Family Leave

Details of the provisions can be found in Police Regulations 2003 as follows:

Leave for ante natal care – Regulation 33, Annex Q

Police maternity scheme – Regulation 29, Annex L and Regulation 33, Annex R

Police adoption scheme – Regulation 33, Annex R

Keeping in Touch days – Regulation 33, Annex R

Ordinary maternity support leave, ordinary adoption support leave, additional maternity support leave, additional adoption support leave and parental leave – Regulation 33, Annex S

Time off for dependants – Regulation 33, Annex T

Guidance is also contained in the Police Federation’s Guide to Family Leave and Flexible Working handbook and the Maternity Guide for Women Police Officers, also available from your JBB office.

Further guidance on managing maternity and related issues is contained in PNB Circular 10/05.

Leave for ante-natal care

All female members have the right to paid time off to attend appointments for antenatal care, subject to production of relevant documentation if requested.

Maternity leave

The maximum period of maternity leave is 15 months, which can be taken in one or more periods. The period during which maternity leave can be taken commences six months before the expected week of childbirth and ends no later than 12 months afterwards. The ability to take maternity leave in more than one period allows the member to return to work for e.g. a court appearance or training course, and then resume maternity leave. It can also be used to take annual leave during a break in maternity leave; otherwise any accrued but unused annual leave should be carried over to the next leave year. (However, any impact on pay should be considered).

PNB Circular 2014/23 says that a woman who takes maternity leave has two rights to leave: one to maternity leave and another to annual leave as provided by Police Regulations and determinations and/or the Working Time Regulations for the annual leave year in question. She must be able to take both types of leave. Usually this should not be an issue as the annual leave can be accommodated within the leave year(s) in question.

However, if a woman is unable to take all of her annual leave in the leave year due to being on maternity leave, then she should be allowed to carry it over into the appropriate leave year when she returns to work. Where a woman is able to take her annual leave before she starts her leave year (for instance because her maternity leave starts close to the beginning of the annual leave year, or because the baby has been born prematurely) exceptions should be made to carry over policies to allow women to carry the remaining period of leave into the appropriate leave year e.g. a
woman will be able to carry over leave that she was unable to take into the leave year in which she returns to work. However, if there is insufficient time within that leave year to take the leave, she should be able to carry over the remainder into the next leave year.

The scheme allows members to choose when they will commence any period of maternity leave provided that it commences no later than the expected date of childbirth.

A period of up to 52 weeks shall be reckonable for pay increments and leave purposes for all officers on maternity leave.

Paid maternity leave

Eighteen weeks’ paid maternity leave is available to a female member who:

(a) at the beginning of the 11th week before the expected date of birth, has served continuously for a period of not less than one year, and

(b) at 15 weeks before the expected week of childbirth remains pregnant or has given birth prematurely and at that date the baby remains alive.

Members entitled to paid maternity leave will be paid for the first 18 weeks of their leave. Part-time members will be paid for the first 18 weeks at the rate calculated by reference to their appropriate factor.

Members may, with the agreement of their chief officer, elect to extend their final five weeks’ pay to 10 weeks at half rate.

Statutory maternity pay

Members who have at least 26 weeks’ service by the end of the 15th week before the expected date of birth are entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) for 39 weeks. Please refer to the Federation’s Maternity Guide for Women Police Officers for details.

The police maternity pay to which a member is entitled will be reduced, in respect of any week in which she receives SMP, by an amount equal to the SMP that she receives for that week. Where a member elects to extend her final five weeks of police maternity pay to 10 weeks at half pay, the pay to which the member is entitled will be reduced by half of the amount of SMP that she receives for that week.

Adoption leave

The maximum period of adoption leave is 52 weeks. All paid adoption leave is reckonable for incremental pay and leave purposes. A member must commence adoption leave within a period of 14 days ending with the date on which the child is expected to be placed with the member.

