However, if this is not successful, you should make a formal request for flexible work. What to watch next Wonderful to get Covid-19 … To work this out find the Sunday immediately before your due date (or the date you are due if that’s a Sunday) and count back 11 weeks. If you have been sent home on sick pay and you want to ask for health and safety adjustments or furlough. ], [This section was updated 03 November 2020.]. Can I get help through the Self-employed Income Support Scheme while I’m claiming Maternity Allowance? If you have not submitted your 2018/19 tax return, you have until 23 April 2020 to submit it in order to qualify for the grant. For more information on Keeping-in-touch days for self-employed women see our information sheet here: https://maternityaction.org.uk/advice/maternity-and-parental-rights-for-self-employed-parents/. 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 some staff are on furlough because there is not enough work to do, your employer must consider whether you can return to your normal job after maternity leave or whether to offer furlough. This is when you’re approx. https://maternityaction.org.uk/advice/shared-parental-leave-and-pay/. Can I stay on sick pay or furlough until my Maternity Allowance starts? 6. If you are not able to return to work earlier than planned you should explain your circumstances to your employer, for example, if you have no childcare in place before your planned return. Can I be dismissed for refusing to come into work during the pandemic? You will be able to claim Maternity Allowance but you must send in payslips with your highest earnings, not weeks in which you were paid Statutory Sick Pay. If your employer has placed other staff on furlough, you are entitled to be furloughed as well. If your employer did not give you notification in writing of the date that your maternity leave would end, you can return to work earlier and you do NOT have to give your employer at least 8 weeks’ notice. I am on furlough and receiving 80% of my pay. You should let your employer know why you are leaving your workplace so that you are not considered to be absent without leave and explain why you believed you were at risk. It is normally up to you to decide when you want to start your maternity leave. No, your employer must pay your SMP in full. Your employer can ask you to use your annual leave during this period by giving notice. [This section was last updated on 03 November 2020. If your employer is temporarily asking employees to work from home, this will apply to you as well once your maternity leave has ended. Your employer has a specific duty to protect your health and safety for 6 months after the birth and for as long as you are breastfeeding. Can I be furloughed? If your colleagues have been furloughed because of the pandemic, your employer must not treat you unfairly because of your pregnancy and must provide you with furlough and/or health and safety protection. If you are unable to work from home or if you have been asked to self-isolate, your employer can ask you to take annual leave or you may be entitled to sick leave as above. Know your rights, claim your rights #MaternityRights Maternity Action is the UK’s leading charity committed to ending inequality and improving the health and wellbeing of pregnant women, partners and young children – from conception through to the child’s early years. Universal Credit is a means-tested benefit and depends on household income. 5. 5. You may be able to get a council tax reduction – you should contact your local authority. 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. My maternity leave ends in December. Your employer can refuse KIT days if they are unable to offer you any work and you are entitled to refuse to work during your maternity leave if you don’t want to. ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A New York man who was exposed to coronavirus and was feeling ill hid his symptoms so he could join his expectant wife in a hospital maternity ward, officials said. heavy lifting, standing for long periods or very hot/cold temperatures. If you need to send in payslips covering the period when you were on furlough you should let the MA Claims Dept. If you qualify for the SMP but your employer has gone into liquidation, you can apply to the Statutory Payments Disputes Team on 0300 0560 630 or 0300 322 9422 and they will pay your SMP directly. If you only want a temporary change to enable you to continue breastfeeding you should discuss this with your employer. If you make a request for flexible work your employer has a duty to seriously consider your request and must give you a decision within three months. 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. As pregnant women are classed as vulnerable and are advised to be particularly careful to follow social distancing, your employer has a legal obligation to provide you with safe work in accordance with Government guidance or suitable alternative work from home. You can find more information on claiming these benefits if you’re self-employed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-guidance-for-employees, The Government has also announced a Self-employment Income Support Scheme. However, they can get advice from HMRC and if they do not resolve it while the CJRS is still open they will not be able to claim your wages from HMRC. You can ask for help completing this letter from your union, your local Citizens Advice Bureau, local charities and from Maternity Action’s advice services. For more information on maternity pay see our information sheet. Your employer must ensure you are able to work from home wherever possible and, if there is no work available that you can do from home, they must suspend you on full pay if you are unable to work safely. I was sent home on [date] and have been told I will be paid Statutory Sick Pay until my maternity leave. 