Conditions Of Service: Keeping In Touch Days

Created on: 23 Jan 2018 | Last modified: 31 May 2018

This policy sets out the entitlement of those on maternity or adoption leave. This should be read in conjunction with either the Maternity Leave or Adoption Leave leaflets.

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Effective From 1 April 2007

This leaflet should be read in conjunction with our Maternity Leave and Rights Leaflet. The following advice applies to employees covered by the SNCT Conditions of Service.

Why have Keeping in Touch Days been introduced?

These support the Government's desire to introduce more family friendly policies. Keeping in Touch Days supplement employer and employee requirements to maintain reasonable contact during periods of maternity or adoption leave. Keeping in Touch Days are a formal, paid arrangement.

Who decides how these will work in practice?

Each Local Negotiating Committee for Teachers (LNCT) will set out operational arrangements, based on advice from the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT).

What do you mean by 'maintain reasonable contact' during Maternity or Adoption Leave?

Employers should have clear arrangements for maintaining contact with employees. You should discuss with your employer, prior to taking maternity or adoption leave, how contact can be maintained. All parties should have a clear understanding of the nature and frequency of contact.

What communication methods can be used?

Contact can be maintained by exchange of e-mails between colleagues at work where each party has this facility. If at all possible employees should be able to access their employer's intranet. Where parties do not have e-mails then communication by telephone or letter should be agreed. Visits to the workplace may also be considered where practicable.

What information should my employer provide me with?

At the very least, you should be provided with information on vacancies and promotions, including acting appointments, and any in-service or other CPD opportunities. You should also be informed about any other changes which may impact on you.

What are Keeping in Touch Days?

These are formal arrangements to allow employees to undertake work of some kind during maternity or adoption leave. The statutory provision is for up to 10 Keeping in Touch Days in any period of maternity or adoption leave.

Do I need to participate in Keeping in Touch Days?

No. Participation is not compulsory.

Do I get paid for attending a Keeping in Touch Day?

Yes. You should receive your normal pay if you undertake a Keeping in Touch Day. Where you are still in receipt of SMP/SAP or Maternity Allowance this will be inclusive of these payments. If you do not work the full day you will be paid an hourly rate calculated on the basis of 1/1827 of the annual salary plus pro rata holiday entitlement as set out in the SNCT Handbook.

Will attendance at a Keeping in Touch Day affect my Statutory Maternity or Adoption Leave period or my entitlement to Statutory Maternity or Adoption Pay?

No. Attendance at Keeping in Touch Days will not affect your entitlement to maternity or adoption leave. You should also continue to receive your entitlement to statutory maternity and adoption pay.

How do I agree the activity I wish to undertake?

Both you and your employer must agree the activity to be undertaken. Whilst the day could be used to undertake normal contractual duties it may also be used to attend in-service days, conferences, other training activities or to attend a team meeting. You should note that if you work part of a day that will count as a keeping in touch day.

What activities are recommended for Keeping in Touch Days?

The Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT) sets out the following as examples of good practice:

  • Attending INSET days, as set out in the school calendar;
  • Team teaching with the teacher covering your leave, particularly in the weeks preceding your return;
  • Attending CPD events, including participating in annual review discussions;
  • Attending team or departmental meetings;
  • Work shadowing a colleague or liaison with a colleague.

What happens if I cannot agree activities to be undertaken?

It is expected that an amicable agreement can be reached. If resolution cannot be achieved then you should, in the first instance, contact your EIS Representative/Local Association Secretary for advice.