Maternity Rights

It is common for women to get pregnant at some point in their life. For those who work in the United Kingdom, it is important for these females to realize that they do have six basic rights while pregnant and after birth.

The most simple right these women have is that they cannot be fired or dismissed because they are pregnant or have children. Employers cannot decide to terminate a contract because one of their employees is going to give birth. If they do so, the employee can take the matter to the tribunal for an unfair dismissal hearing.

The second right that all employees, regardless of their current tenure at a job, have is to take a pregnancy leave. This period is stated to be a maximum of twenty-six weeks of paid leave, where the employment contract continues through. The maternity leave cannot begin until at least eleven weeks into the pregnancy, and most of the time each individual employer will decide when the period begins. Of course, pregnant women must have proof their pregnancy from doctors and give a months notice of their leave before the period is set to begin.

Each female also has the right to return to work after their maternity leave is finished. The employer cannot decide to simply not give the job back to their female employee because she was gone for a few months. As with the leave, the returning employee must give three weeks notice to the employer of her return and await a response on when the employer wishes her to come back.

Each female is also entitled to be paid during her maternity leave. As long as she fulfills the conditions given above and a few other criteria, a woman is paid nine/tenths her annual salary for the first six weeks of her leave, and then less for the remainder of the maternity absence. This is for up to twenty weeks of leave only.

If an employee works at a job where she simply cannot work safely while pregnant, the employer must offer her an alternative job, if one exists, to perform before she takes her leave. In many cases like this, an employer will simply suspend the pregnant woman from working until she has given birth. If there is such a job and it is not offered, and the employee is suspended, then she has a right to take the matter to the tribunal and ask for damages.

The final thing every pregnant woman is allowed is the right to take time off for ante natal care. If a medical professional recommends a woman take this, she can take paid time off and attend. Not allowing her to do so goes against her rights, so employers must comply.

Overall pregnant women and women who have just given birth have many rights they should know concerning their employment. Women should take full advantage of the rights they have and ensure they are not being taken advantage of by their employers.

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