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MNHQ here: post your pregnancy & maternity work questions here for FREE legal advice from Maternity Action
28

JuliaMumsnet · 10/06/2022 14:37

Welcome to the second clinic of the year running from 13th to 17th June! We hope you’re managing to catch some well-deserved rest in the sunshine!

Mumsnet and Maternity Action are once again teaming up to provide an online legal clinic, offering free advice on pregnancy, maternity and parental rights at work from volunteer employment lawyers who are members of the Employment Law Association.

Whether you have a question about maternity leave, your request for flex work, your rights as a pregnant worker, or think you may be discriminated against by your employer because of being a parent, this is the place for you.

The clinic takes the form of a Q&A on this thread and will run for a week from Monday 13th to Friday 17th June. The Maternity Action team will do their best to provide all answers during that week and at the latest by the Tuesday of the following week. More information on where to go for more help once the clinic has ended is here. All past clinics are here.

How it works:

  1. If you have a question about your rights at work during pregnancy, maternity or parental leave, post it here below before the 17th June. Please give as much information as possible but remember that this is an online forum and can be viewed by the public – including your colleagues and employer. Please don’t name your employer publicly if you are likely to be taking action against them in future. You can use private message to disclose information to the volunteers that you’d rather not make public.
  2. Please send your name and the name of your employer by private message to @MaternityActionfreeadvice so that it can be passed on to the volunteers to do a conflict of interest check. We cannot post a reply until you have sent this information by private message.
  3. Once your advice has been posted online, you will have an opportunity to provide feedback. This helps us to find out whether you found the advice helpful, whether it helped you to resolve your situation at work and some information about you. All survey responses are anonymous and confidential. Providing feedback will help us to see what improvements can be made in developing this type of online free legal advice clinic. Fill out the survey here.

Ts and Cs – please read
The advice provided to an individual poster is based only on the information provided by that poster. Advice on this thread is also particular to the individual who has asked for it and is likely to be specific to that person’s situation. A poster may have provided further relevant information by private message which will not appear on this thread. So please take care if you choose to apply that advice to your own situation - it is recommended that you first take legal advice from one of the sources we have suggested here.

Mumsnet, Maternity Action and Maternity Action's volunteers accept no liability for any loss suffered as a result of an individual choosing to follow advice provided to another poster's question on the thread.

The lawyers, all of whom are specialists in employment law, will be working as volunteers for Maternity Action in respect of the clinic. Any personal information collected as a result of the clinic will be held by Maternity Action and will be deleted after 18 months. If you wish to make a complaint about the service you received, you can use Maternity Action’s complaints policy here

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MaternityActionfreeadvice · 13/06/2022 10:39

Hello all, this is the account to PM your details to. We are looking forward to helping to answer your queries.

Best wishes, Maternity Action

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Cartermair · 13/06/2022 12:43

I am a mother of 2 who’s partner works away for 10 weeks at a time. I am an event manager who is expected to travel abroad often in my role prior to going on mat leave. I have made a request for flexible working as I am no longer in a position to travel for weeks at a time, which has been declined by my employer who state that as per my contact I am expected to travel on site to events. This is just no longer feasible with the nature of my home life and my partner working away for 3 month periods. I have taken annual leave whilst I decide what to do next, but would I be expected to pay back my contractual mat pay should I resign as I have no other option than to do this? My contracts state return to work for 6 months….any advice would be great, it’s an extremely anxious time!

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Emeraldgold · 13/06/2022 17:47

I work for a charity in the field assessing the driving and mobility needs for disabled people. This job is loan working, lots of driving, manual handling and physical. I have informed my employer of my pregnancy and had the first risk assessment completed by my manager and HR, however this was a generic risk assessment used by the employer for office based staff. My manager disputes any “heavy” manual handling, I do not have access to welfare facilities or a place to rest. My concerns around my role have been dismissed and HR did not interject, only said they would be guided by my manger. I feel a HSE advisor should complete my risk assessment, manager is a bully who will not make any adjustments easy. If I fight this then she will make my work environment very difficult but I don’t not feel they are considering my welfare or complying with law.
what do I do?

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vcfromhk · 16/06/2022 03:32

This message has been withdrawn at the poster's request

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123blueflamingo456 · 16/06/2022 04:30

Withdrawn at poster's request

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lissy024 · 16/06/2022 11:32

Good morning, I'm seeking advice about SMP and working for another employer at the end of the entitlement period. Is it possible to discuss this privately please?

