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Understanding Keeping in Touch (KIT) Days during Maternity Leave

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Imagine this scenario: Jane, a valued member of your team, approaches you with the exciting news that she is expecting a baby. As you congratulate her, she brings up a topic that many employers might not be fully prepared for: Keeping in Touch (KIT) days. Jane explains that she will be taking her full maternity leave entitlement of 52 weeks. She mentions that she has heard about KIT days and is curious about how they can be used during her leave.

As most employers know, maternity leave is a well-structured system, with Statutory Maternity Leave allowing up to 52 weeks off work. During this time, Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) covers up to 39 weeks, with the first six weeks paid at 90% of the average weekly earnings and the remaining 33 weeks at the lower of £184.03* or 90% of the average weekly earnings. KIT days, an essential aspect of this system, allow employees to work up to 10 days during their maternity leave without affecting their SMP or triggering an end to the maternity leave.

Jane is keen to stay connected with the team and not lose touch with ongoing projects. She asks if you can discuss how KIT days work and how they could benefit both her and the company. You realise that understanding KIT days and their proper implementation could significantly enhance Jane’s transition back to work, keeping her engaged and informed during her leave.

As Jane sits across from you, eager to understand her options, you recognise the importance of being prepared to discuss and implement KIT days effectively. This conversation could be pivotal in ensuring a smooth and supportive transition for Jane, maintaining her connection to the workplace while respecting her need for maternity leave.

It is crucial for both employers and employees to understand the regulations and benefits associated with KIT days.

In this article, I will cover everything you need to know about Keeping in Touch (KIT) days, ensuring you are well-equipped to support your employees effectively during their maternity leave.

Importance of maintaining reasonable contact during maternity leave

Maintaining reasonable contact during maternity leave through Keeping in Touch (KIT) days serves multiple purposes for both the employee and employer.

Firstly, it helps to ease the transition back to work for the employee by keeping them updated on any changes or developments within the workplace.

Secondly, it allows them to stay connected and engaged with their role, reducing feelings of isolation or disconnection that can often accompany a prolonged absence from work.

KIT days also present an opportunity for employees to discuss potential flexible working arrangements upon their return, allowing them to balance their career with family responsibilities successfully.

What are Keeping in Touch (KIT) Days?

KIT Days are voluntary workdays for employees on maternity leave. These days allow new parents to stay up to date with their work, keep in touch with colleagues and ease the transition back into the workplace after their maternity leave ends.

KIT days, also known as ‘return to work’ or ‘paid keeping in touch’ days, refer to the agreed-upon periods during a maternity leave when an employee on leave may participate in workplace activities.

KIT days allow employees to work during their maternity leave without affecting their Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP).

Keeping in Touch days can be invaluable for maintaining a connection to the workplace, allowing employees to stay abreast of current projects, attend training sessions, or participate in important team meetings.

It is essential to remember that KIT days are not mandatory and employees on maternity leave are not automatically entitled to KIT days.   

Both the employer and the employee must mutually agree on how and when KIT days will be used before an employee goes on maternity leave.

What Counts as a KIT Day?

A wide variety of activities can be considered as Keeping in Touch (KIT) days, and understanding what qualifies can help both employees and employers utilise these days effectively.

Primarily, any work that the employee performs, including attending training sessions, meetings, or team events, counts as a KIT day.

These days can be particularly useful for undertaking essential training that might have been introduced during the employee’s maternity leave or for attending critical meetings that ensure the employee stays updated on significant developments within the company.

KIT days are not restricted to merely attending meetings or training but can also involve performing regular job duties or working on specific projects.

This flexibility allows employees to stay engaged with their role and keep their skills sharp without impacting their Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP). For instance, an employee might use a KIT day to contribute to a key project, ensure a smooth handover of responsibilities, or even partake in social events that help maintain camaraderie with the team.

However, it is essential to note that even if an employee works for just an hour or participates in a brief meeting, it will still count as one full KIT day. As such, it’s crucial for both parties to carefully plan and agree on the activities to ensure that the KIT days are used judiciously and beneficially.

Effective use of KIT days can make a significant difference in keeping employees connected and easing their transition back into full-time work post-maternity leave.

What Doesn’t Count as a KIT Day?

It is important to know what activities do not qualify as Keeping in Touch (KIT) days to ensure compliance with employment regulations and avoid unintended consequences on Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP). Simply put, any work performed outside the mutually agreed-upon KIT days does not count towards this special allowance.

Firstly, attending social events, casual visits to the workplace, or purely attending meetings without undertaking any work responsibilities do not qualify as KIT days. These activities, while creating a social connection with the workplace, they do not align with the core purpose of KIT days, which is to engage in actual work-related tasks.

Secondly, any preparation for work done at home that is not formally recognised as a KIT day should not be counted. This includes activities such as checking work emails, preparing reports, or performing any job duties informally. These actions, unless agreed upon as part of KIT day arrangements, should be clearly distinguished from officially authorised KIT days.

Lastly, any work undertaken beyond the allocated 10 KIT days does not count as a KIT day and may impact the employee’s SMP.

It is imperative to closely monitor and document the usage of KIT days to ensure that neither the employee’s maternity leave entitlement nor their SMP is inadvertently affected.

How many Keeping in Touch Days

The number of KIT days an employee can take depends on the length of their maternity leave. For example, if an employee takes a full 52 weeks of leave, they are allowed up to ten KIT days.

If they’re taking Shared Parental Leave, as well as taking up to 10 keeping in touch days, an employee taking Shared Parental Leave may be able to take 20 extra days for keeping in touch. These extra days are known as shared parental leave in touch (SPLIT) days.

