Equality of terms: pregnancy and maternity
Equality of terms: pregnancy and maternity

The following Employment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Equality of terms: pregnancy and maternity
  • Maternity equality clause
  • No comparator required
  • Effect of maternity equality clause
  • The protected period
  • Effect of pay increases on maternity-related pay
  • Timing of payments
  • Effect of pay increases on pay after return from maternity leave
  • Pensions—maternity equality rule
  • Relationship with pregnancy and maternity discrimination provisions
  • More...

IP COMPLETION DAY: 11pm (GMT) on 31 December 2020 marks the end of the Brexit transition/implementation period entered into following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. At this point in time (referred to in UK law as ‘IP completion day’), key transitional arrangements come to an end and significant changes begin to take effect across the UK’s legal regime. This document contains guidance on subjects impacted by these changes. Before continuing your research, see Practice Note: Brexit and IP completion day—implications for employment lawyers.

A woman absent on maternity leave is in a unique position, which requires her to be afforded special protection, but which is not comparable with that of a man actually at work. A woman on maternity leave is not therefore entitled to full pay, despite the principle of equal pay under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. However, this does not mean that a woman on maternity leave is excluded from all equal pay rights whilst on maternity leave (see: Effect of maternity equality clause below).

As is the case with non-maternity protection (see Practice Note: Equality of terms: definition of 'pay'—The principle of equal pay for equal work), the Equality Act 2010 differentiates between:

  1. contractual entitlements: these are covered by the maternity equality of terms provisions, which apply a maternity equality clause into a woman's contract

  2. non-contractual entitlements:

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