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Your maternity leave is divided into 26 weeks Ordinary Maternity leave (OML) and 26 weeks Additional Maternity Leave (AML).Your employment contract continues while you are on maternity leave and you can continue to benefit from some of your rights under your contract.You are not allowed to work for two weeks after childbirth (or four weeks if you work in a factory) as this period is Compulsory Maternity Leave. There are two types of maternity pay – Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) and Maternity Allowance (MA). If you qualify for maternity leave, the last 13 weeks are unpaid.
To change your return date you must give eight weeks notice before the original return date or the new return date, whichever is sooner.
You can change your return date more than once (as long as you give enough notice).
Your contract can offer you better, but not worse rights, than those described in this information. In fact, it is unlawful to treat fixed term workers less favourably than permanent workers.
You have all the maternity and health and safety rights of ordinary employees.
You have the right to return to your job after your maternity leave.
Your employer should assume that you wish to take 52 weeks of maternity leave, unless you give notice otherwise.Although the original intentions of Swedish derogation were to offer reassurance that individuals would still earn during quieter periods, some employers have been using this opt-out to reduce the size of their pay bill.Nowadays it is very unusual for agency workers to have gaps between their assignments, and in some cases, employers have devised schemes to keep their exposure to a minimum contrary to the requirements originally outlined.This involves increasing enforcement protections for agency workers where they have pay withheld or unclear deductions made, while new legislation will increase the maximum penalty imposed during employment tribunals on the grounds of aggravated breach.These proposed changes will significantly change the enforcement landscape, naming and shaming employers who fail to pay tribunal awards on time and making workers aware of the rights they have.Within this plan, the government commits to a wide range of policy and legislative changes, clarifying the relationship between employers and workers, while ensuring the enforcement system is fair and fit for purpose.One of the main issues addressed is ‘one-sided flexibility’, which recognises some businesses have transferred too much business risk to the individual, affecting their financial security and personal wellbeing.For those working zero-hour contracts, this change will allow them to request a contract that guarantees a minimum number of weekly hours, which is crucial when looking to secure a mortgage.The Good Work Plan also addresses Swedish derogation, which currently allows agency workers to exchange their right to be paid equally to permanent counterparts in return for a contract guaranteeing pay between assignments.The government unveiled its Good Work Plan in December last year as a direct and carefully detailed strategy to strengthen worker’s rights and change employment laws.It outlines an intention to improve conditions for agency, zero-hour and other atypical workers.