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Justkeepswimming20 · 16/06/2022 13:42

Wrong thread

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KatheeH · 16/06/2022 15:46

I’m a Physiotherapist currently on Maternity leave. To practice my profession I need to be registered with the HCPC (heath professions council). This registration comes up for renewal every two years.

Whilst on maternity leave the HCPC emailed me renewal emails which I didn’t see, resulting in me being removed from the register and now unable to return to work.

I can reregister, but this will cost me £150.

This is a huge sum of money and one week’s maternity allowance!!

When I have contacted the HCPC to challenge this fee they have told me they cannot change the fee and it is needed for the organisation to function.

To me if feels like a punishment for not checking emails! I have been on the register 13 years
previously.

To give some context…
My baby was born on 24th December last year, prematurely due to reduced movements via emergency C-Section. I was away in a different country at the time visiting relatives for Christmas.

I was separated from baby at birth due to Covid and we both had a lengthy hospital stay thereafter.

My partner was not allowed to visit myself or the baby and I was not allowed to see my 2 year old during this time either.
On discharge we continued to have lots of out patient appointments which are still ongoing now.

The whole experience was incredibly traumatic for me and I suffered mentally for it.

I’m just coming out the otherwise of this now. To be faced with an unaffordable fee, time infronnt of the laptop/on the phone trying to sort it out and not being to return to work until I do. It’s a real hard slap in the face when I have just started to find my feet again.

I am aware it is my responsibility to keep on top of my professional registration. In my defence however, during maternity leave I understood you do not check work emails. I was also not in the right place mentally to do anything outside of looking after the children.

I had one email one 01/02/2022 asking me to renew. Another 12/04/2022 reminding me. Then one on 01/05/2022 saying I had been removed from the register.

All of these I missed… this wouldn’t have happened if baby had been born on his due date!

When I have looked into the HCPC council meeting summaries regarding this issue, they have flagged it in March 2020 as a problem for people on Maternity Leave being removed from the register and not being able to afford the fee to reregister, but have done nothing about it since.


My question to you is- am I being penalised for being on Maternity leave and having poor mental health?
Can I appeal this and how?

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CatheineWW · 16/06/2022 21:15

I am coming to the end of my maternity leave in 2 weeks. I have contacted my manager to take them up on their advice to return to work doing s phased return due to feeling very anxious and nervous about coming back.

They called me yesterday to say that basically the person doing my role now has a new job and is due to start the day I return. This person is someone in my team who I manage, they stepped up on a secondment. This now means because we are a team member short. They are unable to allow me a phased return. Its also been made clear to me that I will be returning to no handover, just process notes. to re-learn my job anything new since I've been off and also pixk up my team members work to support my other collesgue that I manage. If I wasn't feeling anxious enough before, I feel 10x worse now. They also advised me that the company is going through redundancy and in a nut shell, I should be grateful I still have a job (trying to softrn the blow of no phased return).


I also contacted them back in Jan to put in a flexible working request to work 5 days in 4. Which was rejected.

I do not feel very supported what so ever. Another colleague returned from mat leave (off my team) in Jan and did a phased return. Yet I can't because someone is leaving. And lso of course meaning immense pressure on me the day i return.

I simply do not want to go back and worried for my own mental health. Please help.

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Purplefoxes · 16/06/2022 22:08

I've discovered I'm pregnant whilst working my notice period. I'll be about 20 weeks pregnant when I start my new job, so I won't qualify for anything other than maternity allowance. When legally should I tell them bearing in mind it may be obvious by this point anyway? Also as I will be in my probation period, can they easily get rid of me because of this? I will only be there about 4 months and then be off for my planned c section if all goes well! Should I still be able to do keeping in touch days or will this all be at their discretion? Is there a way I can frame this more positively to my new employer!

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Collscou · 17/06/2022 00:16

Hi,

I’m currently on maternity leave since end of January. I work for the NHS and have recently been offered a new post in a different health trust. In regards to maternity leave am I required to end my leave to commence the new role or do I have a right to delay my return to work?
I’m not currently receiving any occupational/stat pay only Mat allowance.

