While on parental leave you can choose (if your employer agrees) to perform work from time to time, for example, to attend a team day or change announcement as long as:
- you only do a total of 52 hours or less of paid work for your employer during your parental leave payment period, and
- this work is not within the first 28 days after your child was born.
If you work more than 52 hours during your parental leave or do any work within the first 28 days after the birth of your child, then you’re considered to be back at work. This also means that you won’t be able to get any more parental leave payments, and any payments you received after you’re considered back at work are treated as an overpayment.
These keeping in touch days don’t apply to paid work you perform during a period when you’re getting or are able to get a preterm baby payment.
Extra keeping in touch days for primary carers of preterm babies
In addition to the above, if you are a primary carer getting a preterm baby payment, you may work on keeping in touch days during the preterm baby payment period for up to a total of 3 hours multiplied by the number of weeks that you receive the payment. This won’t be counted as you having stopped your parental leave.
If you work more than this, you are treated as having returned to work on the day after you did too many hours and any preterm baby payments you got for the time after this day are treated as an overpayment.
This will not affect your ability to get parental leave payments or take keeping in touch days while you are getting parental leave payments.
Not returning to work after keeping in touch days
If you do not return to work at the end of your parental leave (not including keeping in touch days), your employment is deemed to have ended when you first went on parental leave (not the last day you worked on a keeping in touch day). This means that any payment that you received for any keeping in touch days you worked will not be included in the calculation of 8% gross earnings for annual holidays payment in your final pay. For more information, see Payment for leave and holidays in final pay.