Angus Council conditions of service
Adoption leave and pay
Phase 1 – The exploratory phase
No entitlement to time off (with or without pay) in this phase;
Phase 2 – Training
An employee will be entitled to time off with pay to attend meetings/sessions held during working hours. If the prospective adoptive parents are both employed by the council, both will be entitled to time off with pay to attend the sessions. Time off with pay in this phase will be given to employees regardless of length of service with the council;
Phase 3 – Assessment phase
An employee will be entitled to time off with pay to attend a meeting of the Adoption Panel if held during working hours. If the prospective adoptive parent(s) are both employed by the council, then both will be entitled to time off with pay to attend the Adoption Panel meeting. Time off with pay in this phase will be given to employees regardless of length of service with the council.
Phase 4 – Matching
The employee may elect to start their period of adoption leave as detailed in Phase 5 below 14 days before the expected date of placement to accommodate time off required at this stage. Alternatively, the employee may choose to use annual leave.
Phase 5 – Placement
An employee’s entitlement to leave and pay during this phase is dependent upon them having 26 weeks’ continuous service with this council prior to the week in which he/she is notified of being matched with a child for adoption.
- The employee will be entitled to up to 26 weeks’ ordinary adoption leave.
- The employee will also be entitled to an additional 26 weeks’ adoption leave immediately following the period of ordinary adoption leave.
- The leave must begin from: the date of the child’s placement; or a fixed date up to 14 days before the expected date of placement.
- Leave can start on any day of the week.
- If the placement ends during the adoption leave period, the adopter will be entitled to remain absent on adoption leave for up to eight weeks after the end of the placement. Pay:
- During the 26 weeks ordinary adoption leave period the employee will be entitled to:
- Six weeks at nine tenths pay (inclusive of Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP));
- 12 weeks at half pay plus SAP (subject to this not exceeding normal pay); and
- 21 weeks SAP.
- The 12 weeks of half pay is given on the understanding that the employee will return to work for at least a three month period following the adoption leave. If the employee does not return, they will have to repay the money. Alternatively, the employee can ask that the 12 weeks of half pay be withheld until they have returned to work and worked for a three month period (annual leave and public holidays count towards the calculation of this period but sick leave does not). If the employee is unsure if they will be returning to work, it may be better for them to ask that the 12 weeks of half pay be withheld.
- There is no entitlement to pay during the remaining 13 weeks additional adoption leave period.
- If average weekly earnings are below the lower earnings limit for national insurance purposes the employee will not qualify for SAP.
Ante Natal Appointments
There is no qualifying period to be eligible for the time off unless you are an Agency Worker, who has to satisfy a qualifying period of 12 weeks.
Whilst an expectant mother/main adopter is entitled to paid time off, the right to time off for ante-natal appointment(s) for an expectant father, or the partner of a pregnant woman, secondary adopters and surrogate parents is to unpaid time off.
The expectant mother
Expectant mothers are entitled to reasonable time off, without loss of pay, to attend for ante-natal care (which includes travel time where reasonable) as advised by their doctor, registered midwife or registered health visitor.
The expectant father, or partner of the expectant mother
An expectant father or partner of the expectant mother has a statutory right to request unpaid time off to accompany an expectant mother to up to two ante-natal appointments. Subject to meeting the qualifying conditions detailed below an employee is entitled to unpaid time off if they are: a) the baby’s father; b) the expectant mother’s spouse, her civil partner, or partner (of either sex) in an enduring relationship; and c) intended parents of a child in a surrogacy arrangement if they expect to be entitled to and intend to apply for a parental order in respect of the child.
Adopters and Surrogacy Parents
The main adopter will be able to take paid time off for up to five adoption appointments. The secondary adopter will be entitled to take unpaid time off for up to two appointments. The right to two unpaid ante-natal appointments will also extend to those who will become parents through a surrogacy arrangement, if they expect to satisfy the conditions for, and intend to apply for a Parental Order for the child.
