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to post here for some quick responses?! Maternity Leave and Sick Leave issue!!!

(18 Posts)
MrsHuxtable Tue 23-Aug-11 14:00:19

I've just come home from the CAB where I got printed off some information about Maternity Allowance and Sick Leave. I know the advisers there are only volunteers (worked there myself in the past), so I'm not expecting that much. I am however disagreeing with something the advisor said to me.

My situation: Have been off work sick due to pregnancy complications for 8 weeks now and will be for a while longer. Due to this, I won't qualify for SMP (only SSP in qualifying period) but will get MA. If the complications won't improve, I will most likely be off sick til I start maternity leave.
Obviously I would like to do this as late as possible so I have more time at home with the baby before I return to work.

This is were the CAB person and I disagree. He says that SSP will automatically switch to MA 11 weeks before the baby is due because I will not be working. I think because I am on sick leave, I still count as employed and therefore can only be made to start MA 4 weeks before the bay is due.

Here are the relevant paragraphs from advisor net:
(13) A woman has some choice as to when MAP starts. The earliest she can start receiving maternity allowance is from the 11th week before the expected week of childbirth. The latest she can start maternity allowance is from the day after the birth.

(14) A woman is treated as working if she is off work due to sickness and has not yet stopped work. However, if a woman is off work sick with a pregnancy-related illness from, and including, the 4th week before the expected week of childbirth, MA begins on the day following the first complete day she was off work sick for that reason in the four-week period.

(16) If a woman is not working at the 11th week before the expected week of childbirth, MA begins at the 11th week before the expected week of childbirth.

So I guess it all comes down to whether I still count as employed when off sick or whether I will count as not working.

I got the feeling CAB guy didn't really get what I was on about as he kept saying, you won't be working but in my opinion, for this purpose, I actually am.

Please!!! Can someone shed some light on this????

whoneedssleepanyway Tue 23-Aug-11 14:05:41

but (14) says a woman is treated as working if she is off work due to sickness and has not yet stopped work.....

so I would say you are treated as working...

I think (16) relates to someone who isn't working at all, not someone who is not working due to sickness IYSWIM...

BTW I am not expert in this although do sometimes have to look into issues like this at work.

whoneedssleepanyway Tue 23-Aug-11 14:07:56

www.direct.gov.uk/en/MoneyTaxAndBenefits/BenefitsTaxCreditsAndOtherSupport/Illorinjured/DG_175854

Which says

Pregnancy and SSP
If you are getting SSP for a pregnancy related illness at the start of the four weeks before your baby is due or in the four weeks before your baby is due, SSP will stop. Any entitlement to Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) or Maternity Allowance (MA) will start automatically.

If you do not have a pregnancy related illness, you can get SSP up to the day before SMP or MA is due to start.

So I think you should get SSP until 4 weeks before...

squeakytoy Tue 23-Aug-11 14:08:22

Your personnel department or payroll are the people you need to speak to. They will be able to tell you what you will be entitled to and what the payments will be.

luciadilammermoor Tue 23-Aug-11 14:09:16

This changed a few years ago now from 11 weeks before to 4 weeks before. Your understanding is correct. You will be placed on ML 4 weeks before your EWOC (Expected week of confinement) by your work's HR dept.

CAB are good in general but ACAS's tel line is better www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=2042

lilmissminx Tue 23-Aug-11 14:09:30

I am pretty sure he is right, and you can be made to switch over. I know this is the case with SMP. However, you do need to use up your holiday allowance BEFORE you go on Mat leave, if you will not return to work before your year end in work finishes, and holiday changes over iyswim? You cannot be paid holiday swhile on mat leave, and if you can't roll your holidays over in to the next year you would lose them. You can add holidays to the beginning or the end of your mat leave. How many weeks pg are you now? Do you have any holiday available to you?

squeakytoy Tue 23-Aug-11 14:09:47

And yes, if you are employed, even if you are "off sick", you are still employed, still accruing holiday pay etc.

AandK Tue 23-Aug-11 14:11:36

I thought (even thoough its been 10 years since I was pregnant) that if you're off sick with pregnancy related illness then your employer can MAKE you start ML at the earliest date.

Now I know this may have changed as ML leave has increased lots in the last 10 years so you will have to let me know if I'm right and what you find out.