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MaternityActionfreeadvice · 17/06/2022 10:46

Emeraldgold · 13/06/2022 17:47

I work for a charity in the field assessing the driving and mobility needs for disabled people. This job is loan working, lots of driving, manual handling and physical. I have informed my employer of my pregnancy and had the first risk assessment completed by my manager and HR, however this was a generic risk assessment used by the employer for office based staff. My manager disputes any “heavy” manual handling, I do not have access to welfare facilities or a place to rest. My concerns around my role have been dismissed and HR did not interject, only said they would be guided by my manger. I feel a HSE advisor should complete my risk assessment, manager is a bully who will not make any adjustments easy. If I fight this then she will make my work environment very difficult but I don’t not feel they are considering my welfare or complying with law.
what do I do?

Dear Emeraldgold,

Thank you for your enquiry.

Risk assessment
An employer must carry out an individualised risk assessment in addition to a general risk assessment when an employee informs them that they are pregnant. It's essential to notify your employer of your pregnancy in writing so if you haven't already done this see Next Steps below.
I understand that you have spoken to your employer in relation to your pregnancy; however, they have only carried out a generic risk assessment (which is a requirement upon all employers who employ women of a childbearing age). Employers are also expected to carry out an individual risk assessment which looks at your individual role and any health conditions.

Common risk factors
You have outlined that in your current role the job is physically demanding. As you are pregnant your employer is required to ensure that you are not sitting or standing for long periods of time, lifting or carrying heavy loads. There is further information on risks during pregnancy that you can send your employer on the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website here: www.hse.gov.uk/mothers/

Identifying a risk and the steps to take
After you have had a further discussion with your employer and the risks have been identified (e.g. heavy loads or sitting/standing for long hours), your employer must determine whether they are able to control the risk. If not, they will need to take the following steps:
1.
Make reasonable adjustments to your working conditions or hours of work to avoid the risks. If that is not possible:
2.
Give suitable alternative work on the same terms and conditions including pay.
3.
If that is not possible, then they may have to suspend you on paid leave for as long as the risk remains or until suitable work comes up. If you are suspended because of pregnancy in the last four weeks before your expected week of childbirth your employer can start your maternity leave and pay (but not before).

As your pregnancy progresses your employer is also obliged to keep things under review and to make any further adjustments that are needed.
Rest at work
As you are pregnant you are entitled to more frequent breaks and your employer has a legal obligation to provide somewhere to rest which should include somewhere to lie down.

Next steps
I appreciate that you are experiencing difficulties with your manager which means that any conversation may prove difficult. However, I would advise in the first instance you gently remind your employer of their legal obligations in relation to your health and safety. It can help to provide information as many employers may not be fully aware of your rights during pregnancy and maternity leave and it is a complex area.

As mentioned above, it's important to have notified your employer of your pregnancy in writing so I if you haven't already done so, you should send an email to your manager to confirm your pregnancy. This could also be a good opportunity to send a link to the HSE information above and to ask for an individual risk assessment. I would also suggest copying in HR and if your manager is not open to a discussion then consider whether there is another manager you could speak to or ask for a meeting with HR so that you can talk to them about your concerns.

It can also be very helpful for you to speak with your midwife or doctor to get some medical advice on the risks you consider you are facing to provide to your employer. For instance you can ask them to provide you with a letter or 'fit note' which states that you are well enough to work and setting out the adjustments that are needed to avoid risks to your health and safety during pregnancy. If your employer has access to occupational health you could ask for a referral so that they can advise your employer on what steps they need to take.
You have asked if HSE can do your risk assessment. HSE can provide advice to your employer and you can raise a 'concern' if you want HSE to contact your employer and investigate: www.hse.gov.uk/contact/concerns.htm

HSE covers larger workplaces such as hospitals and schools. In other workplaces you should contact your local authority's environmental health officer and ask them to investigate. You should let your manager and HR know in advance if you intend to contact HSE/your local authority as this can often prompt them to take action.

If you are unable to resolve things and you are concerned about your health and safety at work you should speak to your midwife or GP about taking sick leave from work. It's important to check what sick pay you're entitled to as your maternity pay is based on your earnings in approximately weeks 18 to 26 of your pregnancy. If you are only entitled to Statutory Sick Pay during sick leave you may want to take some annual leave during those crucial weeks in order to protect your maternity pay.