Bereavement leave is to support an employee in the event of the death of a dependant, relative, next of kin or friend. It also covers time off to make arrangements for attending funerals. Managers can grant up to 5 days paid leave. The leave may be taken as one period at the time of the death or funeral, or part may be kept for use later if dealing with the deceased’s estate. The amount of leave granted depends on the specific circumstances. Should a further period of leave be appropriate, this can be considered in accordance with the Compassionate Leave provisions or requested by the employee as annual or unpaid leave.
Children’s Panel Members
Employees who wish to train and become a member of a Children’s Panel will be supported and approval is subject to the needs of the service.
Compassionate Leave: Leave of up to a total of 10 days paid leave can be approved to support employees who face major unplanned family matters.
Court Appearance as witness
If an employee is required to give evidence in court, they are entitled to be given paid special leave to attend. The leave will be with pay subject to the employee providing supporting documentation to their manager immediately upon receipt and returning to work as soon as it is reasonably practicable to do so.
Donor – Public Health
The council recognises the importance of improving public health and supports employees who choose to donate blood, platelets, stem cells, bone marrow or if they are a living organ donor. Support is available in the assessment and preparatory stages of donation and/or to donate, where employees cannot attend appointments out with their normal working hours.
Emergency Service Volunteers
Requests for paid time off from any employees who volunteer as a member of an emergency service will not be unreasonably refused. We also support employees who have secondary employment with the Retained Fire Service.
Foster/Kinship Carer Leave
Employees who are applying to become approved Angus Council foster or kinship carers will be entitled to request paid leave to support the stages of assessment, training, placement, ongoing review of the placement and where an emergency response is needed by the employee. Qualifying service criteria applies.
An employee undergoing fertility treatment will be granted paid leave for related absences during one cycle of treatment. Appointments should be scheduled out with their working hours wherever possible. If an employee’s partner is undergoing treatment the employee will be granted paid leave to attend related appointments during one cycle of treatment, including accompanying their partner to appointments, either through choice or by requirement. Qualifying service criteria applies.
Employees may attend internal job interviews with the council, Angus Health & Social Care Partnership and ANGUSalive within their working day, providing as much notice as possible of their absence. Any employee, regardless of their length of service, affected by the council’s managing workforce change policy, and who has been served notice of dismissal due to redundancy will be granted reasonable time off during their normal working hours to seek alternative work, including attending interviews and to make arrangements for training necessary for future employment.
Jury Service/Witness at Court/Tribunal/Accompany a Child Witness
Employees required to serve on a jury, as a witness at court/tribunal, or accompany a child witness, or has been cited to attend a court or tribunal or to act on behalf of the council, must inform their manager as soon as they are aware of this, showing the jury summons/court citation or other documentation sent by the court or tribunal, where appropriate. Special leave will be granted to attend. Employees will continue to be paid during this time at their normal contractual pay. The employee must return to work as soon as is reasonably practicable to do so. Employees who attend court or a hearing to support friends or family should request annual leave, flexi-leave, accrued time off in lieu or unpaid leave.
Leave Connected to Religion or Belief
Subject to reasonable notice being given of dates requested, and operational needs being met, employees will not be unreasonably refused time off to observe special holidays, festivals and annual meetings connected to religion or belief. Employees should request annual leave, flexi-leave, accrued time off in lieu or unpaid leave. Employees with fixed holidays may request to use accrued time off in lieu or unpaid leave. Employees who work shifts may request to swap a shift/s. At particular times of the year, for example Christmas, it may not be feasible to grant time off due to operational requirements.
Maternity Leave and Pay
All pregnant employees (regardless of length of service) are entitled to take up to 26 weeks ordinary maternity leave and up to a further 26 weeks additional maternity leave. Additional maternity leave follows on immediately from the end of the period of ordinary maternity leave. If you have at least 26 weeks service 15 weeks before your EWC, you are entitled to 6 weeks occupational maternity pay at nine tenths pay followed by 12 weeks occupational maternity pay at half pay.
