What Are Keeping In Touch (KIT) Days?

KIT days allow an employee to work up to 10 working days during their maternity or adoption leave. If you are on shared parental leave you can work up to 20 days, these are called SPLIT days. The 20 SPLIT days are in addition to the 10 KIT days.

KIT days can be used to help ease you back into work after maternity leave, or to keep in touch whilst on maternity leave.

When can I take KIT days?

You can take KIT days at any point during your maternity leave as long as it’s not within the first two weeks of giving birth.

Are KIT days compulsory?

No, KIT days are not compulsory. You would need to agree with your employer if and when you are going to take KIT days. Your employer can’t force you to take KIT days.

What Happens if I don’t work a full day when taking a KIT day?

It doesn’t matter if you have only worked an hour, that will still be classed as a whole KIT day.

If, however you are just nipping in to work to show your new baby to colleagues, this doesn’t count towards a KIT day.

Keeping in touch with work.

Your employer does have the right to contact you while you are on maternity leave. Your employer should tell you:

  • If jobs are being advertised
  • If there are any promotion opportunities
  • If they are planning reorganisation or redundancies

You can also discuss if there is anything else you would like to be notified of whilst on maternity leave.

Can I have more than 1 KIT day at a time?

Yes you can. It’s up to you and your employer how many KIT days you work in a row, or if you work them all as stand alone days.

What happens if I work more than 10 KIT days?

Whilst on maternity leave if you work after you have taken your 10 KIT days you would lose the 1 weeks SMP for the week in your Maternity Pay Period in which you have done the work. Your maternity leave would then come to an end.

HMRC give the example,

If a week in your Maternity Pay Period contains the last KIT day and you do a further days work in the same week for the employer paying you SMP, you will lose SMP for that week.”

How much will I be paid for your KIT day?

HMRC guidance does not state how much your employer should pay you for KIT days, though you must at least receive you the SMP/SAP/ShPP due for the week.

Even though your employer can offset your contractual pay against your SMP you must be paid the National Minimum Wage (NMW) as a minimum.

The 21/22 SMP rate is:

  • 90% of your average weekly earnings (before tax) for the first 6 weeks
  • £151.97 or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower) for the next 33 weeks

Just like normal wages, SMP is taxable and NI’able.

What happens if I have more than one employment?

If you receive SMP in more than one job you are entitled up to 10 KIT days in each employment you receive SMP.

What kind of work can I do during a KIT day?

You should agree with your employer what work you will carry out during your KIT day(s).

KIT days are often used as a good way to have a phased return to work. Or to trial working on a part time basis if that is what you wish to do once your maternity leave finishes.

Does my employer have to keep my job open?

Your employer must keep your job open if you return within 26 weeks of your maternity, adoption or shared parental leave. If you do take more than 26 weeks leave, you will still have the right to your job, or a similar job.  A similar job means the same or better terms as your current employment contract. If you unreasonably refuse to take the similar job your employer can take this as your resignation.

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