Statutory Maternity Pay Guide for Employers (2012-2013)

Statutory Maternity Pay Guide for Employers (2012-2013)

Keeping in Touch (KIT) days

Employee does some work for you

A woman can work for you under her contract of service and during her SMP pay period for up to ten days without losing her SMP for the week in which that work is done. These ten days are called ‘Keeping in Touch’ (KIT) days and enable your employee to undertake the odd day’s training or do some work for you on occasion to keep in touch during her maternity leave without losing her SMP or ending her maternity leave.

The KIT days may be used consecutively, singly or in blocks. It is for you and your employee to agree how they should be used if your employee wishes to do some work. But any work on any day (even as little as an hour) will count as a whole KIT day.

This provision is designed to help ease a woman’s eventual return to work and to make it easier for her to keep in touch with her employer during her leave from work. Both the employee and the employer must agree that these days may be worked and the arrangements including what work she will be doing and how much she will be paid.

The amount of pay they receive for work done is something for you to agree with your employee. You may count the amount of SMP towards the contractual pay agreed with your employee. This is something which both parties need to agree before any work is done. You must pay the weekly SMP rate the employee is entitled to and also comply with your statutory obligations, such as paying at least the National Minimum Wage (NMW).

For more information about NMW contact the free Pay and Work Rights Helpline on 0800 917 2368.

The employer has no right to demand that such KIT work is undertaken and the woman has no obligation to undertake such work.

If your employee does more than ten days work for you in her SMP pay period you cannot pay SMP to her for any week in which she does such work and her maternity leave will come to an end. To be clear, if a week in the SMP pay period contains only KIT days, SMP should be paid. If a week in the SMP pay period contains the last of the KIT days and also another day or days of work for you, or she has used up all her KIT days, you must not pay SMP for each week in which such work is done.

Once your employee has used her ten KIT days, she will lose one week’s SMP for each week or part week she works for you. The SMP pay period is not extended to take account of any such weeks. Any SMP lost in this way is always at the standard rate first, or 90 per cent of the AWE if this is lower than the standard rate.

KIT days example

If a woman works Monday to Friday, the SMP pay period is 1 March 2012 to 4 December 2012, and the SMP pay week is Wednesday to Tuesday. A woman returns to work for six days:

  • Monday to Wednesday, 27 August 2012 to 29 August 2012, and
  • Monday to Wednesday, 3 September 2012 to 5 September 2012.
  • The SMP pay weeks for this period are:

  • 22 August 2012 to 28 August 2012 (two KIT days)
  • 29 August to 4 September 2012 (three KIT days)
  • 5 September 2012 to 11 September 2012 (one KIT day).
  • She then works for five days Monday to Friday, 22 October 2012 to 26 October 2012.

    The SMP pay weeks for this period are:

  • 17 October 2012 to 23 October 2012 (two KIT days)
  • 24 October 2012 to 30 November 2012 (two KIT days, one non-KIT day).
  • SMP is payable for all of the above SMP pay weeks except for the pay week 24 October 2012 to 30 October 2012 because in this week the woman has exceeded her ten KIT days.

    She has used her total of ten KIT days, so SMP will not be payable for any week in which any further work is done. Keeping in Touch (KIT) days

    Paying your employee who has more than one job with you

    If all the employee’s earnings have to be added together to work out Class 1 NICs they have to be added together to work out the employee’s AWE, and the employee can only get one lot of SMP.

    If Class 1 NICs are worked out separately on the employee’s earnings, then you must work out their AWE separately, and the employee can get more than one lot of SMP, check whether their earnings were high enough in each employment.

    For more information on how to work out Class 1 NICs for employees with more than one job see the booklet CWG2 (2012) Employer Further Guide to PAYE and NICs.

    If they are only entitled to one payment of SMP from you, they should take the same time off from each job otherwise they will lose some of their SMP because they are working for you but see ‘KIT days example’ above.

    If they are entitled to more than one payment of SMP from you, they can choose to take different times off from each job without losing any SMP. This is because SMP entitlement is treated completely separately under each contract when earnings are not added together to work out NICs.

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