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Before you return to work

Keeping in Touch days (KIT days) and Share Parental Leave in Touch (SPLIT) days

If you are taking maternity leave, KIT days are a voluntary arrangement between you and your Trust, however they are recognised as good practice for anyone returning to work.

These can be arranged through your Trust and can occur at any period during leave except for the 2 weeks of compulsory maternity leave following the birth of your baby and during the accrued period of annual leave, if you choose to extend your maternity leave by this amount of time.

If you do wish to undertake other work-related activity during your accrued annual leave, you may do so, but you will not be paid for it5 (see summary of period of eligibility below).

Shared Parental Leave in Touch (SPLIT)  days are available if you are sharing parental leave and a maximum of 20 can be taken without bringing the shared parental leave to an end.
 

KIT days – Summary of period of eligibility

Period during maternity leave

Notes

Child birth  
Week 1 and 2 post child birth  
Maternity leave Period when eligible to take KIT days
Last 2 weeks of maternity leave Suggested time to take KIT days for period of supervision
Accrued Annual leave
(if opted for)
If you undertake work-related activities during accrued annual leave, you will not receive payment for this.
Return to work date  

 

KIT day considerations

You may take up to 10 KIT days without it affecting your maternity pay and if you work any part of the day, this will count as a KIT day.

You will be paid at the basic daily rate, minus appropriate maternity leave payment. The days do not have to be consecutive and could include training activities.  

The KIT days are funded by the Trust that you left as they will be the body responsible for you during your period of absence. If  the Trust that you are returning to is different, and you wish to arrange a KIT day there, you will need to negotiate this with your previous Trust first5.

KIT days may be used for any work-related activity such as courses, training and conferences, however, you may wish to use some or all of them to undertake supernumerary shadowing during the 1-2 weeks preceding your return to work to improve clinical confidence and allay anxieties before your official start date.
 

KIT days and childcare

As childcare is often a barrier to KIT days, it is important to be aware that you can apply to your employer for reimbursement of reasonable childcare costs or the provision of childcare facilities, although this is largely dependent on whether your employing trust has an affiliated nursery.

It is also worth bearing in mind that although it is recommended that  Trusts consider an application, they are not legally required to fulfil it5.

 

Return to Work Courses

There are many courses running which provide a ‘refresher’ for those returning to Obstetrics and Gynaecology. These will include simulation training, a clinical update as well as information on Less than Full time (LTFT) training. For your nearest course, see Resources.

 

Other courses and programmes

Depending on your level of training you may also wish to undertake more intense simulation training such a MOET or PROMPT. Many Trusts will run these courses, so you may wish to use one of your KIT days for this.

Other programmes and courses to support trainees returning to work are currently being developed. In particular, is the work being done by Health Education England (HEE) (see Box 1 below). For information regarding available support already in place, please contact your local HEE office.

For general clinical updates and refreshers, see Resources.

 

Box 1. Health Education England SuppoRTT1

Following on from the 2016 Acas Junior Doctors contract, Health Education England (HEE) has committed to supporting trainees returning to work and has carried out extensive work under the title ‘Supported Return to Training’ (SuppoRTT).

The work has compiled information about trainees’ concerns surrounding returning to clinical practice and gathered evidence regarding measures to enable trainees to return to work safely.

This has included proposals for bespoke packages of support where trainees can apply for funding for a range of activities from a ‘menu’ of options.

They are also developing ‘Boot camp’ refreshers and ‘Springboard’ courses to accelerate the process of re-establishing knowledge and skills to previous levels.

SuppoRTT schemes are being developed around the country with an established programme in the East of England already.

Additionally, some Boot camps and Springboard courses are already available in some regions.

As part of their work, HEE intends to develop standardised forms for ‘Pre Absence’ and ‘Return to Work’ planning which will eventually supersede any previous paperwork. Until this is rolled out, it is advisable to complete local deanery forms, or if not available to use the RCOG forms provided in this toolkit.