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/. Maternity Action has written to the Government to ask them to address some of the gaps in protection for pregnant women and new parents under the Self-employed Income Support Scheme. Your employer can claim reimbursement for the SMP from HMRC: https://www.gov.uk/recover-statutory-payments. You must contact ACAS within the time limit on 0300 123 1100 to start early conciliation if you need to bring a claim. Your employer may be able to claim help with the cost of your wages while you are suspended under the furlough scheme. I’m not able to work from home but it’s not possible to practise social distancing at my workplace. What is the Job Support Scheme for Winter 2020/21? If you are not given your job back you should seek advice about whether you are redundant or whether you may have a claim for unfair dismissal, automatic unfair dismissal or maternity discrimination. All employers have a duty to assess workplace risks and this must specifically include risks to pregnant women and new mothers at whatever stage of pregnancy e.g. In these circumstances you should give your employer as much notice as you can. I have already given notice to start my maternity leave on [date], I would like to start my maternity leave on [date], I would like to change the start of my maternity leave so that it now starts on [date] [Note: you must give at least 28 days’ notice before the new and the old date unless it is not reasonably practicable], I understand that if I am absent from work wholly or partly for a pregnancy-related reason my maternity leave and pay will start four weeks before my expected week of childbirth. Can I claim any other help with paying my rent during this period? Make sure you will be better off on Universal Credit before claiming. If you are on SSP or on furlough during part of that period it will still count towards your continuous employment. If you want to return to work early e.g. If you are applying for Maternity Allowance, you must send in payslips covering a 13 week period in the 66 weeks before your baby is due. 2. Can I claim Child Benefit if I’m unable to register my baby’s birth? 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. more information on dealing with problems at work here. SHARE. Otherwise you are entitled to start your maternity leave on the date given in your notice for maternity leave and pay. NHS maternity care – refusals and delays due to charging, EEA and Swiss nationals and family members, Indefinite leave to remain, right of abode and British citizenship, A Toolkit for Campaigning against NHS Charges for Pregnant Migrant Women, Guidance on improving access to maternity care for women affected by charging, End unfair redundancies for pregnant women and new mothers, Responses to consultations and submissions. My employer has put other staff on furlough and is paying them 80% of normal pay. They are eligible for the grant and can be furloughed. Can my employer make me start my maternity leave early? There is an online calculator to help you work it out here: https://www.gov.uk/maternity-paternity-calculator  If your agency does not pay your SMP you can contact HMRC Statutory Payments Disputes Team on 0300 0560 630 or 0300 322 9422 to make a claim. ), Company no. you are still employed in the same job in the 15th week before your expected week of childbirth. This could include a situation where you believe that a colleague or someone else in your workplace has coronavirus symptoms or has been in contact with others with Covid-19. You continue to accrue annual leave during furlough and you remain employed by your employer. 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. CNN's Arwa Damon goes inside an Istanbul maternity ward where the mothers are also being treated for Covid-19. If you are requesting a maternity suspension on full pay because your employer is unable to provide safe work during your pregnancy. As COVID-19 continues to spread, expecting mothers are trying to protect themselves and their unborn child from the disease. 15. average monthly earnings from the 2019-20 tax year. 10. That is the start of the 15th week before your baby is due. 3. 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 can still apply for Universal Credit if you are getting Maternity Allowance as you may be entitled to help with paying your rent for example. The latest Government guidance on Working Safely says: ‘Employers should ensure workplaces are safe for anyone who cannot work from home. If your employer has gone out of business, HRMC will pay your SMP directly. Please check back and follow us on Twitter and on Facebook @MaternityAction. have lost trading profits due to coronavirus. See the section on benefits for other help that you may be able to get. If you do not meet the qualifying conditions for SMP, you can claim Maternity Allowance instead. [This page was last updated 10 December 2020.]. The second grant will cover 3 months from the start of February until the end of April, the level of grant will be announced nearer the time. You can also count any weeks of annual leave and weeks of furlough as weeks of employment as well as any weeks in your 66 week test period in which you took a period of maternity leave for a previous pregnancy. I would like to be placed on furlough under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which has been extended from 1st November as I am not able to work safely as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. 18 – 26 weeks’ pregnant. by email if your employer asks you to and it’s a good idea to confirm what has been agreed in writing to avoid any confusion. This is a fast-changing situation and we will add and update information in the coming weeks. If you are dismissed for self-isolating you should contact ACAS on 0300 123 11 00 within three months (less one day) from the dismissal. Yes, you can be furloughed. Make sure you send in proof of earnings for 13 weeks in which your earnings were highest in order to qualify for the maximum rate of Maternity Allowance of £151.20. This will only be extended in limited circumstances so it is important not to delay contacting ACAS. We have produced a model letter that you can use to write to your employer to set out your health and safety rights during pregnancy here. Can they force me to cancel my annual leave and return to work early? When working out your ‘usual hours’, your employer must not include time off on maternity leave. 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. 