It's best to keep things informal for as long as possible in order to try to maintain a good working relationship but if you're unable to resolve things you can raise matters more formally by using your employer's grievance procedure. I would suggest keeping a written record of what was said and when.

If there are risks at work and your employer fails to carry out a risk assessment and take action to remove the risks this may be pregnancy discrimination. I would suggest seeking further legal advice on the strengths of your claim if you need to pursue it. There are strict time limits for tribunal claims and you must contact ACAS first to start Early Conciliation within 3 months (less one day) from the date of the act or series of acts you are complaining about. We have more information on where to go for more help and starting tribunal clears here: maternityaction.org.uk/where-to-go-for-more-help-legal-clinic/

I hope that helps and that you are able to resolve things quickly.

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Kezzzt · 17/06/2022 12:23

I contacted my employer around 9 weeks ago asking whether I could quit due to multiple reasons regarding their care during my pregnancy and the state of my job since I left (I am a teacher and head of department and they failed to replace me). The school agreed with my proposition that if it went back on the 27th June and worked for ten weeks, they would waive the final three weeks of the legal thirteen weeks that I would need to pay back my maternity pay. I still have 9 weeks of SMP left and read that I could change my maternity leave to shared parental leave and claim these final few weeks from the 1st September. I made this request on the 4th May and three weeks later the school denied my request, stating that I elected to go on standard maternity leave and I’m due to go back on the 27th June. They also said that if I did want to go on shared parental leave, it’s not their responsibility it is my partners. After doing more research I learnt that there are some government forms that I could complete and that it is my legal right to shared parental leave. I am allowed to curtail my mat leave at any point as long as I gave 8 weeks notice. I filled out the forms and informed this person of this information that I have found. I copied in all the senior leaders within my school and still have not heard back. I’ve been chasing the person up and she ignores all my emails. I’ve contacted another senior leader in the school who is responsible for pregnant staff and he said that he would chase them up but it’s been five days and I’ve not heard anything. I have postnatal depression and this is one of the key causes of my low mood. The school is aware of this and my worry about going back. I never wanted to quit my job but the way I have been cared, pushed me into this position. What can I do? Should I contact the union (despite them getting information re maternity pay/leave wrong when I enquired)?

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Kezzzt · 17/06/2022 12:26

My last working day is the 31st August but I have read that as long as I am classed as employed the week before, I am still entitled to shared parental leave

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Grish · 17/06/2022 12:34

Hi there, its been 4 months that i have moved to the UK along with my husband on student dependent visa. I worked in one of the companies but i am not eligible for any kind of maternity pay as the duration of my work was less. I had my baby on 05/06 so, will i be eligible for any grants from the authorized body?

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MaternityActionfreeadvice · 17/06/2022 16:14

Grish · 17/06/2022 12:34

Hi there, its been 4 months that i have moved to the UK along with my husband on student dependent visa. I worked in one of the companies but i am not eligible for any kind of maternity pay as the duration of my work was less. I had my baby on 05/06 so, will i be eligible for any grants from the authorized body?

Dear Grish

Thank you for your enquiry. Unfortunately you are not eligible for Maternity Allowance as you were unable to complete 26 weeks of employment prior to your baby's birth.

If you or your partner can claim public funds you can claim Child Benefit: www.gov.uk/child-benefit/how-to-claim
The only other benefits available are means-tested benefits which will be based on your household income and circumstances. However, these are classed as public funds and you will need to check whether yours or your partner's visa allows you to claim public funds.

If you are able to claim public funds you may be eligible for Universal Credit. You can get help with a claim from the free nationwide Citizens Advice help to claim service on 0800 144 8444. If you are not able to claim public funds, but your partner can claim public funds, he can make the claim for Universal Credit as long as he does not claim any benefit for you. Students with dependents can claim Universal Credit but any student income will be taken into account.

If you or your partner are able to claim Universal Credit, you may also be able to claim the following benefits for your baby but note that these are also public funds. You can also claim the Sure Start Maternity Grant of £500 to buy things for your first baby. Your health visitor or GP will need to sign the form: www.gov.uk/sure-start-maternity-grant/eligibility
If you and your partner are not able to claim public funds but your baby will be a British Citizen and your income is below £408 per month, you can claim Healthy Start vouchers: www.healthystart.nhs.uk/how-to-apply/
If you and your partner are not able to claim public funds and you have no other income you may be able to get support from your local authority.

