Yes. All employers can claim back 92% of statutory maternity pay and small employers can claim back 103%, to cover extra administrative costs over and above the statutory maternity pay paid.
You must allow her to take maternity leave, provided she gives the required notice by no later than the end of the 15th week or, if later, as soon as reasonably practicable. It is unlikely that you will have to pay her statutory maternity pay as she will need to have started the job before she became pregnant (i.e. have worked for you for at least 26 weeks up to the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth): https://www.gov.uk/maternity-pay-leave/eligibility.
You should make alternative arrangements by providing alternative clothing which is similar to a uniform or a larger uniform. Some employers have clothing which is suitable for pregnant women.
A pregnant employee says she needs to take frequent toilet breaks or extra breaks because she is feeling sick. What must I do?
You must allow her to take breaks to go to the toilet or if she is feeling sick. If it is impossible to take a break in the job she does because, for example, it would involve the production line stopping, you must offer her suitable alternative work. See: //www.hse.gov.uk/mothers/index.htm. Refusal to allow breaks for health and safety reasons related to her pregnancy is likely to be pregnancy discrimination.
Only if there is an actual risk to her health and safety as a result of the travelling when you will need to alter her working conditions to avoid or reduce the risk. You could consider holding meetings by video conferencing or by phone.
If there is no actual risk to her health and safety then you could agree a temporary adjustment to her working conditions but this is for you to discuss with the employee.
I do not want to offer a pregnant employee training because she is about to go on maternity leave and she will have forgotten it by the time she returns. What must I do?
You must not deny training to a woman because she is pregnant or about to go on maternity leave, and must not make the assumption that she will forget it. However, if the training is going to be out of date when she returns from leave, it would be good practice to discuss this with her and postpone the training if she agrees. If there is training during her maternity leave, it would be good practice to discuss using a Keeping in Touch day (KIT day) to attend.
An employee has not performed well and she says this is because she has had pregnancy related illness. Can I mark her down in her appraisal because of her poor performance?
If her poor performance is because of her pregnancy or pregnancy related absence then you cannot mark her down. To do so would be pregnancy discrimination.
You can take account of any poor performance, which occurred before she became pregnant as this was clearly not affected by her pregnancy.
If an employee is going to be on maternity leave at the time we do performance reviews, what must I do?
Consider whether it is practical to have the review before she goes on maternity leave. It is best if you can carry out a performance review before her maternity leave if possible. If it is not possible then you must make sure that she is not disadvantaged because she does not have a performance review for that year. If her bonus or promotion is linked to her review score, you must treat her as if she had a normal performance review and pay her bonus in any event.
A pregnant employee is due to be considered for promotion but I want to wait until she returns from maternity leave. Can I do that?
No. You must treat your employee as though she was not pregnant or about to be on maternity leave. She should be considered for promotion regardless of her pregnancy or impending maternity leave. To do otherwise might be pregnancy discrimination.
Must I give a pregnant employee the same pay rise as other employees if she is about to go on maternity leave for a year?
Yes. A pregnant employee must be treated in the same way as if she was not pregnant. Her pay rise must be reflected in her earnings related statutory maternity pay and any contractual maternity pay.
A pregnant employee must be paid the same bonus as she would have been had she not been pregnant in relation to the period before she goes on maternity leave. If her work has been affected by pregnancy related illness she should not be disadvantaged in relation to her bonus. Failure to provide the same bonus may be pregnancy discrimination.
Last updated: 12 May 2016