When planning for your maternity leave, you might be wondering what your keep in touch days will actually involve and how you can use these practically.
There's a lot to think about before you start your maternity leave, such as what your maternity pay will look like and when you'll return to work. A keeping in touch day (also know as a KIT day), is a good way of easing yourself back into work, or for touching base on company announcements throughout your leave.
The KIT days entitles you to work ten days during your leave, without your maternity pay coming to an end. The good news is, you don't have to do a full days work for it to be considered a KIT day either.
How do KIT days work?
During maternity leave, you are entitled to take up to ten working working days. You can agree what these look like with your employer, whether you're wanting to use them to ease back into work or attend company meetings.
Your employer is allowed to make reasonable contact during your leave, so you can't use the keep in touch days to discuss your return to work or if you're just popping into the office to say hello to your colleagues with your new bundle of joy. You can however, ask them to agree on some KIT days if they are contacting you a lot during your leave.
When can KIT days be taken?
You can take your KIT days at any point during your maternity leave, including before you give birth. The only time they cannot be taken is during the two weeks after giving birth, as this is mandatory leave. If you have additional maternity leave days, you can also use the keep in touch days then.
Another way you can use your KIT days is by using them to ease your way back into work towards the end of your leave. For example, you can work two days a week for the last five weeks of your maternity leave.
It's worth noting that you can't take the days consecutively and they also can't be used to extend your maternity leave.
Will I get paid for my KIT days?
Most employers will pay a normal days pay for keep in touch days, however this would need to be agreed upon before your take your KIT day. It's important to discuss with your employer what entitlement you will have on these days, especially if you are having to pay for childcare or to travel to work.
The good news is paid KIT days won't affect your standard maternity pay either.
Do I have to work KIT days?
In short, you do not have to work your keep in touch days if you don't want to. It would be worth discussing this with your employer in advance, to make them aware of your decision. If you decide to change your mind while on maternity leave, you can reach out to your employer to discuss when these days would work best in advance to doing them.
Samantha Ball is a Product & Lifestyle Writer for Mother&Baby and freelanced for the website for two years before joining the team full time. She's a mum of two and loves browsing for the best products and cute outfits.