The purpose of these days is not to replace parental leave but rather to help maintain connection and communication between the employer and employee.

Do Keeping in Touch Days Need to Be Full Days?

No, Keeping in Touch (KIT) days do not need to be full days. One of the key advantages of KIT days is their flexibility, allowing employers and employees to mutually agree on the duration and nature of work performed on these days.

This means that KIT days can be tailored to suit the specific needs and circumstances of the employee, whether that’s a full day, half day, or just a couple of hours.

By not mandating full days, KIT days become a versatile tool for maintaining engagement without imposing undue stress or workload on employees during their maternity leave. For instance, an employee could come in to attend a vital training session, participate in a significant team meeting, or complete a critical project update without committing to an entire day of work.

KIT Day Pay arrangements

Payment for Keeping in Touch days is an essential aspect that requires careful consideration and transparent communication between you and your employee.

KIT days, as previously mentioned, allow employees on maternity leave to work up to 10 days without losing their entitlement to statutory maternity pay.  

The remuneration for these KIT days must be mutually agreed upon before any work commences.  Any payment for these days is at the discretion of the employer and must be agreed upon before work is performed.

Typically, employees should be compensated for the actual hours worked on KIT days, at a rate which reflects their normal earnings.  Employers need to ensure that these payments are well-documented and aligned with contractual agreements.

It’s important to remember that KIT days should not exceed more than ten working days in total.  Any additional hours worked beyond this limit will be treated as a full day of maternity leave, affecting the employee’s statutory maternity pay entitlements, automatically triggering an end to their maternity leave.

When should Keeping in Touch Days be used?

Keeping in Touch (KIT) days should be used strategically to maximise their benefits for both the employee and the employer.

Ideally, KIT days can be used periodically throughout the maternity leave period to ensure the employee remains engaged and informed. This phased approach prevents overwhelming the employee while allowing them to stay updated on important company developments and changes.

It is advisable to use KIT days for key events such as critical team meetings, training sessions on new systems or procedures, or significant company announcements.

Employers and employees should work collaboratively to identify the most appropriate times to use these days, considering both business needs and the personal circumstances of the employee.

Employers may want to consider using some keeping in touch days for nearer to the employee’s return to work date. In doing so, employers can ensure that any changes that may have taken place in the business whilst the employee has been on maternity leave is still relevant at the point of their return to work.

How do KIT days actually work?

The practical application of KIT days must be structured in a way that meets the specific needs of both employees and employers.

These days can be used for various activities, from attending team or client meetings and participating in training sessions to working on specific projects and engaging in team-building activities.

Effectively Managing KIT Days

Planning ahead and agreeing on the use of KIT days before maternity leave begins is crucial to ensure a smooth and effective transition.

Proactively discussing and scheduling these days in advance, both the employee and employer can set clear expectations and avoid potential conflicts or misunderstandings. Early planning helps in identifying key dates and activities that are significant for the business and beneficial for the employee’s integration process.

Mutual agreement on the activities and schedule for KIT days is equally important.

Both parties should collaboratively decide the type of tasks to be undertaken, whether it involves attending important meetings, engaging in professional development opportunities, or merely catching up on departmental updates.

It also helps the employer effectively manage workflow and resources.

Importance of Flexibility and Adaptation in KIT Days

Flexibility and adaptability are paramount when managing KIT days, as each employee’s circumstances will be unique.

Recognising and accommodating these differences, employers can provide a more supportive and inclusive work environment, which ultimately benefits both parties.

For example, some employees may prefer using KIT days to participate in strategic meetings essential to their role, keeping them abreast of critical decisions and developments. Others might benefit more from attending training sessions to update their skills or learn new systems and technologies introduced during their absence.

Training sessions are particularly valuable as they ensure the employee’s skills remain relevant and up-to-date, promoting a smoother transition back into the workplace.

Alternatively, it may be more beneficial for employees to work on specific projects.

Employers should collaborate with employees to identify the most suitable activities for KIT days, taking into account both the business needs and the individual’s personal circumstances.

Necessity of Documenting Agreements

Documenting all agreements regarding Keeping in Touch (KIT) day activities is crucial for maintaining transparency and avoiding misunderstandings between employers and employees.

A well-documented approach ensures that both parties have a clear understanding of expectations, responsibilities, and compensation arrangements related to KIT days.


KIT days offer numerous benefits for both employers and employees. They provide an opportunity to stay connected with the workplace, maintain skills and knowledge, and ease the transition back to work after maternity leave.

Employers should carefully consider these benefits and work collaboratively with their employees to make the most of KIT days. By doing so, employers can ensure a smoother and more successful return to work for employees on maternity leave.

Keeping in touch with the workplace during maternity leave can have such a positive impact on the employee’s well-being, job satisfaction, and overall success upon returning to work.

With clear communication, mutual understanding, and careful planning, KIT days can be an effective tool in supporting working mothers during this important time in their lives.

Remember that every company may have different policies regarding KIT days, but what remains consistent is the underlying intention – to support new parents during their maternity leave and facilitate a smooth transition back into the workforce.

If you have an employee whose expecting to be a new parent and would like to know more and create a plan, please get in touch with your advisor or give us a call on 01455 444222 or email.

* Statutory Maternity Pay rates for 2024/25

Angela Clay

A qualified employment law solicitor and our managing director, Angela has unparalleled legal expertise and decades of experience and knowledge to draw from. She’s a passionate speaker and writer that loves to keep employers updated with upcoming changes to legislation, and is a regular guest speaker on BBC Leicester Radio.