Birdsgottafly Tue 23-Aug-11 14:13:13

You are treated as working, whilst you are off sick. The MA starts 4 weeks before.
The other section is for a woman that is not classed as working or not working.

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Tue 23-Aug-11 14:19:29

As I see it, if you are not working - i.e. unemployed - MA wlll commence 11 weeks before the due date.

As you are working (employed) but are off sick due to a pregnancy related illness, should you continue to be off sick for this reason 4 weeks before the due date, MA will commence 4 weeks - 1 day before the due date as cited in para 14.

MrsHuxtable Tue 23-Aug-11 14:25:07

Thank you, that's how I understand it. (16) refers to women who are not employed. And that is the bit he didn't seem to get, that I would still be employed...

AandK, I will keep you updated. From how I read it, the 11 weeks before apply only to unemployed people.

lilmissminx, I'm almost 16 weeks pregnant now and still have 2 weeks holiday left for this year. I have no idea how it would be best to take them. I know my boss can make me take leave early. The question is whether this would be the 4th week or the 11th week before EDD.

Btw, I work for a small business so there is no HR department or anyone I can ask for help. It's literally me and DH against my boss who has behaved like an utter arse since I told him I'm pregnant. He's hoping I'll quit. He can forget that...

If you remain on sick leave your MA will begin 4 weeks before EDD. However your employer can force you to begin your maternity leave early rather than continue your sick leave........in this case your MA would begin 11 weeks before EDD.

MrsHuxtable Tue 23-Aug-11 14:43:57

controlpants,
Where does it say that he can do that? How do you know this?
If my boss gets the chance to screw me over, he will.

MrsCarriePooter Tue 23-Aug-11 14:44:49

No he can't controlpants - no sooner than 4 weeks beforehand if employee is off sick with a pregnancy-related illness.

porcamiseria Tue 23-Aug-11 15:56:40

this may sound weird, but why cant you work? cant you try and do any work, work from home for example? assuyme this condtion will be over once you have the baby?

I understand that when you are pregnant usual terms apply, but I would try and get some work done somehow, someway, then boss less likely to "screw you"

it just reads like you weant to get you paid sick pay and paid maternity pay, and no concern for the sm,all business that is paying you, for nothing!

MrsHuxtable Tue 23-Aug-11 16:27:25

I can't work because I suffer, and I do mean suffer, from hyperemesis, now also combined with high blood pressure. And yes, the condition will be better once the baby is here and I will return after my leave.

I cannot work from home since I work in a shop. It's physical work. If I was doing office based work, there would be no issue at all.

Even my GP has been shocked by how unprofessional by boss is treating me (indirectly cutting hours, not doing risk assessment) and has said that the stress he is putting me under is not healthy for me and the baby and has to stop if I want to have a chance of not having my baby prematurely. So no, after harassing phone calls and letters from my boss, I'm no longer concerned about his business. My priority now is my health and that of my child.

Arion Tue 23-Aug-11 16:46:08

I work in HR, you can choose to take your maternity allowance from wk 29. Company can force you to take it from wk 36 but only for pregnancy related illness (so hyperemesis they can, if you broke your leg, they can't - although some would try if you're not aware of that).

Good luck, some employers are rubbish and show the real need for employment legislation.

If it's bad enough to risk damaging your baby through stress then there is always constructive dismissal and sexual discrimination to pursue through a tribunal. Also, a sympathetic doctor might (and it's only a might) sign you off with stress if it's that bad that the Dr has mentioned it- then it wouldn't be a pregnancy related illness! (Just a thought smile

MrsHuxtable Tue 23-Aug-11 16:57:22

Arion,
thank you so much for your reply. I'm pretty sure my doctor would sign me off with stress but it doesn't make a difference as sick pay is only paid for 28 weeks, plus as soon as she writes pregnancy related on the note, it can't go on my sickness record (which doesn't exist because I've not been sick in the 3,5 years I've been working there).

I am aware of the legal action I could take if things get worse but to be honest, that would be even more stressful so not really worth if you see what I mean.

I'm not trying to play the system. In fact the CAB guy said I could apply for some sort of benefit now because my income has decreased so much but I won't because I'm still fine. Once the baby is here, I will apply for child tax credits but only then.

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