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Budget 2024 | The Government has confirmed changes to personal income tax, the independent earner tax credit, in-work tax credit, and the minimum family tax credit. Find out more: Personal income tax threshold changes

Keeping in touch hours help you stay connected with your work.

If you’re an employee ─ and your employer agrees ─ you can perform paid work for your employer for up to 64 hours while you’re on paid parental leave.

You’ll still keep your full paid parental leave entitlement.

As an example, you could use your keeping in touch hours to attend a paid team day or an announcement about changes at work.

As long as you do 64 hours or less of paid work for your employer during your parental leave payment period, you’re not considered to be back at work.

You’re considered to be back at work if you:

  • do more than 64 hours of paid work during your paid parental leave
  • do paid work for your employer within the first 28 days after the birth of the child you are taking parental leave for
  • start with a new employer
  • start self-employment.

Once you’re back at work, you will not be able to get any more parental leave payments. Any payments you get after you’re back at work are treated as an overpayment (which you may have to repay).

Extra keeping in touch hours for the period on preterm baby payments

If you are getting a preterm baby payment, you can use keeping in touch hours during the preterm baby payment period to work for your employer for up to a total of 3 hours multiplied by the number of weeks that you receive the payment.

This will not be counted as returning to work.

But if you work more than the hours calculated according to the formula, you’re considered to have returned to work. Any preterm baby payments you get after this are treated as an overpayment.

When you go on parental leave, you’ll still get payments for up to 26 weeks and up to 64 keeping in touch hours.

Preterm babies and paid parental leave

Self-employed people

If you’re self-employed, keeping in touch hours do not apply to you. However, you can take time for occasional oversight or administration of your business.


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Last updated: 08 Dec 2023
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