If your employer is unable to pay, is insolvent or refuses to pay you should contact the Statutory Payment Disputes Team on 0300 0560 630 or 0300 322 9422. 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. This RCOG guidance states that medical studies have found that pregnant women are at higher risk from Covid-19 once they reach 28 weeks of pregnancy: ‘the majority of women who did become severely ill were in their third trimester of pregnancy, emphasising the importance of social distancing and regular hand washing from 28 weeks of pregnancy.The study also found that pregnant women from Black, … Yes, you can be furloughed. When your maternity leave ends you should be treated as back at work and you have the right to return to the same job or a suitable alternative job. Your employer cannot refuse to let you take maternity leave or refuse to let you change the start date providing you give notice as above. However, if this is not successful, you should make a formal request for flexible work. 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. Can I be dismissed for refusing to come into work during the pandemic? The Government has published the following guidance on self-isolation, social distancing and shielding: This RCOG guidance states that medical studies have found that pregnant women are at higher risk from Covid-19 once they reach 28 weeks of pregnancy: ‘the majority of women who did become severely ill were in their third trimester of pregnancy, emphasising the importance of social distancing and regular hand washing from 28 weeks of pregnancy.The study also found that pregnant women from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds were more likely than other women to be admitted to hospital for coronavirus. They must allow you do so if you are claiming Maternity Allowance. You will need to show that you reasonably believed that there was a serious and imminent risk based on what you knew at the time and what advice you had received about the risks. https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/working-safely/protect-people.htm?utm_source=govdelivery&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=coronavirus&utm_term=more-2&utm_content=digest-10-jul-20, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19. Yes. It does not have to be 26 weeks in a row and you do not need to be currently employed to apply. Can they force me to cancel my annual leave and return to work early? More information on help for employers is here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme. For self-employed: you have been engaged in your work for at least 3 continuous months and have lost income during the maternity leave period. You are still employed during your notice period. more information on benefits and help available during the crisis on our website here. There will be a legal challenge to the treatment of Maternity Allowance as income under the Universal Credit regulations which is due to be heard at the end of June 2020. Pointing out that while there is no evidence to suggest there are serious problems with pregnant women having Covid-19 before 28 weeks, there is also no evidence to the contrary. If you go into work and you consider that you are in serious and imminent risk of danger to your health and safety you are protected against dismissal, detrimental treatment and loss of pay if you leave work in order to protect yourself. You should only be paid sick pay if you are off sick or in isolation because you or a family member have Covid-19 symptoms. I am willing and able to work and am asking for adjustments as below so that I can continue to receive my normal pay. give 21 days’ notice to take Parental Leave (this is different from shared parental leave). For employees: you have served your employer for a continuous period of at least 3 months before the birth of your child. If early conciliation is not successful, ACAS will issue a certificate. There is an online calculator here: https://www.gov.uk/maternity-paternity-calculator. 1. You can work for another employer or take on self-employment if you are furloughed but you need to check your contract for restrictions on second jobs or conflicts of interest. If you’re still in your maternity leave period (paid or unpaid maternity leave) you and your employer can agree up to ten keeping-in-touch days to enable you to do some work while remaining on maternity leave. You will need to complete an ET1 claim form within one month of the Early Conciliation certificate being issued in order to start an employment tribunal claim: https://www.gov.uk/employment-tribunals, If you are in a union you should contact your union’s legal department to ask for advice. My workplace may be closing or I may be made redundant, can I still get my maternity pay? Make sure you will be better off on Universal Credit before claiming. 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. altering your working conditions or hours of work, providing suitable alternative work on the same terms and conditions (this must be from home wherever possible during the pandemic), or. two weeks’ notice to ask you to take one weeks’ holiday. Your employer can put you onto furlough before your maternity leave and pay starts. As you have already passed the 15th week before your baby is due and your employer has confirmed that you qualify for SMP, going onto furlough will not affect your maternity leave and pay. For more information, see Health and safety during pregnancy and on return to work. If you and your employer did not specifically agree that your new part-time hours would begin at the end of your maternity leave, it would normally be assumed that this is the case, for example, you would normally accrue annual leave based on your full-time hours up to the end of your maternity leave, but it is important to talk to your employer to reach an agreement about this. If you have a fixed annual salary (not variable hours) the HMRC Direction on furlough pay says: ‘The reference salary of a fixed rate employee is the amount payable to the employee in the latest salary period ending on or before 19 March 2020 (but disregarding anything which is not regular salary or wages …’. My maternity leave has just ended and I’m on annual leave that was arranged some time ago. weeks 18 to 26 of your pregnancy). Your agency can also put you on furlough if you are unable to work because of the coronavirus crisis under the government scheme where the agency can claim 80% of your pay. There has been no additional maternity leave or pay provided. a colleague or member of the public at your workplace has suspected coronavirus symptoms, you are protected against dismissal or detrimental treatment such as loss of pay or disciplinary action. Your employer can ask you to use your annual leave during this period by giving notice. 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. Your maternity leave and pay should start on the date in your original notice unless you and your employer agree to change it, however, maternity leave and pay must start from the birth at the latest. You have certain rights when you are made redundant. Your employer must keep their risk assessment under review, taking account of the clinical guidance from the RCOG, and take action to manage the increased risk from Covid-19 for pregnant women: ’Employers have a responsibility to protect the health and safety of pregnant women who are working. The amount of Universal Credit you get can vary each month depending on yours and your partner’s income (if you are in a couple). Your employer can put you on furlough during Parental Leave in order to claim help with the cost of any occupational Parental Leave pay that they provide. Pregnant women over the age of 35, those who had a BMI of 30 or more, and those who had pre-existing medical problems, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, were also at higher risk of developing severe illness and requiring admission to hospital.’. 6478568 have submitted your Self-Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018 to 2019, traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020 and intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021, are trading when you apply, or would be except for coronavirus. When maternity leave can start early If you’re absent from work. 3. Declare that your self-employment has been affected by reduced demand because of COVID-19 in the qualifying period. Can my employer make me start my maternity leave early? If your company is a private UK company, the administrators can access the furlough scheme to pay wages to staff that would otherwise be made redundant. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) expands the existing federal Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to cover child care responsibilities. Once your maternity leave has ended you cannot go back onto maternity leave but if you did not take the full 39 weeks’ maternity pay or 52 weeks’ maternity leave, you may be able to take any untaken maternity leave/pay as shared parental leave. If you don’t meet the qualifying conditions for SMP you can claim Maternity Allowance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/maternity-allowance-claim-form, You can use the online calculator here to see if you qualify for SMP: https://www.gov.uk/maternity-paternity-calculator. 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/. You can be placed on the flexible furlough scheme if there is less work because of Covid-19 and it is not because of your pregnancy. You may have a claim for unlawful deduction of wages and/or pregnancy discrimination if there are risks at work and your employer does not make reasonable adjustments or provide suitable alternative work or suspension on full pay. This protection comes from the Employment Rights Act 1996, sections 68A/B/C. If you are not well enough to work you should call in sick using your employer’s normal sickness reporting procedures. The flat rate of SMP is is £151.20 pw (2020/21) or 90% of your average earnings if they are lower. Your partner will qualify for Statutory Shared Parental Pay if s/he meets the continuity of employment test and you meet the employment and earnings test (see above), AND: For more information on shared parental leave and pay see: https://maternityaction.org.uk/advice/shared-parental-leave-and-pay/. 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