Paid adoption leave

A member who is a child’s adoptive parent is entitled to one week’s adoption leave on full pay, at or around the time of the adoption, irrespective of their length of service. Members who have served continuously for at least one year at the end of the week in which s/he is matched with a child for adoption are entitled to full pay for the first 18 weeks’ adoption leave followed by up to 21 weeks at Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) then up to 13 weeks of unpaid adoption leave. Part-time members will be paid for the first 18 weeks at the rate calculated by reference to their appropriate factor.

Members may, with the agreement of their chief officer, elect to extend their final five weeks’ pay to 10 weeks at half rate.

Statutory adoption leave and pay

Members who have completed 26 weeks’ service by the end of the week in which they are notified of being matched with a child for adoption will be entitled to take up to 52 weeks’ Statutory Adoption Leave – the first 39 weeks with Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP), followed by 13 weeks of unpaid Additional Adoption Leave, around the time of placement of the child. The one week adoption leave referred to above will be included within this entitlement, at the full rate of pay.

The police adoption pay to which a member is entitled will be reduced, in respect of any week in which s/he receives SAP, by an amount equal to the SAP that s/he receives for that week. Where a member elects to extend his/her final five weeks of police adoption pay to 10 weeks at half pay, the pay to which the member is entitled will be reduced by half of the amount of SAP that s/he receives for that week.

Children and Families Act 2014

Home Office Circular 011/2015 was published on 27 March 2015. It confirms the Secretary of State's decision to extend the principles of the Children and Families Act 2014 to police officers in England and Wales, to reflect the relevant statutory provisions available to other workers as follows:

1. Prospective fathers/partners and/or intended parents in a surrogacy situation may be granted unpaid time off to attend up to two antenatal appointments with a pregnant woman.

2. From 5 April 2015, mothers, fathers and adopters may choose to share parental leave around their child’s birth or placement.

3. From 5 April 2015 unpaid parental leave will be extended to cover children up to age 18 from the current five years of age.

4. Shared parental leave and pay will also be available to adopters, prospective parents in the ‘fostering for adoption’ system, and intended parents in a surrogacy arrangement.

5. From 5 April 2015 statutory adoption leave and pay will reflect entitlements available to birth parents.

6. From 5 April 2015, intended parents in surrogacy and ‘foster to adopt’ arrangements will be entitled to adoption leave and pay and paternity leave and pay.

The circular notes that these provisions will require amendments to Police Regulations 2003, however, police forces are advised to note the Home Office’s intention to change legislation as specified above and are encouraged to apply these provisions on an interim basis where possible.

For more detailed information see HOC 011/2015.

Keeping in Touch days

A member on maternity leave or adoption leave can return to work on a voluntary basis, subject to the agreement of his/her chief officer, for up to 10 days without Family leave bringing their maternity or adoption leave to an end. These are known as Keeping in Touch (KIT) days.

A member will be paid at an hourly rate for duty carried out on a KIT day plus overtime if appropriate. If the member is entitled to SMP or SAP for any week in which a KIT day falls, neither the member’s SMP or SAP nor the pay for the KIT day will be reduced on account of the other.

It is important to note the impact of a KIT day on the buy-back of unpaid leave for pension purposes. Please see the paragraph on ‘Family Leave and Pensions’ at the end of this section.

Ordinary maternity support leave and ordinary adoption support leave

These provisions are found in Regulation 33 and Annex S of Police Regulations 2003.

A member who is the child’s father or the partner or nominated carer of an expectant mother, or an adopter’s spouse or partner is entitled to two weeks’ ordinary maternity support leave, at or around the time of birth or two weeks’ ordinary adoption leave at or around the time of adoption. The first week of ordinary maternity support leave or ordinary adoption support leave will be on full pay. This will be offset by an amount equal to the statutory paternity pay rate for that week. Part-time members will be paid at a rate calculated by reference to their appropriate factor.

Members who have 26 weeks’ continuous service at the 15th week before the expected week of confinement, or the week in which the adopter is matched with a child for adoption, will be entitled to be paid for the second week at statutory paternity pay rate.

