For more information, click here. This includes pregnancy-related sick leave, suspension on full pay on health and safety grounds or you have been put on furlough because you are unable to work because of pregnancy. I have temporarily removed myself from the workplace because I believed there was a serious and imminent risk to my health and safety as I am pregnant/have underlying health conditions and I have not been provided with health and safety adjustments/Personal Protective Equipment. You can see guidance on coronavirus and breastfeeding here: https://www.rcog.org.uk/en/guidelines-research-services/guidelines/coronavirus-pregnancy/covid-19-virus-infection-and-pregnancy/, [This section was last updated 11 November 2020.]. As a last resort you can ask to raise a grievance using your employer’s grievance procedure but it’s important to keep talking to your employer to try to find constructive solutions. However, the Government has rejected calls for a range of measures to support pregnant women and new parents. If these are not available then use other records, such as rotas or work diaries. If your employer has not taken action to protect your health and safety during pregnancy you could contact the Health and Safety Executive on 0300 790 6787 and ask them to investigate. The CJRS was due to end on 31st October but is now being extended until March 2021. If you stop trading and become unemployed (rather than self-employed), you will not be able to claim Maternity Allowance unless you have already been registered as self-employed for at least 26 weeks in the 66 weeks before your baby is due. I do agency work and I have been sent home by my employer on health and safety grounds as I work with the public. you are still employed in the same job in the 15th week before your expected week of childbirth. There has been no additional maternity leave or pay provided. Your agency must offer any suitable alternative work up to the date that your placement was intended to last. If you are unable to work during the pandemic for health and safety reasons, your employer should suspend you on full pay if there is no suitable alternative work available. 6. Furlough –note you can only be placed on furlough for the first time if have been furloughed for at least three weeks before 30 th June or you are returning from maternity leave. If you are made redundant, your employment will end at the end of your notice period. This can include agency and zero hours workers. For more information on how to resolve disputes at work, see this. However, when you gave notice to take maternity leave and pay, if your employer did not notify you of the date your maternity leave would end within 28 days, your employer cannot insist that you give 8 weeks’ notice to return to work early. 6. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. The second grant will be worth 70% of your average monthly trading profits (calculated in the same way as above). If you have been employed by your agency for the first 26 weeks of your pregnancy and earn at least £120 per week on average in approx. You will need to confirm to HMRC that your business/trading profits have been adversely affected by coronavirus or would have been affected by coronavirus had you not been taking maternity leave. Have you been charged for NHS maternity care in England? Maternity Action[s Legal Working Group consists of leading practitioners specialising in pregnancy, maternity and sex discrimination law from the public, private, voluntary and trade union sectors. Once you are 28 weeks’ pregnant, you should let your employer know that you are higher risk and ask them to review their risk assessment. 3. guidance for employers on the Health and Safety Executive’s website here. The risk assessment must be kept under review throughout your pregnancy and as Government guidance changes. You can find more information on dealing with problems at work here. 80% of the same month’s wages from the previous year (up to a maximum of £2,500 a month), 80% of the average monthly wages for the tax year 2019 to 2020 (up to a maximum of £2,500 a month), family related statutory leave, including maternity and parental leave, reduced rate paid leave following a period of statutory sick pay related leave, reduced rate paid leave following a period of family related statutory leave, unable to work because they are clinically extremely vulnerable, or at the highest risk of severe illness from coronavirus and following, unable to work because they have caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus (COVID-19), including employees that need to look after children. ], The normal rules on qualifying for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) still apply during the pandemic. The existing regulations on health and safety during pregnancy and on return to work still apply throughout the Covid-19 crisis and more information can be found here. It will be worth 80% of your average monthly profits in November and 40% in December and January and will be capped at £5,160 in total. Yes, you can change the start date of your maternity leave and pay providing you give at least 28 days before both the original date and the new date. 4. Can I still get Maternity Allowance? check to see if you will be eligible to receive maternity allowance. Is there any other help I can get if I’m eligible for Universal Credit? [Note: this will include suspension on full pay, pregnancy-related sickness absence and if you have been put on furlough as a result of your pregnancy. This includes staff who have children at home and those who are advised to shield as they are extremely vulnerable. Your local authority may also have a local welfare assistance scheme if you are having exceptional difficulties. If your employer is temporarily unable to let you work from home or they need more time to make arrangements for you to