Keeping in touch (KIT) days explained
Keeping in touch days (KIT days) are an allowance of 10 days that employees can take during maternity, adoption or additional paternity leave. They allow employees to keep in touch with the workplace without affecting their rights to maternity pay or ending their maternity leave.
KIT days aren't just for NHS workers. General guidance on KIT days and employee rights when on leave has been set out by the government.
KIT days are optional and both employer and employee need to agree them. They are intended to allow the employee to keep up to date and facilitate a smooth return to work. They must be arranged in advance and work does not have to be consecutive.
Activities that have been undertaken as KIT include:
- Supervised clinical work
- Attendance of courses and meetings relevant to training
- Attendance on local or regional teaching days
- Attendance at departmental induction days nearest to return to work date
When can KIT days be taken?
KIT days can be taken any time after the first two weeks of compulsory maternity leave immediately after the birth of your baby. Working for part of a day counts as use of a whole day and you can only work 10 days. Pay can be negotiated. This is usually from the trust paying maternity pay and is usually at the basic daily rate for hours worked less appropriate maternity leave payments already being made.
Any statutory maternity pay that's being paid can be offset against payment. It's also not possible to get paid if you are back on payroll for the purposes of getting paid accrued annual leave. In practice this often means that KIT days are worked after other payments have stopped i.e. after week 39 but before payment for accrued annual leave starts.
Working KIT days does not extend your maternity leave.
Arranging KIT days
Local experience and arrangements for KIT days will vary from Trust to Trust.
All KIT must be prospectively approved. Consider KIT activity at your absence from training planning meeting with your educational supervisor. Discuss your plans with your educational supervisor or Training Programme Director and agree dates and activity in advance.
Prospectively negotiate and agree pay arrangements with HR. The HR officer who dealt with your maternity leave application is often a useful point of contact and should be able to advise regarding any notifications or paperwork that's required for payroll purposes.