Miscarriages, Still Births and Premature Births
Miscarriages, still births and premature births present a very sad set of circumstances for the HR hat wearer in any business. I received 2 calls relating to this very subject last week and then heard the news on Sunday about Amanda Holden’s loss. This article provides a brief overview of the rights a woman has in the event of a miscarriage, still birth or premature birth to maternity leave.
Stillbirth or miscarriage before the 25 week of pregnancy
If a woman miscarries her baby earlier than the 25th week of her pregnancy, i.e. up to the 7th day of the 24th week, she will not qualify for any maternity leave, statutory maternity pay or maternity allowance. If she takes a period of sickness absence from work, she should be paid her contractual sick pay, or Statutory Sick Pay if there is no contractual sick pay.
Stillbirth from the 25th week of pregnancy onwards
If a woman has a stillbirth from the 25 weeks onwards, she would be eligible to maternity leave, statutory maternity pay or maternity allowance in the usual way.
Birth of a living child before the 25 week
If a woman gives birth to a living child, even in cases where the baby later dies, at any point in her pregnancy she will be entitled to maternity leave, statutory maternity pay or maternity allowance in the usual way.
The main recommendation I make in these circumstances is to talk to your employee and find out what they want to do and most importantly ask them what message they want you to give out to other employees about what has most likely been a sudden and unplanned absence from the workplace.
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A subscription to my Library of Essential HR Documents provides a ‘Ready To Go HR Department’ that offers simple step by step advice to common HR problems. I like breaking down processes into simple easy to follow steps and have check-lists and templates for absolutely every HR situation you can think of. My easy-to-follow flow charts, meeting scripts, check-lists and template letters ensure everything is done properly, efficiently and compliantly in a professional, friendly and knowledgeable way.
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The Having a Baby or Adopting a Child folder provides a comprehensive range of model policies and template letters for maternity, paternity, adoption leave, ordinary parental leave and shared parental leave. There are also a range of How to Guides that deal with unusual situations such as what to do when an employee becomes pregnant again whilst on maternity leave.
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