Changes to the NHS Terms and Conditions of Service Handbook mean that for NHS staff in England and Wales on maternity leave, both paid and unpaid, public holidays as well as annual leave will continue to accrue.
This change to the handbook brings the position in England and Wales in line with Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The rules now state: “Employees on paid and unpaid maternity leave retain their right to the annual leave and public holidays provided by Section 13.
“Where unused annual leave and public holidays exceed local provisions for carry over to the next leave year it may be beneficial to the employer and employee for the employee to take the unused annual leave and public holidays before and/or after the agreed (paid and unpaid) maternity leave period.
“The amount of annual leave and public holidays to be taken in this way, or carried over, should be discussed and agreed between the employee and employer. Payment in lieu may be considered as an option where accrual of annual leave and public holidays exceeds normal carry over provisions.”