work from home or take on other suitable alternative work, your employer must suspend you on full pay in the meantime so that you are not put at risk. Do I have to give 8 weeks’ notice to return to work early from maternity leave in order be placed on … In your case, if your SMP is calculated based on a period when you agreed to a pay cut, if the pay cut is reversed at any time up to the end of your maternity leave, this should be treated as a pay rise and your employer must recalculate your average earnings to take account of the pay rise and pay you any extra for the first 6 weeks of your SMP. This may protect you against dismissal or unfair treatment if you are unable to work for childcare reasons: you have been employed by the same employer for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before your expected week of childbirth. Coronavirus is impacting maternity care around the world. DWP will contact you if you need to provide any further evidence. Your employer can claim reimbursement for the SMP from HMRC: https://www.gov.uk/recover-statutory-payments. Penalties for late filing and late payment of tax will apply as normal. What is the Job Support Scheme for Winter 2020/21? The Job Support Scheme was due to be introduced from 1st November 2020 but has now been replaced by the extended furlough scheme (above). There is an online calculator here: https://www.gov.uk/maternity-paternity-calculator. 2. If your job ends or you are made redundant during a period of SPL/ShPP, you remain entitled to ShPP up to the end of the period of leave booked (unless you start a new job). 1128776. What health and safety protection do I have at work? Our Maternity Rights Advice Line is currently very busy but we will update our website regularly with specific information on your rights during pregnancy and maternity leave during the epidemic. Your employer must continue to pay you at least 80% of your normal wages. Firstly, regardless of whether you have been on furlough or you are working and have agreed to a pay cut, SMP must always be paid at the rate of 90% of your average earnings for the first 6 weeks, then £151.20 per week (or 90% of your earnings are lower). Provide safe and effective maternity care to women 3. For more information on what you will be paid on furlough after maternity leave, see FAQs on furlough here. 8. Charity reg. If you started self-employment on or after 6 April 2019 you are not eligible for the SEISS grant. You can get free advice about managing your money and debts during this difficult time from regulated debt advisers such as: Debt Advice Foundation: http://www.debtadvicefoundation.org/, Money Advice Service:  https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/coronavirus-and-your-money. 5. Yes, you can be furloughed. For example, if you were sent home without pay on the 1st November and your employer has not offered you safe work, suitable alternative work or a maternity suspension, you must contact ACAS to start Early Conciliation by 31st January 2021. If you are able to return to work after maternity leave but you need to work from home or you need to reduce or change your working days/hours for childcare reasons, you can make a request for flexible work. The 15th week before the expected week of childbirth is approximately the 26th week of pregnancy which means that you need to have started the job before you got pregnant to get SMP. If you decide to cancel your annual leave and return to work, an amendment to the Working Time Regulations states that if you are unable to take your annual leave because of the coronavirus pandemic you can now carry forward up to 20 days’ untaken annual leave until April 2022. If you have taken all your maternity leave/pay and you need to take more leave, you could give notice to take Parental Leave (this is different from shared parental leave). For more information on maternity pay see: https://maternityaction.org.uk/advice/maternity-pay-questions/. If your employer has gone into liquidation, you can claim your SMP directly from HMRC. Your employer must carry out a risk assessment to consider the risks of infection from Covid-19 and specific risks in relation to pregnancy. Declare that your self-employment has been affected by reduced demand because of COVID-19 in the qualifying period. If you cannot resolve it and you are still owed wages you may have a claim for unauthorised deduction of wages in an employment tribunal. For more information see our information sheet. 2. If you are just about to start your maternity leave you are unlikely to be affected because your Statutory Maternity Pay will be based on your earnings when you were approximately 18 to 26 weeks pregnant. If there is no suitable alternative work you are entitled to be suspended on full pay by the agency for as long as the placement was expected to last unless you unreasonably refuse an offer of suitable alternative work. If you are on SSP during part of the 8 week/2 month period, your average earnings will be lower which may reduce the amount of SMP you get. I have already given notice to take maternity leave and my employer has confirmed that I qualify for SMP? The UNFPA response to the COVID-19 pandemic within maternity care involves a 3-pronged approach: 1. You have the right to return to exactly the same job after maternity leave. Small employers can get advance payments of SMP by contacting HMRC. 4. I’m 16 weeks pregnant, will this affect my maternity pay? Yes, your partner can still take shared parental leave as long as s/he is an employee and meets the continuity of employment test and you meet the employment and earnings test as follows: You must also meet the employment and earnings test in that you must have been employed or self- employed for at least 26 weeks (not necessarily continuously) in the period of 66 weeks leading up to the expected week of childbirth and must