Today I’m going into work for my sixth KIT (keeping in touch) day. For those who don’t know what these are, keeping in touch days are a set of days (10 in total) that a mother on maternity leave is allowed to work (in agreement between employer and employee) without affecting her maternity pay.
I read about KIT days very early on in my pregnancy and knew quite quickly that I was keen to do them throughout my time off. As I was planning on taking a whole year off I was concerned about losing touch with what was happening and these seemed a great solution.
As a Mummy to be I started asking the other mummy’s in the staff room if they had taken KIT days, how many they had done, how the pay worked and how you organise them. Much to my surprise I couldn’t find a single Mummy that had taken the KIT days on offer.
I then approached my works burser about KIT days and sadly recieved a rather negative response (along the lines of….. well only if we need you and agree, said in a rather abrupt manner) and left feeling rather unsupported, quite disappointed and a little upset. After discussing this with my husband I then approached my boss, who was the opposite! Very keen, immensely supportive and made me feel a valued and important member of staff.
Once I’d been on maternity leave for a few months and visited work several times to introduce my colleagues to Harvey I raised the issues of KIT days with my boss again and she jumped at the chance to have be back in for the days.
Since then I’ve compleated six of my days and really enjoyed them and I have every intention of taking all ten days. I would definitely recommend taking KIT days to any mother on maternity leave. They have been fantastic for a number of reasons, here are my top ten reasons for taking KIT days!
- Keeping in touch with my colleagues.
- Keeping in touch with what’s happening at work, changes etc.
- Feeling valued in my work place.
- Feeling like me still (not just Mummy).
- Practice spending a day away from my little man in preparation for when I have to go back.
- Trusting that others can look after him 🙈 (even when you know they can).
- Getting my little guy used to not spending the whole day with me.
- Remembering how to work and that I still can.
- Enjoyment – I LOVE my job and think it’s one of the best jobs ever!
- The pay…. especially when my maternity pay is so low and stops altogether for the final 13 week.