Entitlements during Statutory Maternity Leave

Your employment terms, including your pension contributions and holiday entitlement, are protected while you are on Statutory Maternity Leave. If you are made redundant while on Statutory Maternity Leave, you have extra rights.

Employment terms and conditions during maternity leave

Your employment terms and conditions are protected when you're on statutory Maternity Leave. You keep youR employment rights and benefits (excluding wages) during Statutory Maternity Leave.

This might include benefits you have as part of your employment contract, for example a company car or mobile phone. If the benefit is provided for business use, your employer may be able to suspend it.

Pension contributions during Statutory Maternity Leave

If your employer contributes to an occupational pension scheme, they must continue their usual contributions:

  • for the whole time you are on ordinary maternity leave - which is the first 26 weeks of your Statutory Maternity Leave
  • for any time you are receiving any Statutory Maternity Pay
  • for any time you are receiving contractual maternity pay

If you normally make contributions to your pension, you should continue based on the amount of maternity pay you receive.

Holiday entitlement

You build up all your entitlements to paid holiday during your Statutory Maternity Leave. This is even if your contract says you are entitled to more than the legal minimum.

You can add holiday to the beginning or end of your Statutory Maternity Leave. You may not be able to carry over untaken holiday entitlement if your Statutory Maternity Leave goes over two holiday years. You could take this at the beginning of your Statutory Maternity Leave.

Redundancy or dismissal during maternity leave

It is automatically unfair and automatic sex discrimination for your employer to make you redundant or dismiss you for a reason connected with:

  • maternity leave
  • birth or pregnancy
  • paternity leave
  • parental leave
  • time off for dependants

Your employer can make you redundant while you are on maternity leave if they can fairly justify their choice. For example, your employer might close the section of their business that you normally work in and make all employees in that section redundant. Then your employer can make you redundant as well.

If your employer makes staff cuts across the company, they cannot make you redundant because you are on or are about to take maternity leave.

Your right to an alternative job

If you are made redundant on Statutory Maternity Leave, you have special rights. You have the right to be offered any suitable alternative job in the company. This is even if there are other employees that might be more suitable for the job. If you are offered a new job, you are still entitled to the four-week trial period which should start when you return from Statutory Maternity Leave.

Written statement explaining redundancy or dismissal

If you are made redundant or dismissed during your Statutory Maternity Leave, your employer must give you a written statement explaining the reasons for their decision. You should receive your normal notice period or pay in lieu of notice and redundancy pay if you are entitled to receive them. 'Pay in lieu of notice' means your employer will pay you instead of giving you a notice period.

Keeping in touch

You can work up to ten days during your Statutory Maternity Leave without losing your Statutory Maternity Pay, Maternity Allowance or ending your leave. These are 'keeping in touch' days - and may only be worked if both you and your employer agree.

Your employer is entitled to contact you occasionally during Statutory Maternity Leave. This might be to tell you about changes in the workplace, including any opportunities for promotion or job vacancies.

Keeping in touch days may be used for:

  • work
  • training
  • team events

You and your employer need to agree:

  • work you'll do on keeping in touch days
  • how much pay you will receive

Compulsory maternity leave

You cannot work during the two weeks after your child is born. This is your compulsory maternity leave. If you work in a factory, your compulsory maternity leave is the four weeks after the child's birth.

Becoming pregnant during maternity leave

If you become pregnant during Statutory Maternity Leave, you have the right to take Statutory Maternity Leave for your next child.

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