Maternity suspension payments

By Tolley in association with Paul Tew
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The following Employment Tax guidance note by Tolley in association with Paul Tew provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Maternity suspension payments
  • What are maternity grounds?
  • Calculation of remuneration
  • PAYE and NIC

The Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA 1996) gives a number of statutory rights to an employee who has notified her employer that she is pregnant, has given birth in the past six months, or who is breast-feeding a child in relation to being suspended from work. An employee who is suspended from work on maternity grounds is entitled to be paid remuneration by her employer for as long as the suspension lasts. This could be months or years if the employee is breast-feeding and the health and safety of her child is at risk.

What are maternity grounds?

Maternity grounds in relation to suspension from work are where an employee is pregnant, has recently given birth, or who is breast-feeding a child and where continued attendance at work might risk damage to the employee’s, or her baby’s health, as identified by an employer’s risk assessment. This must be a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the health and safety of employees to which they are exposed whilst they are at work. Some common risks may include lifting and carrying, working with chemicals or standing for long periods of time. If the mother’s heath is a concern, advice should be sought from her General Practitioner. If the employer and her employer disagree about the level of risk posed, the employee should follow the employer’s grievance procedure in order to resolve the dispute.

An employee who is suspended on grounds of maternity must remain suspended until the earliest of:

  • her ceasing to be a new

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