
Before your employee is due to go on maternity leave, we advise sitting down with them and discussing how they wish to be contacted during their leave and your thoughts on those KIT days. These conversations are always best held in advance.
Are Employees Entitled to Normal Pay for KIT/SPLIT Days?
There are no regulations that state how much employees should be paid for KIT/SPLIT days, however as per the Employment Rights Act 1996 they must be paid at least the National Minimum Wage for their age. In normal circumstances you would pay your employee at their normal hourly/daily rate and where SMP is still being paid offset that day’s SMP. That way the employee doesn’t profit from being in on a KIT day by receiving more pay than they would have received if they had not been on maternity leave.
If you are not a retained client our Employee’s Guide to Pregnancy & Maternity will be helpful to you. It’s available from our shop here. If you are retained talk to one of the team and we can post one to you.
If you require any further advice on managing KIT/SPLIT days, please contact us on 01527 909436.