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Changes in Maternity Leave benefits
The government is in the process of changing the law so that employees are entitled to retain their full benefit package (apart from pension contributions) throughout maternity leave, rather than for just the first six months of maternity leave as is the case now. The new law affects women whose expected week of childbirth (EWC) is on or after 5 October 2008.

Workers on the first six months of Ordinary maternity leave are currently entitled to any benefits, apart from those that relate to cash remuneration – for instance, company cars, health insurance and gym membership. For the second six months of Additional maternity leave, they are only entitled to key core benefits such as term of notice and disciplinary procedures.

However, the new legislation will entitle workers whose expected week of childbirth falls after October 2008 to full benefits for the whole 12-month term of their maternity leave.

The practical consequences of the regulations will not be seen until the affected employees enter the second six months of their maternity leave, which will not be until 2009. However, you may need to review your policies and discuss the new rules with these employees before their leave starts, which could be as early as July 2008.
Posted on 19 Nov 2016

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