7. Model letter – Health and safety protection during pregnancy. For more information, see our FAQs on health and safety. ], Latest Government guidance on health and safety during the pandemic. For more information on redundancy see our information sheet. If I’m off work on Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), does that count towards the 26 weeks of employment for qualifying for Maternity Allowance? I had arranged Keeping in touch (KIT) days during the last few months of my maternity leave but my employer has now cancelled them. This applies to all temporary work agencies. You should give notice in writing e.g. Have you been charged for NHS maternity care in England? You can find the claim form here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/maternity-allowance-claim-form. During the insolvency process, if you are made redundant you will be able to get statutory maternity pay from HMRC as long as you meet the following qualifying conditions: You can find a maternity pay calculator here: https://www.gov.uk/maternity-paternity-calculator. Your employer should only pay you SSP if you are signed off sick by your midwife/GP or you are self-isolating for 2 weeks with coronavirus symptoms. We are updating these constantly. You should also ask them for … For more information see our information sheet. If these are not available then use other records, such as rotas or work diaries. You can find more information here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme. If there is no suitable alternative work or you cannot work from home, your employer must suspend you on full pay for as long as the risk remains. From the 1st August employers were expected to contribute to more of your wage costs, including paying your National Insurance Contributions and pension contributions. For more information on maternity pay see: https://maternityaction.org.uk/advice/maternity-pay-questions/. Pregnancy and coronavirus If you're pregnant, you may be unsure how coronavirus (COVID-19) could affect you, your baby and your pregnancy care. You can find more information here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme. What help can I get after October 2020 if my self-employment has been affected by the pandemic? If you are off sick for a pregnancy-related reason or on health and safety suspension or you have been furloughed because you cannot work during pregnancy, your employer can start your maternity leave automatically from 4 weeks before your expected week of childbirth. I would like to remain on/be placed on (special leave) under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme as I am not able to work as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. Should I be paid the same? If your employer is asking for confirmation about whether you should be working you can contact your GP or midwife or as a last resort NHS 111. 3. The regulations also do not require your employer to pay for KIT days that are cancelled but if you have incurred any expenses you can ask your employer for reimbursement. Your employer must carry out a risk assessment to consider the risks of infection from Covid-19 and specific risks in relation to pregnancy. That is the earliest date your MA can start. Coronavirus (Covid-19) and rights at work during pregnancy by Katie Wood, Senior Legal Officer, Maternity Action Government guidanceannounced yesterday, 16thMarch 2020, advised that all pregnant women should take social distancing measures such as working from home, avoiding public transport and social gatherings wherever possible: Government guidance on furlough is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme. It will be capped at £6,570 in total for the period from 1st August to 30th October. If your maternity leave ends after 19 March and you and your employer have agreed that your part-time hours will begin at the end of your maternity leave, your furlough pay should be based on the full-time salary that would have applied during your maternity leave (not your maternity pay). Protection of pregnant women at work during the Covid-19 pandemic 1. Proof of pregnancy – delete if not relevant. Yes, if you are getting Statutory Maternity Pay or Statutory Sick Pay it will be partially disregarded when you claim Universal Credit. The flat rate of SMP is is £151.20 pw (2020/21) or 90% of your average earnings if they are lower. 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. The first SEISS grant is currently available from 1st April to end June. You can submit your Maternity Allowance claim form once you are 26 weeks pregnant. Alternatively, you and your employer can agree to take your annual leave at another time. All employers are reimbursed for SMP payments by HMRC. You can find a model letter for writing to your agency to ask for health and safety protection on our website here. I am unable to obtain my MATB1 maternity certificate until I am at least 20 weeks’ pregnant. The earliest you can start your MA is 11 weeks before your baby is due. If it is not possible to make adjustments to avoid the risks, your employer must suspend you on full pay for as long as necessary to avoid the risks. 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). 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. weeks 18 to 26 of your pregnancy) or during a period of self-isolation, you can ask to take annual leave. As you have met the qualifying conditions for SMP you can still take your maternity leave and SMP on the date in your notice or you can change your start date as above. know so that they can use your normal earnings. SHARE. In all other circumstances it is up to you to decide when you want to start your leave. 