All our associates and their staff are entitled not to be subjected to any type of unfavourable treatment because of their pregnancy or if they are ill because of their pregnancy. You should therefore ensure that pregnant associates do not experience:
- exclusion from training or other normal activities
- detrimental change to job duties
- removal of responsibility
- pressure to terminate contract for services; or
- abuse or derogatory remarks
The news of pregnancy is the associate’s news and not for managers to share. When you are advised on an associate’s pregnancy, you should therefore keep this information confidential until such time as the associate has shared this information
Health and Safety During Pregnancy
If the duties of a pregnant associate are in any way likely to cause them harm, steps must be taken to remove or reduce the risks. Specifically, consideration must be given to whether it is necessary to:
- adjust the associates working hours if they are normally employed on night work and removal from night working has been recommended by their doctor
- remove the associate from any duties that might pose a risk to health or safety; transfer them to an alternative role - which must be on terms and conditions not substantially less favourable than those of the usual role, unless they specifically request this course of action in writing; or
- if alternative work is not available or would not remove or reduce the risks to the associate, contact the EM/SDM to discuss placing them on paid suspension until the commencement of the maternity period
Time Off Work for Doctor/ Antenatal Appointments
Huntswood’s approach to time off for antenatal care or other doctor’s appointments is that an associate can take time off work on medical advice to attend such appointments, although they may be asked to make the time up. Appointments should preferably be made for the start or end of the working day.
Associates should contact either the umbrella company through which they are engaged or their PSC to discuss arrangements for pay.
An individual who is not an employee has no entitlement to ‘maternity leave’, nor is there an automatic right to return to the role that they are contracted to.
An umbrella associate may be eligible to receive statutory maternity pay from their Umbrella Company if they have the required length of service.
Please refer them to their Umbrella Company for further information.
PSC/Ltd. company associates should be referred to the Department for Work and Pensions - www.dwp.gov.uk.
Generally, Huntswood’s approach is that associates are treated as a leaver and the contract is terminated when they take extended absence due to pregnancy or childbirth. Occasionally, the services will be ‘suspended’ and the contract will continue to run. Any discussions in relation to this should involve the EM/ SDM and be with their agreement.
If/when they make contact following the birth and/or period of absence and wish to reengage, if the client contract is still running and there are roles available, we will discuss their return to the engagement. It may not be possible to return to the same working patterns or role.
- When receiving a request to take a break for long-term absence due to pregnancy you must refer to the EM/SDM, who will discuss this with the client.
- Tell the associate if they are contracted through an umbrella company they should be referring to them to notify of pregnancy as soon as practicable to ensure the umbrella, as their employers, takes the necessary steps
- Reiterate that
- Any enquiries around maternity rights should be discussed with their employer (e.g. umbrella company)
- Huntswood through the EM/SDM may consider suspending the services for an agreed period
- They may be able to return if there is a vacancy and the contract with the client is still running
- Use the same process for men wishing to take extended leave to care for a baby (equivalent to an employee taking “paternity” leave)
- During the pregnancy, you need to make reasonable adjustments
- What can be done to support them
- Whether their doctor has recommended anything
- If there is anything else that can be done where adjustments have been made but there are service delivery issues
- Allow reasonable time off for antenatal appointments
- Arrange a DSE assessment
- Seek advice from Legal, via the Huntswood EM/SDM, where:
- There are exceptions
- The service cannot be delivered and reasonable adjustments have been made
- Document by email EM/DSM/ to the PSC:
- That the pregnancy/illness has been disclosed
- Every conversation
- Any reasonable adjustments that have been agreed where appropriate
- Use the words “maternity leave”
- Ask for evidence or a sick note
- Reach a verbal agreement on “maternity leave”
- Have discussions regarding returning to work or their role