What Are Keeping in Touch (KIT) Days?

Congratulations, new mums and dads! Your bundle of joy has arrived, and while you're soaking in the magic of parenthood, you might also be wondering about ways to stay connected with your work world, and that's where keeping in touch days come in. Yep, sorry to momentarily burst your baby bubble, but let me bring you back to reality for a few seconds so you're fully prepared for what lies ahead.

I’m here with the low-down on 'keeping in touch days' (KIT) and 'shared parental leave in touch' (SPLIT) days – your passport to a seamless re-entry into the professional realm without sacrificing those precious moments with your little one.

What Are Keeping in Touch Days, and How Many KIT Days Can You Take?

Ever heard of 'keeping in touch days'? These gems allow you to dive back into your work routine for up to 10 days without interrupting your maternity or parental leave. Meetings, training sessions, catch-ups – they're all fair game. You'll even get paid for these days without it putting a dent in your maternity or parental leave payment.

Splitting the Joy With SPLIT Days

If you're taking shared parental leave with your partner, you can use 'shared parental leave in touch' (SPLIT) days - up to 20 of them! It's like a high-five to the juggling act of parenthood and career.  (Yes, I am being a little bit sarcastic, I mean, not all of us will want to go back to work when there’s a shiny new super cute baby in the mix, right?!)

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What’s the Point of Keeping in Touch (KIT) Days?

Keeping in touch days allow you to stay informed and connected, so you can easily transition back into the workplace. Disappearing for the best part of a year can leave you feeling cut adrift from your job, and if you're anything like me, you'll end up feeling fairly anxious about returning.

KIT days aren't just about keeping your work mojo alive. They're your backstage pass to seamlessly re-joining the professional world, staying in the loop with developments, and even exploring a part-time schedule if that suits you. KIT days are great at providing reassurance that everything in your professional life is ticking along nicely without you, so you can concentrate properly on what's most important: your baby. 

Do I Have To Do KIT Days?

Great news: KIT days don’t even have to be full days, but again, just make sure you and your employer are on the same page regarding your hours. You can work a half day or even a couple of hours, and that will count as one of your 10 KIT or 20 SPLIT days. Just bear in mind you’ll only be paid for the hours you’ve actually worked.

SPLIT and KIT days are all optional, so don't panic. This is the most important bit. There is no pressure to go back during your mat/pat leave. If KIT days aren't for you, make sure you agree this with your boss ahead of time so they have the heads up as to what to expect. 

How Do KIT or SPLIT Days Affect My Pay?

Now, I know what you're thinking – how does this affect the dreamy duo of maternity or parental leave and pay? Well, guess what? It doesn't! You can savour these days guilt-free, and they won't put a dent in your precious entitlements.

When Do I Get Paid for KIT Days?

Your employer’s got plans for a KIT day, but when do you get paid? Simple. Your earnings should shimmy right into your account alongside everyone else’s on payday. There should be no delay.

If you find this payment rhythm out of tune, have a chat with your employer, HR or the payroll. It’s worth remembering the law is on your side. For free legal advice, please call the Working Families hotline on 0300 012 0312, the UK's national charity for working parents and carers.

Maternity or parental leave doesn't mean you have to put your career dreams on pause. Thanks to the magic of keeping in touch days and SPLIT days, you can strut into the office (or virtual meeting room) with confidence, knowing that you've got the best of both worlds – family and career – right at your fingertips.

Welcome to the juggle. It’s time to rock those baby burps and boardroom strategies like the superhero you are!

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