Do you know the 5 things your Employer is forbidden from doing while you are on Maternity leave?
Knowing your own rights whilst planning and going on maternity leave is critical. I’m not saying that employers try to catch you out on purpose for their own benefit. Sometimes they can make a simple, honest mistakes. But, not knowing your legal rights on maternity leave could cost you.
To put that to a close, whether your employer deliberately or unintentionally makes one of these mistakes whilst you are on maternity leave, they are breaking the law.
1. You have to tell your employer as soon as you know you are pregnant or else you will not get full maternity pay.
Wrong. You are only required to inform your employer at least 15 weeks before your due date.
Your employer is allowed to ask for your maternity leave in writing which I believe is acceptable and a good reference for you later down the line. Please do not feel you have to inform work as soon as your pregnancy is confirmed by the doctor.
Making you redundant in attempt to avoid maternity pay is wrong. You are entitled to statutory maternity pay if:
You have worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks by the completion of the 15th week your before your baby is due.
You were employed for part or all of the qualifying week (15th week before the baby is due)
You earn at least an average of £116 in the two months prior to the end of the qualifying week.
3. Give you less than 52 weeks of maternity leave
You are entitled to 52 weeks of maternity leave.
Considering that you are not classed as self-employed or a worker. The length of time you have worked for your employer should not be considered.
The 52 weeks of maternity leave is made up of the 26 weeks of ordinary maternity leave (OML), and 26 weeks of additional maternity leave (AML).
4. Deny you changing your return to work date.
You have to give your employer at least 8 weeks notice. You are allowed to change your return to work date. In some cases this cannot be helped as you may be refused nursery placements or other child care plans could fail leaving you no choice. So it is important to remember to have everything in place 8 weeks before returning.
5.Refuse to provide you with flexible working arrangements
If you opt to return to work at the end of your maternity leave your employer must make effort to accommodate you after you return to work. E.G. You may want to go back on part time hours, or have one day a week where you can work from home.
If returning to work is a struggle, having a chat with your employer may help as they may find hours to accommodate you.
Employers nowadays are aware of the laws and they do comply with them. A lot of employers want you to talk to them about your maternity leave concerns so you can both be in a position of understanding where you both are at.
Unfortunately there are also bad employers that don’t’ follow the laws.
Use the information above to protect your rights.
If you need more information on your maternity leave rights, there is personalised guidance published by the GOV.UK website. You can find it here.