Guide to managing keeping in touch (kit) days3 min read
Our Guide to Managing Keeping in Touch (KIT) Days provides strategies for utilising KIT days during parental leave, benefiting employees and employers.
What is a Guide to managing keeping in touch (kit) days?
The purpose of a management guide to kit days is to provide employers and managers with information on how to effectively manage kit days for employees on maternity, paternity, or shared parental leave. The guide should cover topics such as what kit days are, how they work, how they affect an employee's entitlement to leave and pay, and what the employer's obligations and responsibilities are in relation to kit days.
By providing a management guide, employers can ensure that kit days are used effectively and appropriately, and that the process is clear and transparent for both employees and managers. The guide can also help to minimize any misunderstandings or disputes that may arise regarding the use of kit days, ensuring that both parties understand their rights and obligations.
Overall, a management guide to kit days can help to promote positive relationships between employers and employees on parental leave, and ensure that employees are able to stay connected with their work without negatively impacting their parental leave entitlements.
What legal and best practice aspects should employers be aware of?
Here are some examples of UK employment legislation that support the use of kit days:
The Employment Rights Act 1996, which provides employees with the right to take reasonable time off to attend to certain family and domestic responsibilities, including keeping in touch days.
The Maternity and Parental Leave Regulations 2019, which allow employees to take up to ten paid keeping in touch days while on maternity, paternity, adoption, or shared parental leave.
The Shared Parental Leave Regulations 2014, which allow both parents to take up to 20 days each of shared parental leave in the form of keeping in touch days.
The Equality Act 2010, which prohibits discrimination against employees on the basis of pregnancy, maternity, or paternity leave.
The Working Time Regulations 1998, which require employers to provide employees with rest breaks and limit the number of hours that can be worked per week.
The National Minimum Wage Act 1998, which sets minimum wage rates that employers must pay to their employees, including those taking kit days.
Guide to managing keeping in touch (KIT) days
Kit days, or "keeping in touch" days, are an important part of maternity, paternity, and shared parental leave policies. These are days where employees can return to work for up to 10 days during their leave period without it affecting their entitlement to leave or pay.
As a manager, it's important to understand how kit days work and how they can benefit both your organisation and your employees. Here are some key points to keep in mind:
Explain the policy to your employees
Ensure that your employees are aware of the kit day policy and how it works. It's important to be clear about how many kit days they are entitled to and what they can be used for.
Offer support and flexibility
Be flexible and accommodating when it comes to arranging kit days. Your employees may have childcare or other commitments, so try to work with them to find a mutually convenient time for their kit days.
Keep in touch with your employees
Regular communication with employees who are on maternity, paternity or shared parental leave is important to ensure that they feel supported and valued. Use kit days as an opportunity to catch up with your employees and see how they are doing.
Discuss work expectations
Prior to the kit day, discuss with your employee what work they will be doing and what is expected of them. This ensures that both you and your employee are on the same page, and that the employee's work is manageable within the context of their leave.
Ensure proper payment and record keeping
Make sure that kit days are properly recorded, and that the employee is paid for the hours worked. This helps to avoid any confusion or disputes over pay and entitlements.
If an employee works a kit day, they will receive full pay for the hours worked on that day, but they will not receive any additional statutory maternity pay or other parental pay for that day.
After the kit day, encourage your employee to provide feedback on their experience. This will help you to understand how the policy is working and if any adjustments need to be made to improve the process.
In summary, kit days can be a valuable tool for managers to stay in touch with employees on maternity, paternity or shared parental leave. By being proactive, supportive, and communicative, managers can ensure that both their organisation and employees benefit from this policy.
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