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I am due to return to work soon. I work for a local authority, but have two jobs with the same local authority. One is full time and one is on another team completing emergency shift work which I do four times a month. I only want to use my KIT days on my shift work role. Do I need to ask permission from my manager on my full time job if they are happy for me to do this?
I note that you say you only get SMP in respect of your full-time role. It is unclear from your query whether you are classed as an ‘employee’ in both roles, or whether you are an employee for the full-time job and you are classed as a ‘worker’ only in respect of the shift work because you can decide when you work the shift work. Workers are entitled to paid holiday and minimum wage, but they are not entitled to statutory maternity pay (‘SMP’) or KIT days.
However, it may be that you are classed as an employee in both roles, but your earnings in your shift work were not sufficient to qualify you for SMP. It is important to find out whether you are a worker or an employee for your shift work.
If you are an employee in both roles, you will be on maternity leave from both and are entitled to all the normal benefits and protections flowing from this. This includes Keeping in Touch days (KIT days) and you would be entitled to take up to 10 KIT days in both roles.
If, however, you are an employee only in respect of the full-time work but are a worker for the shift work, then you are only entitled to KIT days for the full-time job. This is because workers are not entitled to maternity leave, statutory maternity pay or KIT days.
If you are an employee, but were not eligible for SMP for that role because your earnings were not high enough (for example), then you can ask to take KIT days in that role and although as a matter of good practice you should inform your manager in the full-time role about it, you do not need to ask permission from them. Remember to agree in advance with your employer about what you will be doing on your KIT days and what you will be paid.
If you are a worker in the shift job, then you are not entitled to take KIT days in that job. However, as you were engaged in that role before your maternity leave started, you could potentially carry out training or paid work for them without it impacting upon your SMP and maternity leave entitlement with the full-time role.
In the circumstances, I recommend you check your employment/worker status for the shift job first, check your employer’s maternity leave policy in case it covers such situations and then speak to both managers as they may be happy for you to carry out paid work in the shift job without doing anything similar in your full-time role.