You can also seek advice from an OISC registered immigration adviser on making an application to have your no recourse to public funds condition removed now that you have given birth.

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Natalie2022 · 18/06/2022 05:27

Hi, am I entitled to unsocial hours payments during maternity leave?

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Aishomosman · 19/06/2022 15:13

I am social care worker , my employer refused to pay me statutory maternity pay, I asked them why ? And I am not satisfied with the reason they gave me , What should I do?

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Grapefruit90 · 19/06/2022 20:30

Wrong thread

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AT1234 · 20/06/2022 00:01

Wrong thread

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MaternityActionfreeadvice · 21/06/2022 16:05

KatheeH · 16/06/2022 15:46

I’m a Physiotherapist currently on Maternity leave. To practice my profession I need to be registered with the HCPC (heath professions council). This registration comes up for renewal every two years.

Whilst on maternity leave the HCPC emailed me renewal emails which I didn’t see, resulting in me being removed from the register and now unable to return to work.

I can reregister, but this will cost me £150.

This is a huge sum of money and one week’s maternity allowance!!

When I have contacted the HCPC to challenge this fee they have told me they cannot change the fee and it is needed for the organisation to function.

To me if feels like a punishment for not checking emails! I have been on the register 13 years
previously.

To give some context…
My baby was born on 24th December last year, prematurely due to reduced movements via emergency C-Section. I was away in a different country at the time visiting relatives for Christmas.

I was separated from baby at birth due to Covid and we both had a lengthy hospital stay thereafter.

My partner was not allowed to visit myself or the baby and I was not allowed to see my 2 year old during this time either.
On discharge we continued to have lots of out patient appointments which are still ongoing now.

The whole experience was incredibly traumatic for me and I suffered mentally for it.

I’m just coming out the otherwise of this now. To be faced with an unaffordable fee, time infronnt of the laptop/on the phone trying to sort it out and not being to return to work until I do. It’s a real hard slap in the face when I have just started to find my feet again.

I am aware it is my responsibility to keep on top of my professional registration. In my defence however, during maternity leave I understood you do not check work emails. I was also not in the right place mentally to do anything outside of looking after the children.

I had one email one 01/02/2022 asking me to renew. Another 12/04/2022 reminding me. Then one on 01/05/2022 saying I had been removed from the register.

All of these I missed… this wouldn’t have happened if baby had been born on his due date!

When I have looked into the HCPC council meeting summaries regarding this issue, they have flagged it in March 2020 as a problem for people on Maternity Leave being removed from the register and not being able to afford the fee to reregister, but have done nothing about it since.


My question to you is- am I being penalised for being on Maternity leave and having poor mental health?
Can I appeal this and how?

Dear KatheeH,

Thanks for your questions and I'm sorry to hear about the challenges you have had.

You do not mention whether you are self-employed, or if you work for an employer. It seems from the context that you are self-employed given that you are responsible for your own professional registration and have been in receipt of maternity allowance as opposed to statutory maternity pay. If that is not correct, and you are employed, then I recommend contacting your employer to explain the issuer and seek their assistance in resolving it at no cost to you, as in practice you would expect them to assist with such matters and monitor your emails.

Assuming you are self-employed, then the next issue is whether your relationship with the HCPC (their role as professional regulator) is covered by the Equality Act. If it is, then they would have a duty not to discriminate against you either on the grounds of maternity leave, sex and/or disability (your health concerns may amount to a disability). As set out on their website, the HCPC as a public body has a public sector equality duty under the Equality Act. This means it must have due regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity, eliminate unlawful discrimination and foster good relations between key equality strands. They must also must look for ways to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people with a protected characteristic and those without – both within the HCPC and in how they regulate.

I suggest that you contact the HCPC and explain to them that you feel that their decision to apply their standard policy to you despite your maternity leave and health conditions, could amount to indirect discrimination (on account of your maternity leave/gender and/or disability) and/or a failure to make reasonable adjustments for your disability. You should explain that you do not think they can objectively justify their approach. And you also think there are other steps they could have (and could still take) to support you. Mainly, that includes waiving the fee.

The aim is to try and convince them to both waive the fee for you and allow re-registration; and (ii) to update their policy to ensure others on family leave are not left in the same position.

