KIT Day Rights: Employees and employers have rights

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The lockdown restrictions are over, and spring has arrived, even if there is a snow shower. Employees on shared parental, maternity or adoption leave will likely enjoy the opportunity to get outside with their families and soak up the sun.

They probably don’t think much about work unless they are almost ready to return.

However, anyone who has taken a long break from work knows that it can be difficult to get back on track and take over the reins. KIT (keeping in touch) days can be a great way to get back on track.

What is KIT Day?

The employee works as normal while on Adoption or Maternity Leave. Employees can be paid for the work performed and then return to their leave. Similar arrangements apply to employees on Shared Parental leave – the handy acronym SPLIT days.

Maternity kit days are specifically designed to help employees keep in touch with colleagues and keep them up to date with any changes at work. Employees can benefit from a more seamless return to work by having them available. They also offer the opportunity to socialize with colleagues, a benefit often overlooked when working regularly, and answer any questions about their pay, leave, or role.

KIT days are not a right that employees have by default. Employers cannot force employees to take them. Employers must agree in advance to employees’ KIT days. It is possible to arrange for a KIT day schedule before employees take Maternity Leave or to have a catch-up phone call to discuss dates when they are partway into Maternity Leave.

What number of KIT days can an employee get?

Employees are allowed to work up to ten KIT days during leave.

They can continue working for as long as ten days without having to end their Maternity Leave or Adoption Leave or lose their Statutory or Adoption Pay.

Employees with more than one job must apply their KIT (and SPLIT) days to each job.

It is important to remember that employees who work more than ten keeping-in-touch days will lose their entitlements to Statutory Maternity pay and their Maternity Leave. It is important to inform employees who are due to be on leave about this limit and to keep careful records.

How do SPLIT days differ?

Employees on Shared Parental leave are entitled to ‘Shared Parents Leave in Touch’ (or SPLIT) days. It works the same way as the KIT days scheme but is more flexible. The parent and their child can use the SPLIT days to receive up to 20 days of parental leave without losing their Statutory Shared Parental Pay or Shared Parental Allowance.

KIT days can be used in conjunction with SPLIT days. If your employee does not use all of their KIT days during Maternity/Adoption leave, the unutilized entitlement cannot be carried over to a period of shared parental leave.

Employees who use their ten KIT days could be given the notice to terminate their Maternity Leave and take Shared Parental Leave. They can then begin taking their 20 SPLIT days. They can still work for a day or two a week until their Shared Parental Leave ends.

Employees can use KIT/SPLIT to work part-time before returning to work.

It is simple. Employees can use their SPLIT or KIT days to work part-time until they are done with their leave.

If you and their employer agree, they can work two KIT days per week for five weeks before returning to work. This could be especially helpful if they are considering flexible work requests and you want to determine if it is feasible in terms of workload.

What are the wages for employees who work on KIT/SPLIT?

Employees are entitled to the National Minimum wage for any work they do while on leave. Many businesses will pay employees their normal pay rate, pro rata, if it is higher than NMW. Before an employee accepts any work, they should confirm this with their employer.

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