Maternity Rights Update

March 2012
This month Simply-docs has undertaken a comprehensive review of its Maternity Policy and related documents. Simply-docs has also created a new document entitled Optional and/or Alternative Clauses for the Maternity Policy.

The Optional and/or Alternative Clauses for the Maternity Policy should be read in conjunction with the Maternity Policy and contains a variety of optional and alternative clauses which can be inserted into the standard Simply-Docs Maternity Policy if the employer so chooses. These alternative maternity policy clauses are for use by companies who wish to offer their employees enhanced maternity rights in addition to the statutory maternity rights in respect of: flexible working; a delayed return from maternity leave because of a career break or parental leave; designated on-site facilities to enable the employee to breast feed at work and a gradual handover of, or a phased return to, work after maternity leave.

The Optional and Additional Maternity Clauses include:

1. Post-Maternity Leave (alternative clause)
2. Delayed return from Maternity Leave (optional clause)
3. Breast feeding (optional clause)
4. Meetings with the Company (alternative clause)
5. Returning to Work (alternative clause)

The Guidance Notes to Maternity Rights and Leave have been comprehensively expanded. They now give guidance on basic maternity rights, such as rights to maternity leave and pay, but also more challenging situations relating to pregnancy and childbirth, like medical suspension on health and safety grounds and employee rights following miscarriage and stillbirth. The notes also clarify the contact permitted during maternity leave.

Please also be aware that as of 1st April 2012, the standard rate of statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay increases from £128.73 to £135.45 per week.

The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific legal matter.

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