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How Does Holiday Pay and Sick Pay Work on Maternity Leave?

Many employers allow their employees to add all of their annual leave to their maternity leave. So, often mums-to-be will book their holiday off around their maternity leave, tacking it on to the end of their maternity leave or having it before their due date. 

What happens to paid holiday during maternity leave?

Whilst you are on maternity leave you continue to build up your statutory and contractual holiday entitlement just as if you were at work.

Your statutory entitlement is 28 days including bank holidays for a full time worker. Your contract may provide you with more days than this.

What happens to any paid holiday not taken before the end of a holiday year?

If you are unable to take up all of your holiday entitlement due to being off work on maternity leave then you should be able to carry over some or all of your untaken leave into next year.

You should check your employment contract as it may state that contractual holiday may not be carried over. You should be permitted to carry over your statutory entitlement.

What happens if I’m off work sick when my maternity leave starts?

As soon as your maternity leave starts your sick pay will stop. You are not entitled to statutory sick pay during the maternity pay period.

If you are off work with a maternity-related sickness before your maternity leave starts you should notify your employer as soon as you can. If you’re off work in the four weeks before your expected week of childbirth, then your maternity leave will start a day after the first day your took off work sick.

You should note that antenatal care does not count as a pregnancy-related sickness. You should not be treated unfairly just because you have been off work sick due to a pregnancy-related illness. Sadly, we do see cases where people have suffered maternity discrimination for this reason. Absence from work due to pregnancy sickness in itself is not a valid reason for redundancy selection or disciplinary action. You should contact an employment lawyer if this has happened to you.

Do you accrue bank holidays when on maternity leave?

It depends on your contract. If your contract says you are paid for public holidays then bank holidays will be a part of your holiday entitlement and, as such, these should accumulate during your maternity leave.

If you have been treated unfairly at work because of your pregnancy, contact the Maternity Discrimination Solicitors at Slater and Gordon Lawyers. Call us on freephone 0800 916 9060 or contact us online.

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