Redundancy just before maternity leave: ask the expert

I am 35 weeks pregnant and have been told my role is being made redundant. I have worked at the organisation for five years and have an 8 week notice period. I have been told I will not receive my full pay during this period, only my maternity pay. This is because my contractual notice period is at least one week longer than the statutory notice period. This seems very unfair. I thought the point of statutory requirements was to provide a minimum level of protection and I feel this is effectively being side stepped. Is there anything I can do?

Employees with continuous employment of at least one month but less than two years are entitled to at least one week’s notice from the employer. Employees with two years’ continuous employment or more, are entitled to one week’s notice for each complete year, up to a maximum of 12 weeks. Accordingly, your statutory entitlement would be 5 weeks’ notice. However, you have an agreement in place entitling you to three weeks more than the statutory minimum notice period.

Particular statutory rules govern the right to pay during the statutory part of the notice period. If the employee has normal working hours, then they are entitled to be paid at the normal hourly rate during any part of the statutory notice period during which they are:

– “Ready and willing” to work even if no work is provided by the employer;

– Incapable of work because of sickness or injury;

– Absent from work wholly or partly because of pregnancy, childbirth, adoption leave, parental leave or paternity leave; or

– Absent from work on holiday in accordance with their terms of employment relating to holidays.

However, this rule only applies to those employees whose notice period is merely statutory notice period (or exceeds statutory notice by less than a week). These provisions do not apply where the employee is contractually entitled to a notice period which exceeds the statutory minimum notice period by at least one week, such as yours.

In relation to your statutory maternity pay, the first six weeks is at the rate of 90% of your full salary and the remaining weeks will at the statutory maternity rate of £135.45 per week.





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