have earned at least £30 a week on average in 13 of those weeks. If you want to protect your earnings during the qualifying period for SMP (approx. For more information on benefits click here. The first grant will cover 3 months’ worth of profits from the start of November until the end of January. Maternity Action has written to the Government to ask for changes to the Covid-19 support schemes so that pregnant women and new parents do not lose out: https://maternityaction.org.uk/2020/04/support-for-and-advice-to-pregnant-women-new-parents-during-covid-19/. I am on maternity leave and getting £151.20 per week but my colleagues are all off work on furlough and being paid 80% of their normal pay without having to work. The normal rules on qualifying for Maternity Allowance still apply during the pandemic. It is important to write to your employer to make sure that you get your rights. If you are self-employed, see the FAQs on maternity pay and benefits for self-employed women. Model letter – Health and safety protection during pregnancy. ], [This section was last updated on 03 December 2020. Yes, any weeks on SSP count as weeks of employment. 1. If your employer is not responding, you can contact the HMRC Employees Helpline on 0300 200 3500 or the HMRC Statutory Payments Disputes team on 0300 0560 630 or 0300 322 9422 if your employer is refusing to pay your SMP or has gone out of business and can no longer pay it. Universal Credit is a means-tested benefit and depends on household income. The only way you can receive furlough pay is to give notice to end your maternity leave early and return to work and ask your employer if you can be put on furlough. Your employer may be able to claim help with the cost of your wages while you are suspended under the furlough scheme. For more on sick pay, see: https://www.gov.uk/statutory-sick-pay. You accrue annual leave as if you are at work during your maternity leave so you could discuss using your annual leave before your maternity leave if you want to stop work earlier. The current COVID-19 pandemic places maternity staff at risk of engaging in clinical practice that may be in direct contravention with evidence; professional recommendations; or, more profoundly, deeply held ethical or moral beliefs and values, as services attempt to control the risk of cross-infection. 2. I am not eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) because I have lost work during the pandemic – what can I claim? give 21 days’ notice to take Parental Leave (this is different from shared parental leave). Your employer does not have to agree to annual leave that has not yet accrued but in many cases employers will agree to this where it will avoid having to carry a large amount of leave forward or returning to work with a large amount of annual leave still to take. This change will ensure that if you are currently on furlough and your baby is due any time from July 2020, your maternity pay will not be affected by your lower furlough pay. Do I have to give 8 weeks’ notice to return to work early from maternity leave in order be placed on furlough? 3. Proof of pregnancy – delete if not relevant. Your agency should calculate your furlough pay according to the options in question 9. Protection of pregnant women at work during the Covid-19 pandemic 1. If you are eligible for SMP but your employer goes into liquidation before or during your SMP period or is unable to pay your SMP, you can claim it directly from HMRC Statutory Payments Disputes Team on 0300 0560 630. a model letter for writing to your agency to ask for health and safety protection on our website here. Yes, if you are getting Statutory Maternity Pay or Statutory Sick Pay it will be partially disregarded when you claim Universal Credit. Second Floor, 3-4 Wells Terrace, London N4 3JU, To get free advice please click here Your employer may be able to claim help with the cost of your wages while you are suspended under the furlough scheme. You can find more information on asking for part-time work or other changes to your days/hours of work here. It’s a good idea to do it as soon as possible in order to avoid delays in processing your MA claim. The flat rate of SMP is is £151.20 pw (2020/21) or 90% of your average earnings if they are lower. Do I have the same rights? I am self-employed and have had to stop work early because of coronavirus. You can show your employer the full guidance on how to calculate furlough pay here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/steps-to-take-before-calculating-your-claim-using-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme. If you are starting your maternity leave on or after 25th April 2020, the Department for Work and Pensions must use your normal earnings when working out your Maternity Allowance, not your furlough pay. The latest you can start your maternity leave is from the date you give birth. The first six weeks of your SMP is based on your average weekly earnings in the calculation period for SMP (approx. You can claim Maternity Allowance here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/maternity-allowance-claim-form. One of many legal, ethical, and patient safety issues raised by the COVID-19 pandemic across the National Health Service (NHS) is that expectant mothers are considering freebirthing more after home births are cancelled. You can make online applications for payments through the Insolvency Service for redundancy pay, if you have worked for your employer for at least 2 years. Employers should identify the hours the employee worked using pay records, time sheets and other records which show time worked. The furlough scheme also applies to agency workers, casual workers and those on zero hours contracts who are paid through PAYE. Is from the end of November until the end of your wages while you are a... 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