robbryanassociates

Mary’s Baby is due on the 25th

In Uncategorized on December 13, 2016 at 3:01 pm

A Christmas message (on the lighter side!)

Mary’s baby is due on 25th December, so what is an employer to do?

Joseph needed to take time off to accompany Mary to an ante natal visit. Whilst Joseph was “surprised” to find Mary was pregnant (and there may be some doubt as to whether Joseph is the biological father), if he is in relationship with Mary then it would be appropriate for his employer Carpenter’s R Us to allow him time off for this. There would be no requirement however for this to be paid.

Mary will be entitled to have up to 52 weeks’ maternity leave. She must take off the two weeks following the birth of the baby, this period is “compulsory maternity leave. Mary has been employed for 9 months now and has provided a MatB1 form. Providing Mary’s average earnings exceeded the threshold for 8 weeks before the 15th week before the expected birth she will be eligible to receive Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) for 39 weeks. For the first six weeks of leave Mary will receive 90% of her earnings from her employer.

Mary is about to go on a trip to Bethlehem. We understand that this is due to the census. Whilst the Roman’s failed to pass the necessary Statutory Instrument to create any extra public or bank holiday we are advising all employers that travel should be allowed to travel to fulfil this “public duty” Whether this will be paid will depend on the employment contract. As a separate aside, careful consideration should be given to whether Mary is fit to travel by donkey in the 35th week of pregnancy. Employers should consider completing a Risk Assessment for employees who inform them of their pregnancy.

This week Mary has said she would like to book holiday from Wednesday to take all her remaining holiday for this year. Mary has questioned what will happen to her 5.6 weeks’ holiday next year if she has the whole year off? We suggest Mary’s employer communicates with Mary on a periodic basis throughout the leave period to inform her of any company changes or news. If Mary wishes to return from leave early she will need to provide her employer a minimum of 8 weeks’ notice. Regarding her holiday whilst on leave, she will continue to accrue her holiday during this period. Any remaining holiday that is not used should be carried over to the next holiday year.

Mary has offered to help her employer on a casual “as and when required” basis for festival catering engagements over 2017. Can she do this work whilst on Maternity Leave? The employer and employee can agree to up to 10 Keeping in Touch (KIT) Days this would allow Mary to work and be paid for these days. Any other work for the employer would bring the Maternity leave to an end.

What happens next Christmas? Mary has the right to return to her job as before if she returns after the first 26 weeks (ordinary leave) period. If Mary takes leave up to next Christmas, then she will be entitled to her old job, or if that is not practical, a job on “no less favourable terms”

The Employer thinks that being the mother of the baby Jesus may be a “bit of a handful” and Mary has committed to do whatever she can for her child whether she likes it or not! What if she can’t cope? Can she work part time?

For some time, parents of children under 18 and carers could request changes to their employment terms. This has now been extended to all employees. Mary does not need to wait until the birth of her child to make a request. We suggest the employer arranges to discuss this with Mary giving a written response in good time (but no less than 3 months). The employee has a right to request changes but cannot demand changes! There are specific reasons why a flexible working request can be refused.

Joseph has apparently mentioned to Mary that Carpenters R Us have a special enhanced Maternity policy and thinks that if he was a woman there, then he could take 6 months leave with full pay. Can Mary and Joseph share their leave? A recent court case has highlighted that where parents share leave an employee may well be able to bring a sex discrimination claim, where a man and woman would be treated differently in the same circumstances. Any employer who offers enhanced maternity terms should be well advised to consider what Paternity and Parental leave terms are offered.

 

RBA wishes all our clients and partners a Very Merry Christmas.

This month’s employment focus on the RBA website looks at Maternity issues in the workplace and includes out frequently asked questions  factsheet. The link can be found at http://www.robbryanassociates.org.uk/2016/12/12/focus-on-maternity/

 

Rob Bryan LLM MA FCIPD TechIOSH
Rob Bryan Associates Limited
Tele/Fax 01462 732444

Email rob@robertbryan.co.uk
Mob 07801 223867
robbryanassociates.org.uk

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