The 12 weeks of half pay is given on the basis that you return to work for at least a three month period following the birth. If you do not return you will have to repay this money. Alternatively, you can ask that the 12 weeks of half pay be withheld until you have returned to work and worked for a three-month period (annual leave and public holidays count towards the calculation of this period but sick leave does not). If you are unsure if you will be returning to work, it may be better for you to ask that the 12 weeks of half pay be withheld.
In addition, if you have 26 weeks continuous service with this council as at the 15th week before your expected week of childbirth AND earn an amount equal to or above the lower earnings limit you are also entitled to 39 weeks statutory maternity pay.
The first six weeks SMP is included in the nine tenths OMP but the next 12 weeks of SMP is paid in addition to the half pay. A remaining 21 weeks SMP makes up the 39 weeks statutory maternity pay entitlement. Please note, that the combined sum of half pay and SMP is subject to it not exceeding your normal pay. If you are not entitled to SMP, you should be issued with Form SMP1 from Payroll following receipt of a completed ‘Application for Maternity Leave and/or Pay’ form. The SMP1 form will allow you to apply to the Jobcentre Plus for maternity allowance and any other benefits to which you may be entitled.
Medical, dental and preventative care appointments should be arranged for times that will cause the least disruption to operational needs and, where possible, should be agreed in advance with your line manager.
Military Reservist Forces Training & Mobilisation: Employees who are members of the following military reservists may be entitled to take special leave to fulfil their obligations with these organisations - Royal Naval Reserves, Royal Marine Reserves, Royal Auxiliary Air Force and Army Reserves. Time off is usually required for training and annual camp. Mobilisation is when a reservist is needed for a specific defence operation and is ‘called out’ under the Reserve Forces Act 1996 for pre-mobilisation, during the mobilisation and post-mobilisation phases.
Cadet Force Adult Volunteers
Employees who are members of the Cadet Forces Adult Volunteering may be entitled to take special leave to fulfil their obligations of delivering programme of activities for young people with the Sea, Army or Air Cadets at their weekly training sessions. The council is accredited to the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award for the role it plays as part of the Armed Forces Covenant.
Ordinary Parental Leave
Ordinary Parental Leave is a statutory entitlement which allows an employee to take up to 18 weeks unpaid parental leave per child,if they are the birth (or adoptive) parent of a child who is under 18 years of age. Employees who work less than full time week are entitled to a pro rata entitlement. Subject to meeting the qualifying conditions detailed below an employee is entitled to ordinary parental leave if they are the parent (birth or adoptive) of a child who is under the age of 18. An employee is only entitled to ordinary parental leave if they have one year’s continuous service.
Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay
Leave: There is no qualifying service criteria for parental bereavement leave. Bereaved parents are entitled to take two weeks leave. The leave must be taken either in a consecutive two week period or in two blocks of one week. It is not possible to take this leave in individual days. The leave can commence any time to be taken within 56 weeks from the date of the death of the child.
Pay: Entitlement to parental bereavement pay is subject to qualifying conditions. Payment is inclusive of statutory parental bereavement pay and will be enhanced to normal weekly earnings. To be eligible, an employee will be required to have:
- at least 26 weeks' continuous employment ending with the week before the week in which the child dies, and still be employed by Angus Council on the day on which the child dies; and
- normal weekly earnings in the eight weeks up to the week before the child's death that are not less than the lower earnings limit for national insurance contribution purposes.
Paternity Leave and Pay:
The employee must have worked continuously with the council for 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the week in which the baby is due to be born and have followed the correct notification procedures. The employee will not receive their normal pay. They will, instead, be paid Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) unless their average weekly earnings are below the lower earnings limit for national insurance purposes. In this circumstance they do not qualify for SPP although they may be able to get Income Support. The rate of SPP is set by the Government for the relevant tax year, or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings, if this figure is less than the statutory rate. Statutory paternity pay is treated as earnings and is therefore subject to PAYE and national insurance deductions. Statutory paternity pay can start on any day of the week in accordance with the date the employee starts their paternity leave.
