Here are the steps we’ll follow when a colleague is pregnant and taking Maternity Leave. All the forms for colleagues and the template letters and meeting guides for managers to use can be found on How Do I.

1) Notification of pregnancy

Colleagues should tell their manager that they’re pregnant as soon they can – and no later than the end of the 15th week before their baby’s due.

Managers should talk to the colleague regularly to support them throughout their pregnancy - there’s a series of meeting guides to help. Maternity informal meeting guide 1 (below) can be used to support the initial conversation with the colleague about their pregnancy.

Managers should then call Trudi Sewell on 01624 626525 to let her know about the pregnancy.

2) Risk assessment

The manager then must carry out a risk assessment using the maternity risk assessment form (below) within two weeks of being told about the pregnancy. This risk assessment should be reviewed throughout the colleague’s pregnancy and also when they return to work. If any risks to the health of the colleague or their baby are identified, the manager should contact erservices@coop.co.uk to discuss appropriate steps that should be taken to remove/minimise these risks.

3) Antenatal appointments

The colleague should talk to their manager about any antenatal appointments they need to go to and managers must agree time off for these if they fall within work time.

Managers can use the maternity informal meeting guide 2 (below) between weeks 12 – 26 of the colleague’s pregnancy, which covers antenatal appointments, as well as the MATB1 form and holidays (see section below).

4) MATB1 and ML1 forms

When the colleague gets their MATB1 form from their doctor or midwife, sometime after the 21st week of their pregnancy, they should give it to their manager as soon as they can.

The colleague then needs to agree with their manager when their Maternity Leave is going to start. See the Maternity Policy for more details about taking Maternity Leave.

Next the colleague should complete the ML1 (Application for Maternity Leave) form (below) and ask their manager to sign it.

The manager should send both the colleague’s MATB1 form and the completed ML1 form to; Trudi Sewell 4 Myrtle St Douglas IOM IM1 1ED

5) ML3 form

The colleague will then be sent a letter confirming their maternity pay entitlement and when their 52 weeks’ Maternity Leave entitlement will end (although they may agree with their manager to return on an earlier date).

If a colleague wants to return to work earlier than either the end of their 52 weeks Maternity Leave, or the return date they’ve agree with their manager, they need to tell their manager in writing at least eight weeks before the date they’re due to return.

6) Holidays

Before going on Maternity Leave, the colleague should discuss and agree with their manager when they’ll take the holidays which they’ll accrue while on Maternity Leave. This is covered in the Maternity Informal Meeting Guide 2.

7) Keeping in touch

Before starting Maternity Leave, managers should agree with the colleague how they would like them to keep in touch while the colleague’s away from work.

The colleague can take up to 10 paid Keeping in Touch (KIT) days during their Maternity Leave. These need to be agreed in advance with their manager. There’s more information about KIT days in the Maternity Policy.

Managers can use the KIT day record form (below) to record details of any KIT days that are requested and taken. They should make sure the colleague gets their full contractual pay for any KIT day worked.

Managers can use the maternity informal meeting guide 3 (below) from week 26 of the colleague’s pregnancy onwards to help discuss ways of keeping in touch, KIT days and returning to work.

8) Unexpected events

If something unexpected happens during a colleague’s pregnancy and things haven’t gone to plan, managers should speak to the colleague to find out what support they need and contact ER Services for advice.

9) Returning to work

It’s important that managers call Trudi Sewell on 01624 626525 to confirm the colleague’s return date so the colleague is put back onto the time capture system and paid correctly. Managers should also let her know whether they’ve authorised the colleague to carry forward their holidays into the next holiday year, as this won’t happen automatically.

Managers should contact the colleague to talk about their return to work. It’s good to arrange for the colleague to come into work for this meeting, perhaps during a KIT day.

Managers may find it helpful to develop a Return to Work Plan for the colleague’s first few weeks back in work – there’s a template for this at the back of maternity informal meeting guide 4 (below). This could include any refresher training needed, introducing them to any new team members and updating them on any changes within the business.

If relevant to the colleague’s job, managers also need to contact IT to make sure that the colleague’s access to IT systems is restored in time for their first day back.