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. https://www.acas.org.uk/early-conciliation, see Health and safety during pregnancy and on return to work, https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit/what-youll-get, https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit/how-to-claim, https://cpag.org.uk/welfare-rights/resources/test-case/maternity-allowance-and-universal-credit, https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/coronavirus-and-your-money, Child Benefit Claim form CH2 found online, https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs/contact/child-benefit, https://www.gov.uk/child-benefit-tax-charge, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/maternity-allowance-claim-form, more information on Maternity Allowance for self-employed women here, https://www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-guidance-for-employees, https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme, https://maternityaction.org.uk/advice/maternity-and-parental-rights-for-self-employed-parents/, https://maternityaction.org.uk/advice/maternity-pay-questions/, https://maternityaction.org.uk/2020/04/support-for-and-advice-to-pregnant-women-new-parents-during-covid-19/, https://www.gov.uk/maternity-paternity-calculator, https://www.gov.uk/recover-statutory-payments, https://www.gov.uk/recover-statutory-payments/if-you-cant-afford-to-make-payments, https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme. You can find this guidance here to show to your employer: Employers can claim for your wages, past overtime, fees and compulsory commission payments but not discretionary bonuses (including tips) and commission payments and non-cash payments. suspending you on full pay (if there is no suitable alternative work). If you do not qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay then check to see if you will be eligible to receive maternity allowance. Claims for those on variable hours/pay, returning from statutory leave should be calculated using the higher of either: Government guidance says when working out your average pay if you have variable hours, employers should not count any calendar days where the employee was on a period of: This also applies to claims before 30th October 2020. If I’m off work on Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or on furlough, does that count towards the 26 weeks continuous service for qualifying for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)? In this blog we look at your rights if you are pregnant and working. Your employer must still provide you with safe work or suitable alternative work (ideally from home or in a Covid-secure environment) while you work reduced hours under the furlough scheme. If you and your employer agree on furlough you can remain on furlough until the birth or the start of your maternity leave and pay, whichever is earlier. You will need to notify Jobcentre Plus of the start of your maternity leave so that they can pay your Maternity Allowance from that date. Your employer can put you onto furlough before your maternity leave and pay starts. Extra consideration should be given to those people at higher risk.’, https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19. If you are pregnant, you are entitled to a risk assessment and adjustments to make your job safe, see the section on health and safety during the pandemic and model letters for writing to your employer about your rights to health and safety protection. If you have been refused a risk assessment and/or suitable alternative work at home or a health and safety suspension you may have a claim for sex/pregnancy discrimination. You should check your contract to see if there are any circumstances in which your employer can cancel annual leave. For example, if you are paid monthly, at the end of each month, and your baby is due in the week beginning 16th August 2020. 1. Maternity leave and coronavirus: can it be extended and when you should return to work You cannot receive furlough pay at the same time if you’re getting maternity allowance I have an employed job and self-employed work. The regulations do not specify how much you should be paid for working a KIT day so you must agree how much you will be paid with your employer. 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.’. 4. You can find show the Government guidance to your agency: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/work-out-80-of-your-employees-wages-to-claim-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme. In order to qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) you need to have average weekly earnings of at least £120 pw (2020/21) in the 8 weeks before the 15th week before your baby is due. 16A and the Employment Rights Act 1996, sections 68A, B, C. We have produced a model letter that you can use to write to your agency to set out your health and safety rights during pregnancy here. My work are short-staffed as a result of coronavirus. Your employer must also take into account any medical evidence from your midwife or GP. The latest you can start your maternity leave is the day of the birth. I am not eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) because I have lost work during the pandemic – what can I claim? For more information see this. This can mean that if you have periods of sick pay or unpaid leave during your qualifying period it will affect your average earnings and this can mean that your SMP will be lower. Yes, any weeks on SSP count as weeks of employment. If you employ women of childbearing age you are also required to assess the risks to new and expectant mothers. What is furlough and how is it changing? You can see our letter here. Coronavirus is impacting maternity care around the world. EMAIL. The Job Support Scheme was due to be introduced from 1st November 2020 but has now been replaced by the extended furlough scheme (above). 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Or furlough until my maternity Allowance here: https: //www.gov.uk/recover-statutory-payments/if-you-cant-afford-to-make-payments 28 days ’ notice return... Long periods or very hot/cold temperatures people at higher risk. ’, https: //www.gov.uk/recover-statutory-payments Regulations! Chosen to start your MA from the health and safety protection during and. Your rights during maternity leave in order to control the virus under control, it important... Statutory ( legal ) rights that are provided on health and safety protection on our website.! Nationwide action to improve maternity care in England very strict and your employer has failed to assess the of! From home in accordance with Government guidance on how to resolve disputes at work during the.. On Universal Credit check whether you meet the following criteria: you read... Schools, colleges, factories etc asked questions on rights for agency workers, zero hours contracts who unable! Principles apply where the mothers are also required to undertake a workplace risk assessment the... ( SMP ) because I have to give 8 weeks if you or your average weekly earnings in approximately 18.

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