If they do not agree, then your recourse would be to explore their internal complaints procedure at HCPC (and you may have already exhausted that option). If that is exhausted, you may wish to raise a civil court action. To do so you have 6 months from the date of the discriminatory act to do so (and as such I would not delay). But, a word of caution is that any legal advice or court process is highly likely to cost more than the £150 registration fee. As such you may be best placed paying the fee to allow you to return to work. You could then always continue to try and recoup that sum form them by explaining your circumstances, and your equality concerns.

I hope this helps,

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MaternityActionfreeadvice · 21/06/2022 16:08

Purplefoxes · 16/06/2022 22:08

I've discovered I'm pregnant whilst working my notice period. I'll be about 20 weeks pregnant when I start my new job, so I won't qualify for anything other than maternity allowance. When legally should I tell them bearing in mind it may be obvious by this point anyway? Also as I will be in my probation period, can they easily get rid of me because of this? I will only be there about 4 months and then be off for my planned c section if all goes well! Should I still be able to do keeping in touch days or will this all be at their discretion? Is there a way I can frame this more positively to my new employer!

Dear purplefoxes

You do not need to inform your employer of your pregnancy immediately once you start your employment.

You will however need to give your employer notice of your intention to take statutory maternity leave before the end of the 15th week before your baby is due (around the 25th week).

If you are suffering from sickness or other illness associated with pregnancy, it is probably sensible to tell your employer as soon as possible so that they can take steps to support you.

Also, once you tell your employer you are pregnant, they should undertake a workplace risk assessment to ensure that the workplace does not post any health and safety risk to you and your child.

The early this risk assessment can be undertaken the better for you, particularly if certain aspects of your job are physical, involve driving or you work unsocial hours.

In relation to your second question, it would be unlawful pregnancy discrimination for your employer to terminate your employment because of your pregnancy and/or any pregnancy related dismissal (e.g. pregnancy-related illness).

However, it would not be unlawful to terminate your employment on non-pregnancy related grounds such as performance or conduct, if your performance or conduct is proven to be unsatisfactory (i.e. it is not a pregnancy-related dismissal dressed up as a performance or conduct dismissal).

In terms of Keeping in Touch (‘KIT’) days, you can work up to 10 days for your employer without it affecting your maternity leave.

KIT days are optional so both you and your employer must agree to them – but there is no reason why your employer should not be willing to agree KIT days with you, particularly when the workplace will still be relatively new to you.

As for your last question, you do not, of course, need to do anything more than notify your employer of your intention to take maternity leave.

I do, however, understand where you are coming from as the sad reality is that not all employers will react enthusiastically to news of an employee’s pregnancy.
That said, employees taking maternity leave is common-place for most employers and a good employer will not see your pregnancy as an issue at all.
Only a bad employer will see it as an inconvenience.

I believe a good employer will appreciate you telling them as soon as possible of your pregnancy so that they can start to make arrangements to cover you during your leave but, as mentioned above, there is no actual requirement for you to notify them any earlier than the 15th week before your expected week of pregnancy.

I hope this is helpful and I wish you all the very best.

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MaternityActionfreeadvice · 21/06/2022 16:09

Natalie2022 · 18/06/2022 05:27

Hi, am I entitled to unsocial hours payments during maternity leave?

Dear Natalie2022
Unfortunately you are not entitled to your normal 'remuneration' during maternity leave. This usually means your normal salary/wages as you are only entitled to maternity pay during your leave and you are unlikely to continue to qualify for payments such as overtime or unsocial hours payments. However, it's important to check your contract (if you have one). You are entitled to continue to accrue your other normal contractual benefits (apart from remuneration) during maternity leave e.g. annual leave and other 'non-cash benefits'.
If you agree to work some keeping in touch (KIT) days during your maternity leave and these involve unsocial hours you should check what your employer is offering to pay you and whether it will include normal unsocial hours payments. The regulations do not state what pay you are entitled to for working KIT days so it's very important to agree your pay in advance if you are planning to do any work during your maternity leave.

You also need to ask your employer whether any KIT days will be paid in addition to your SMP or offset against your SMP as this can make a big difference as to whether it is worthwhile working during your SMP period. If this is the case you may want to save your KIT days and only ask to work during your unpaid maternity leave.
I hope that answers your question.