Professional, Sporting and Cultural Activities
The council supports employees to take part in events which enhance the reputation of the council, Angus or Scotland as a result of the employee’s participation. The amount of leave granted will depend on the benefit to the employee, the council, Angus or Scotland from their participation, any support provided in the past to the employee, support provided to other employees and the operational impact on service delivery of the employee’s absence. The types of occasions that an employee will request time off for will vary, some requiring only limited time off work and others which require a longer period of leave. As a guide no more than 10 days paid leave can be provided as a maximum allowance per year.
An employee is legally entitled to reasonable paid time off work to undertake public duties as defined in the Employee Rights Act 1996.
Section 50 of the Act provides employees with a positive right to a reasonable amount of time off from work to pursue the duties of their office, or duties as a member of the public body concerned, if the employee is or is a member of one of the following: Justice of the Peace, Local Authority, Statutory Tribunal, Police Authority, board of prison visitors or a person visiting committee, relevant Health Body, relevant Education Body, the Environment Agency or the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. This above list is not exhaustive; there may be other requests that may be considered on an individual basis. The Local Government and Housing Act 1989 allows a Council to grant paid leave to an employee for the purpose of performing duties as a member of another Local Authority up to a maximum of 208 hours in any financial year. There is no statutory limit placed on the amount of unpaid leave which the Council may grant.
Criteria for determining reasonable time off are how much time off is require, how much time off has already been permitted and the effect of the employee’s absence on the operation of the Service
Shared Parental Leave
The amount of leave to be shared is 52 weeks (minus any weeks of maternity (or adoption) leave taken. Shared parental leave must be taken in blocks of at least one week. Employees can request to take shared parental leave in one continuous block (in which case the council is required to accept the request as long as the employee meets the eligibility and notice requirements, or as a number of separate blocks of leave (in which case the individual needs the organisation’s agreement). To be able to take shared parental leave, an employee and his/her partner must meet various eligibility requirements and have complied with the relevant curtailment, notice and evidence requirements. This includes the mother curtailing her maternity leave.
Study or Training
An employee has a right to request to undertake any type of study or training, provided that they can reasonably demonstrate that the study or training is likely to lead to an improvement in their effectiveness at work and consequently an improvement to the performance of the council. Requests can be made either to undertake an accredited programme leading to a qualification or for unaccredited training that will help the employee to develop specific skills relevant to their job. Qualifying service criteria applies.
Trade Union Duties
Requests for time off for training
Time off granted for trade union training, including attendance at any of the following will be with pay in accordance with the guidance in Section 2 of the Code: of one trade union representative at special interest group meetings; at an Annual Conference, which focuses on aspects of industrial relations relevant to carrying out their trade union duties; of one trade union representative at Scottish Local Government Conferences; by one representative from any particular service area at branch committee meetings. Two representatives from one service area to attend if this does not result in additional impact on one team.
Requests for time off for Trade Union activities outwith the council
In accordance with the guidance in Section 3 of the Code, time off granted for trade union activities outwith the council will be without pay. However, it is recognised that attendance at particular meetings and groups as detailed above under ‘Requests for time off for Training’ may be beneficial. Therefore, requests to attend these groups or meetings will be considered on the basis detailed above.
Requests for time off for Trade Union duties within the council
Time off granted for trade union duties within the council will be with pay in accordance with the guidance in Section 1 of the Code.
A period of unpaid leave can be considered by the service director where a request for leave does not fall within the provisions of this policy or other related HR Policies and where the time off requested cannot be accommodated using options for flexibility or provisions such as the employees annual leave, flexi-leave, accrued time off in lieu etc. This is discretionary and approval is subject to operational requirements and should result in minimal disruption to the service.
Employees will be supported where there is a need to request statutory unpaid leave in relation to dependant responsibilities.
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