[holding answer 16 July 2009]: The Department for Transport’s (central Department) staff handbook contains employees’ contractual entitlements to maternity leave. These entitlements are unaffected by the Department’s new probationary policy, which applies only to the central Department and not its agencies. In practical terms, new employees are unlikely to be taking maternity leave during their probationary period. If, however, the situation did arise, the employee would be entitled to take maternity leave in accordance with the maternity leave provisions in the staff handbook. In such a case, the employee’s probationary period would be frozen and recommenced upon the employee’s return from maternity leave.