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MaternityActionfreeadvice · 21/06/2022 16:12

Aishomosman · 19/06/2022 15:13

I am social care worker , my employer refused to pay me statutory maternity pay, I asked them why ? And I am not satisfied with the reason they gave me , What should I do?

Dear Aishomosman

You will be eligible for SMP if you meet all three of the following:
1.You have been employed by the same employer for at least 26 weeks by the 15th week before your expected week of childbirth.

2. You were employed in all or part of the 15th week before your baby is due (even one day counts). You are still employed during sick leave and annual leave.

3. You earned at least £123 per week in the 8 weeks (if you are paid weekly) or 2 months (if you are paid monthly) immediately before the end of the 15th week before your baby is due.

If you do not qualify for SMP your employer should give you an SMP1 form.
If you think your employer has incorrectly refused to pay SMP or has calculated your SMP wrongly, you can contact HMRC Statutory Payments Disputes Team on 0300 322 9422 to ask for a formal decision.

You must contact HMRC within 6 months from the start of your SMP period. If HMRC decide that you are eligible for SMP they will order your employer to pay it. If your employer does not pay your SMP or your employer has gone into liquidation, HMRC will pay your SMP directly.

If you are unable to get through to HMRC by telephone you can write to them at:
Statutory Payment Dispute Team
PT Operations
North East England
HMRC
BX9 1AN

I would suggest contacting your employer to explain that you think you are entitled to SMP and that you are contacting HMRC to ask them to look into it. This may prompt your employer to look at it again. Your employer can get advice from the HMRC Employer's helpline on 0300 200 3200.

You should also let your employer know that all employers are reimbursed for the SMP they will be paying you (including the first 6 weeks at 90% of your average earnings). Your employer can get more information about claiming back SMP and advance payments for small employers here: www.gov.uk/recover-statutory-payments

If you are not eligible for SMP, you may be entitled to Maternity Allowance (MA) instead. You will be eligible if you meet the following employment and earnings test:
1.You have been employed for at least 26 weeks out of the 66 weeks preceding your baby’s due date. The 26 weeks do not have to be in a row or with the same employer. The weeks can be made up of different types of work and you do not need to be currently employed when you make your claim for MA.

2. You earned at least £30 per week on average in any 13 weeks in the 66 weeks preceding your baby’s due date. These weeks do not have to be in a row and can come from any time in your 66 week test period. It is important to send payslips with your highest earnings over the 13 week period in order to get the maximum amount of MA.

You can claim MA anytime from being 26 weeks pregnant and it is advisable you make an early application to avoid delayed or missed payments. MA can only be backdated for a maximum of three months so don't delay applying if you are waiting for a decision from HMRC on your SMP. You make your claim to the Jobcentre and can get a copy of the form from the Government’s website here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/maternity-allowance-claim-form
or you can telephone the JobCentre Plus on 0800 055 6688 and ask for form MA1.

You will need to send a copy of your MATB1 and your payslips in support of your application. If you do not have payslips you can send other evidence such as bank statements or other proof of earnings.All employers are reimbursed for the SMP they will be paying you (including the first 6 weeks at 90% of your average earnings). Your employer can get more information about claiming back SMP and advance payments for small employers here: www.gov.uk/recover-statutory-payments

I hope that helps and you can get your maternity pay.

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MaternityActionfreeadvice · 21/06/2022 16:13

lissy024 · 16/06/2022 11:32

Good morning, I'm seeking advice about SMP and working for another employer at the end of the entitlement period. Is it possible to discuss this privately please?

Dear lissy024,

Thank you very much for your question.

If you do some work for another employer before the baby is born, that will not affect your SMP entitlement. However, if you start work for a new employer after your baby is born, you will only continue to receive SMP from your old employer if you were employed by the new employer in the 15th week before your baby is due.

In those circumstances, you must tell your old employer to stop paying you SMP and return any overpayment to your old employer. Therefore, if you do start work for a new employer at the end of the entitlement period as your question suggests, your SMP will stop.

If your new job is self-employment this does not affect your SMP.

I note that your current employer pays contractual maternity pay. Please note that some employers require repayment of contractual maternity pay if you do not return to your job. This would only apply if it has been agreed in advance or it is specifically stated in your employer's maternity policy or your contract of employment. If that is the case, you would only be required to repay the extra contractual pay over and above SMP.

I wish you all the best.

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