Additional maternity support leave and additional support leave


Members who have served continuously for a period of not less than 26 weeks and are the father or partner of a woman who has a baby or the second person in a couple who have adopted a child and have or expect to have responsibility for the child’s upbringing, may take between two and 26 weeks’ Additional Maternity Support Leave or Additional Adoption Support Leave to care for the child. Members must give their chief officer at least eight weeks’ notice of their intention to take such leave.

Additional maternity or adoption support leave may be taken at any time within a period which begins 20 weeks after the date on which the child is born or placed for adoption and must end 52 weeks after the child is born or placed for adoption.

Members who take additional maternity support leave or additional adoption support leave may qualify for Additional Statutory Paternity Pay (ASSP). A member will only receive ASSP if their partner would have been receiving SMP or SAP had they not returned to work.

Parental leave

Members who have served continuously for a period of not less than a year; and have, or expect to have, legal parental responsibility for a child are entitled to 18 weeks’ unpaid parental leave in respect of each individual child for the purpose of caring for that child. Different conditions apply according to the age of the child, or whether the child is born to the member or placed with him/her for adoption.

The period during which the leave may be taken is specified in Regulation 33, Annex S of Police Regulations 2003. Generally the leave must be taken before the child’s fifth birthday or the fifth anniversary of the placement or, for a child entitled to a disability living allowance, before the child’s 18th birthday. The arrangements for taking parental leave need to be agreed with the chief officer. For further details contact your JBB.

Time off for dependants

These provisions are found in Regulation 33 and Annex T of Police Regulations 2003.

A member is entitled to take reasonable paid time off during normal duty periods in order to take action which is necessary:
a) When a dependant falls ill, gives birth or is injured or assaulted
b) To arrange for care for an ill or injured dependant
c) Where a dependent dies
d) Where care arrangements for a dependent are disrupted
e) To deal with an unexpected incident involving an officer’s child at school or nursery

Each circumstance is distinct and separate from each other therefore, it should be made clear which circumstance the request is made within rather than a generalised request for time off.

Dependant means a spouse, child, parent, someone who lives in the same house as the member (but not a lodger etc.) or, in relation to (a) (b) and (d) any person who reasonably relies on the member for their care or provision or their care i.e. an elderly neighbour.

The member must tell the chief officer the reason for the absence as soon as reasonably practicable, and, if possible, state how long s/he expects to be absent.

Family leave and pensions

Paid family leave is automatically pensionable, meaning that members pay pension contributions on the salary they receive and in return it counts as pensionable service.

Unpaid leave, other than the first 26 weeks of maternity leave, can only count as pensionable service if pension payments are made in respect of it. It is currently only possible to do this in the Police Pension Scheme (PPS) 1987 and the New Police Pension Scheme (NPPS) 2006 for periods of unpaid maternity leave and unpaid parental leave and time limits apply. However, we expect this to be extended to all forms of unpaid family leave in the PPS 1987 and NPPS 2006. Members of the Police Pension Scheme (PPS) 2015 are already able to buy-back periods of unpaid
family leave for pension purposes, subject to time limits. Members should contact their pensions’ administrator for further information.

Assuming a member had not opted out of the pension scheme, any period of unpaid maternity leave after the first 26 weeks can be bought back. The rate of buy-back is calculated at the appropriate pension contribution rate (e.g. 14.25% for PPS 1987 members. 11% or 12.05% for NPPS 2006 members and 12.44% or 13.44% in the PPS 2015) of the last pay the woman received immediately before she went onto unpaid leave. In most cases this will be SMP at the lower rate.

However, it is important to note that a Keeping in Touch (KIT) day taken during the unpaid period will mean that the remaining period of unpaid leave will have to be bought back at the appropriate pension contribution rate of full pay.

Produced and issued by Research and Policy Support PFEW HQ - updated August 2016

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