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Browse frequently asked questions and answers on key HR issues. Navigate by topic or key word search. View latest additions or suggest a question to the XpertHR editorial team.
Where an employee has been absent on maternity leave must she return to work for a particular period of time before qualifying for another period of maternity leave and pay?
Where an employee takes annual leave prior to her maternity leave, but gives birth early, will her maternity leave still start after the period of annual leave?
Can an employee take a period of paid holiday in between her ordinary maternity leave and additional maternity leave?
How does an employer determine an employee's right to statutory maternity pay?
Which individuals are excluded from the right to claim statutory maternity pay?
Where a pregnant employee has two jobs will she be entitled to statutory maternity pay from each employer?
How is statutory maternity pay calculated?
What is included in an employee's "normal weekly earnings" for the purposes of calculating statutory maternity pay?
Can an employee who does not have average weekly earnings of at least the lower earnings limit for national insurance purposes claim any financial assistance throughout her maternity leave?
If a part-time employee temporarily increases her hours for a period prior to her maternity leave, on what basis should her maternity pay be calculated?
How is statutory maternity pay calculated when there is a salary-sacrifice arrangement in place?
Can an employee who has not been employed by her employer for 26 weeks by the qualifying week claim any financial assistance throughout her maternity leave?
Can an employer offer an employee less money for alternative work during her pregnancy where she cannot do her normal job because of the risks involved?
Should allowances such as travel allowances and car allowances be used in the calculation of statutory maternity pay?
If an employee is in receipt of sick pay during the period for the calculation of statutory maternity pay, is her maternity pay calculated on her actual pay or the pay that she would normally have received?
Where an employee in the early stages of pregnancy is taking regular time off sick how should the employer handle the situation?
It would seem not, following
North Western Health Board v Margaret McKenna Case C-191/03 ECJ. The European Court of
Justice ruled that an employer is entitled to treat an employee's incapacity for
work due to a pregnancy-related illness in the same way as incapacity for work
caused by any other illness, subject to two conditions. A reduction to a female
employee's pay due to pregnancy-related sickness absence will not be unlawful
provided that the employee is treated in the same way as an absent male employee
would be treated, and "provided that the amount of pay made is not so low as to
undermine the objective of protecting pregnant workers". This means that the
employee's pay cannot be reduced to zero if her sickness absence is pregnancy
related and she must be paid a minimum level of income. There is no minimum
level of income specified in statute, but in an earlier case (Gillespie and others v Northern Health and Social
Services Board and others(No.2)  IRLR 410 NICA) it
was held that an income equivalent to statutory sick pay would be sufficient to
satisfy the minimum income requirement in these circumstances.
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