Maternity leave/public holidays and Settlement Agreements

Maternity leave/public holidays and Settlement Agreements Women on maternity leave are not entitled to bank holidays…

This is not necessarily straight forward. A woman’s contractual terms (except those relating to remuneration) continue during maternity leave (ordinary and additional). Women should expect to accrue their statutory annual leave entitlement during maternity leave (5.6 weeks or 28 days under the Working Time Regulations) as well as any contractual leave they may have on top of that.

Where a contract states that an employee is entitled to 20 days plus the 8 pubic holidays a woman can expect to take her full 28 day entitlement either before or after maternity leave. However where the contractual right exceeds the statutory minimum of 28 days in total (i.e. 25 days plus 8 public holidays) it becomes more complicated. The first 28 days (25 days plus 3 public holidays) would be dealt with as above. Whether the 5 additional public holiday days might be taken in lieu will depend on the drafting of the term in her contract of employment. If there is a right to time off but not necessarily to be paid for such time, then the woman can expect to be given the 5 days holiday but not be paid for it. If there is a right to pay then it is likely to be classed as a right to remuneration and therefore does not continue throughout maternity leave.

It is always essential that you are aware of your rights so that you know whether or not you are being treated fairly. Rights surrounding annual leave and maternity are regularly the subject of disputes in the workplace and often are the catalyst for an employer offering a Settlement Agreement. If you have been offered a Settlement Agreement in similar circumstances please do contact a member of our team.

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