NEELB
Home > About > Who we are and what we do > Human Resources > Welfare and Absence > Equal Opportunities, Maternity FAQ's
Equal Opportunities, Maternity FAQ's

Equal Opportunities, Maternity FAQ's

The Board has a revised Maternity Scheme which applies to mothers of babies born after 6 April 2003.

Who does the scheme apply to?

How soon can I commence maternity leave?

What happens if I have to take sick leave prior to commencing maternity leave?

What forms must I complete?

What if I do not qualify for maternity pay?

What happens if I want a Career Break?

Who does the scheme apply to?
All pregnant employees regardless of hours worked are entitled to apply for maternity leave and pay. The service and other requirements are set out in the Board's Maternity Provision scheme.

How soon can I commence maternity leave?
The earliest date for commencing maternity leave is 11 weeks prior to the date the baby is due. Maternity leave commences on a Sunday and ends on a Saturday. The latest date for commencement of maternity leave is the Sunday before the baby is due for example, if your baby is due on Wednesday 28th, the latest date for commencement of maternity leave is Sunday 25th.

What happens if I have to take sick leave prior to commencing maternity leave?
If the absence is maternity related, maternity leave will commence automatically 4 weeks prior to the date the baby is due. If you have already applied for maternity leave outside this date, you will be notified that your maternity leave has commenced and be given a revised return date.

What forms must I complete?
You should complete a Pers 35 application form for maternity leave and pay and attach a MATB1Certificate which your GP or Midwife will provide for you. The MATB1 is a signed certificate which states the expected date your baby will be born. You will be notified in writing of your entitlement.

There are two elements to maternity pay –
occupational maternity pay (OMP) and statutory maternity pay (SMP) and the qualifying requirements are different for each. If you are entitled to both payments the following leave and pay entitlements will be made.

6 weeks 9/10 salary – SMP/OMP
12 weeks half pay plus SMP
8 weeks SMP only
26 weeks unpaid
= total up to 52 weeks leave

Only the 12 weeks half pay (OMP) must be repaid if you do not return to work for 3 months following the birth of your baby.

What if I do not qualify for maternity pay?
Even if you are not entitled to maternity pay for example, you do not have enough service, you will still be entitled to 26 weeks maternity leave and you should still complete the Pers 35 form. If you wish to apply for social security benefits your local office will require any letters from the Board as evidence that you do not qualify for payment.

What happens if I want a Career Break?
You may make application for a career break, giving 3 months notice, to commence immediately following your maternity leave. In this case the requirement to return to work for 3 months will be frozen until the end of the Career Break.

SERVICES & INFORMATION

The Education and Library Boards (ELBs) were dissolved on 31 March 2015. The Education Authority was established on 01 April 2015 and is now responsible for all of the operational functions previously carried out by the five ELBs in accordance with the Education Orders.

182 Galgorm Road, Ballymena, BT42 1HN
Telephone number: 028 2565 3333