The principle of equal pay under Community law does not require that women should continue to receive full pay during maternity leave, holds the European Court of Justice in Gillespie and others v Northern Health and Social Services Board and others.
In Alabaster v Woolwich plc and Secretary of State for Social Security, the EAT has ruled that an amendment made to the Statutory Maternity Pay Regulations failed to implement fully the European Court's decision in the Gillespie case because it does not allow women on maternity leave the benefit of pay increases that are not backdated.
In Alabaster v Woolwich plc and another, the EAT holds that a woman was entitled to see the benefit of a pay increase awarded before she went on maternity leave reflected in the calculation of her earnings-related, higher-rate statutory maternity pay ("SMP").
A refusal to pay statutory maternity pay to a woman on maternity leave who did not satisfy all of the conditions of eligibility for such did not constitute sex discrimination contrary to Article 141 of the Treaty of Rome, holds the EAT in Banks v (1) Tesco Stores Ltd (2) Secretary of State for Social Security.
In Abdoulaye and others v Régie Nationale des Usines Renault SA, the ECJ rules that Article 141 of the Treaty of Rome does not preclude the making of a lump-sum payment exclusively to female workers who take maternity leave where that payment is designed to offset the occupational disadvantages which arise for those workers as a result of their being away from work.
A contractual term which requires a woman to undertake to return to work on the expiry of her maternity leave or otherwise to repay any amounts paid to her by her employer over and above statutory maternity pay during that period, does not contravene the equal pay principle contained in Article 119 of the Treaty of Rome and the Equal Pay Directive, rules the European Court of Justice in Boyle and others v Equal Opportunities Commission.
In Handels- og Kontorfunktionaerernes Forbund i Danmark (acting on behalf of Pedersen) v Faellesforeningen for Danmarks Brugsforeninger (acting on behalf of Kvickly Skive), the European Court of Justice rules that certain provisions of Danish law which permit the less favourable treatment in terms of pay of pregnant workers who are incapable of work due to a pregnancy-related illness prior to the commencement of their maternity leave contravene Article 119 and the Equal Pay Directive.
In Handels- Og Kontorfunktionaerernes Forbund i Danmark (Acting on behalf of Pedersen) v Faellesforeningen for Danmarks Brugsforeninger, acting on behalf of Kvickly Skive the European Court of Justice has ruled that it is contrary to EC law to not give full pay to a woman off work for a pregnancy-related illness when a man who was off work ill would receive full pay.
In Banks v (1) Tesco Stores Ltd (2) Secretary of State for Social Security, an industrial tribunal holds that the contract of a part-time employee, who was not eligible for SMP because her earnings were less than the lower earnings limit for payment of national insurance contributions, was less favourable in respect of parental leave than that of a male comparator who was unconditionally entitled to three days' paid parental leave.
In McPherson v Drumpark House the EAT holds that the employment contract of an employee who loses her statutory right to return to work after maternity leave does not necessarily subsist during the period when she receives statutory maternity pay.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to maternity pay.