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Labour has called on the Government to protect pregnant women’s access to SMP during the coronavirus pandemic.
Labour has called on the Government to protect the rights of pregnant women during the coronavirus pandemic.
It is backing campaigners’ demands that the statutory maternity pay [SMP] of those pregnant women who were sent home in the early stages of lockdown on Statutory Sick Pay [SSP] should not be affected.
This follows reports that many pregnant women, deemed clinically vulnerable to coronavirus, were wrongly sent home on SSP in the first weeks of lockdown when they should have been given full pay. If that occurred during the qualifying period for SMP it would have affected their average weekly income and so their ability to access SMP.
Andy McDonald, Shadow Secretary of State for Employment Rights and Protections, said: “It is wrong that pregnant women have not only lost income as a result of being wrongly sent home on sick pay rather than their full wage, but have had their maternity pay slashed as well.
“Covid-19 related spells on Statutory Sick Pay should not mean women have their maternity pay cut, and the Government needs to act now, end this injustice and protect pregnant women’s rights.”