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Maternity, paternity and parental leave: your rights

(13 Posts)
RebeccaMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 20-Jan-14 11:42:29

As if suddenly being in possession of a baby weren't daunting enough, it throws up questions around work which new parents are often ill-equipped to answer.

Barristers Natasha Joffe and Lydia Seymour have put together series of factsheets on employment rights after maternity leave, covering what leave and pay entitlements, how to seek flexible working, and your legal rights if you're treated badly because you're a parent.

They've also looked at the Talk boards and put together some responses to FAQs on this topic.

Do pop over and take a look and let us know what you think.

FadBook Mon 20-Jan-14 12:37:41

Hi Rebecca,

I think the factsheets and information I've (skim) read are good and are a good place to point parents in the right direction. It looks like the main topics have been covered: materntiy, breastfeeding, redundancy situations whilst pregnant or on maternity; flexible working; KIT days, returning to work etc.

I work in HR so my initial reaction to a lot of questions posed by new mums / parents (dads too) either in my professional capacity or sometimes on MN would be: "is there a Company policy on this subject?"

Whilst the factsheets are a great source of general information and legislation, I would want any parent / employee to, in the first instance check their Company's polices such as Paternity, Maternity, Flexible Working etc and then to double check if what is contained in the policy is that of legsilation (most of the time the policy is above and beyond legislation).

Otherwise, I think the pages will be a good central point for us to refer to when MN'ers come on the Employment boards seeking advice.

Well done to MN / Natasha / Lydia thanks

CouthyMow Mon 20-Jan-14 14:32:33

Is there any way that this could be amended to show what (if any) rights an employee has to Carer's leave and leave if their child has disabilities?

SarahMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 20-Jan-14 16:38:25

Hey CouthyMow - thanks for the suggestion; it's a good one. I'll pass on to Natasha and Lydia smile

Useful information- most of which also applies to Adoption Leave.

CouthyMow Tue 21-Jan-14 02:56:46

Thank you. Pertinent as my Ex is having issues with his employer regarding parental leave to look after our DS3 (who is disabled) when I am not able to look after him (I am also disabled).

It becomes more complex because he doesn't live with me, and I am DS3's main Carer and the recipient of the DLA that is paid for DS3...

We don't actually know who to turn to for advice, his Union rep thinks the case is too complex, but he may be facing a disciplinary over his time off last Friday!

glorious Tue 21-Jan-14 15:58:04

couthy I am not a professional but I'd suggest speaking to ACAS.

flowery Tue 21-Jan-14 16:59:26

Couthy do you want to start your own thread?

ListWriter Wed 22-Jan-14 23:38:10

I like the sheets but am not convinced there is much there that can help. I used to work for a big employer who said they provided flexible working but our team director was completely against it. There would have been no point submitting a proper request or appeal as they would have just said it would have affected work quality etc (which it wouldn't). Partly because of the lack of flexibility, I'm in the midst of becoming self-employed.

I guess I'm trying to say real life doesn't always work as it should - the rules can be place but everyone has to respect them for it work. Not sure how we get round that!

mariefab Thu 23-Jan-14 06:38:58

In the right to return sheet, this section appears...

'However, time spent on Additional Maternity Leave and afterwards (i.e. any maternity leave after the first 26 weeks) is not counted towards pension, length of service and so on. This means that if, for example, you are made redundant after you come back to work your redundancy pay would take account of the six months of Ordinary Maternity Leave but not any time spent on Additional Maternity Leave.'

Are you sure that it is accurate to state that the Additional Maternity Leave period doesn't count towards length of service?

flowery Thu 23-Jan-14 09:30:14

"This means that if, for example, you are made redundant after you come back to work your redundancy pay would take account of the six months of Ordinary Maternity Leave but not any time spent on Additional Maternity Leave.'"

Does it really say that Marie? Goodness no, that's not right. Maternity leave isn't discounted from service, and any employer who tried to give someone less redundancy pay on the basis that time spent on maternity leave didn't count would be in some trouble.

That's a bit worrying!

SarahMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 23-Jan-14 10:15:08

flowery

*"This means that if, for example, you are made redundant after you come back to work your redundancy pay would take account of the six months of Ordinary Maternity Leave but not any time spent on Additional Maternity Leave.'"*

Does it really say that Marie? Goodness no, that's not right. Maternity leave isn't discounted from service, and any employer who tried to give someone less redundancy pay on the basis that time spent on maternity leave didn't count would be in some trouble.

That's a bit worrying!

Thanks for flagging this, both - Natasha and Lydia have seen it and are looking into it as a matter of urgency.

SarahMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 23-Jan-14 13:46:01

Hey all, just to let you know we've spoken to Natasha and Lydia. They say:

Big apologies - mariefab and flowery are absolutely right and the position in relation to AML is now (and has been since 2008) the same as that in relation to OML – i.e. you should not be disadvantaged by having taken maternity leave in respect of any contractual or length of service rights. Not sure how we failed to update that and many thanks for noticing it so quickly.

The position in terms of pension rights is slightly more complicated and we are updating the note to reflect this. We are also very interested in the other possible areas that have been suggested and are looking into producing a note to consider the specific issues arising for parents of children with disabilities.

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