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Amendments to law on terms and conditions of employment during maternity and adoption leave come into effect on 5th October 2008
If you employ an expectant mother whose baby is due on or after 5th October this year, you must make changes to the benefits entitled to staff on Maternity Leave.

This covers non cash benefits such as private health care, gym membership, company car and mobile phone etc, as well as the accrual of contractual holiday entitlement. Maternity Leave is currently divided into two parts; 26 weeks of Ordinary Maternity Leave (OML) and 26 weeks of Additional Maternity Leave (AML). Previously, an employer was only obliged to provide an employee’s contractual benefits for the period covering Ordinary Maternity Leave. For all women whose babies are due on or after 5th October 2008, an employer will be obliged to provide contractual benefits for the entire 52 weeks. So an employee with a Company car will keep throughout the leave. It is worth remembering that those on Maternity Leave are regarded to be employees for the entire period they take off and have the right to return to work. They may not take holiday entitlement during their leave, but must do so before the leave starts or after they return, regardless of whether they take their full entitlement of 52 weeks or not.

The new regulations can be complicated, however. For example, if you normally make pension contributions, these have to continue during paid Maternity Leave which is 39 weeks, but the position regarding pension entitlement during the unpaid periods of additional maternity and adoption leave remains unchanged.
Posted on 19 Nov 2016

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