Guidance note 14 to the Employment (Jersey) Law 2003
Maternity Rights (2018)
This short statement is intended to explain to employers and employees the Maternity rights which are set out in Part 5A of the Employment Law (along with adoption and parental leave rights see guidance note 14a). It is not intended to cover the requirements of the Law, nor does it represent a statement of the Law. It constitutes a guide only and detailed legal advice should be taken in relation to each individual situation. Any reference to male persons in the statement should be read as including, or being female persons where this is appropriate.
The aim of the law is to:
Establish the statutory right for employees to:
- take time off for ante-natal care;
- take maternity leave;
- take adoption leave;
- take parental leave for birth or adoption.
The following guidance applies from 1 September 2018
Right to time off for ante-natal care (Art 55B)
Any pregnant employee is entitled to:
- take paid time off work to attend an ante-natal care appointment on the advice of a medical professional, during her normal working hours (as stated in her contract of employment);
Other than her first appointment, the employee must show her employer:
- A certificate from a medical professional stating that she is pregnant; and
- Either an appointment card or another document showing the appointment.
- Married to, or the civil partner or partner of, the pregnant woman, or
- The father of the expected child.
Payment for time off to attend ante-natal care (Art 55C)
A pregnant employee who is entitled to take off for ante-natal care (as per Art 55B - above) (whether permitted by the employer or not) is entitled to be paid at her normal hourly rate (as calculated under Schedule 1).
Any person who has a qualifying relationship with a pregnant woman has the right to paid time off for up to 10 ante-natal appointments:
The following guidance applies only where the expected week of childbirth begins on or after 2 September 2018.
Compulsory maternity leave (Art 55D)
An employer must not require an employee to work during the 6 weeks immediately after giving birth. This applies where the employee would normally have been required (under her contract of employment) to work on those days.
For a period of 6 weeks, an employee is:
- Entitled to be paid her normal salary for minus any sum received under the Social Security (Jersey) Law 1974 in respect of short-term incapacity benefit (Art 15) or maternity allowance (Art 25);
- Entitled to all her usual benefits as set out in her terms and conditions of employment; and
- Is bound by the provisions and obligations arising from her terms of employment.
NB: The rights to paid time off for ante-natal care and compulsory maternity are effective from day 1 of employment, and so an employee need not be employed for any length of time before she can exercise those rights.
In addition to compulsory maternity leave an employee is entitled to:
Ordinary maternity leave (Art 55E)
An employee is entitled to take a further 20 weeks of unpaid maternity leave following her 6 weeks paid compulsory leave as set out above.
The rights apply long as the following conditions have been met by the employee:
She has advised the employer in writing (before the end of the 15th week (maternity leave form available here) before she expects to give birth - or as soon as is reasonably practicable) of the following:
- that she is pregnant;
- the week in which she expects to give birth; and
- the date she intends to start her period of ordinary maternity leave.
If requested to do so, she must present the employer with a certificate from a medical professional advising of the expected week of childbirth.
An employee may vary the date on which she intends to start her ordinary maternity leave by notifying the employer of the change on whichever is the earlier of:
- 28 days before the date she originally intended to start her ordinary maternity leave; or
- 28 days before the new date.
An employee's entitlement to leave is not be affected by the birth, or expected birth, of more than one child as a result of the same pregnancy.
Commencement of ordinary maternity leave (Art 55F)
Ordinary maternity leave will start on the last day notified under Art 55E, however if the birth is early and ordinary maternity leave has not commenced, this will start on the day after her compulsory maternity leave ends.
- The ordinary leave period:
- Must be taken as a continuous period;
- Cannot end before the date the compulsory maternity leave starts.
If the employee's employment ends during her ordinary maternity leave, thetermination date ends the period of ordinary maternity leave.
An employer must notify the employee of the date her ordinary maternity leave will end and this notification should be:
- Within 28 days of the original (or last) date the employer was notified the employee;
- Within 28 days of the date on which the employee's compulsory maternity leave started
There is no obligation on the employee to work during any period of ordinary maternity leave.
Application of terms and conditions during ordinary maternity leave (Art 55G)
During any period of ordinary maternity leave an employee:
- Has the right to all her usual benefits as set out in her terms and conditions of employment except remuneration*; and
- is bound by the provisions and obligations arising from her terms of employment.
* other than any salary, wages, commission or bonus for work done prior to commencing ordinary maternity leave. If any sums are payable to the employee during her ordinary maternity leave by way of wages or salary, the employer may deduct any sum that the employee received under the Social Security (Jersey) Law 1974 in respect of short-term incapacity benefit (Art 15) or maternity allowance (Art 25);
Requirement to notify of intention to return during ordinary maternity leave period (Art 55H)
- If an employee wishes to return from ordinary maternity at an earlier date than was previously notified she must advise her employer of this by giving not less than 4 weeks' notice of her intended return date;
- Failure to give the employer 4 weeks' notice of her earlier return date entitles the employer to postpone her return until such a time as the employer has had 4 weeks notification (but not beyond the end date of the ordinary maternity leave period);
- If an employee wishes to delay her return to work she must give her employer not less than 4 weeks' notice ending with the original return date;
- If an employee returns to work despite a postponement by her employer there is no contractual obligation on the employer to pay her until the date on which her return was postponed;
Work during ordinary maternity leave period (Art 55I)
An employee may agree to work (but cannot be required to work) during any period of ordinary maternity leave. Work can include any training or activity undertaken as part of the keeping in touch with the workplace. This is known as 'keeping in touch' (KIT) days.
- KIT days do not bring the ordinary maternity leave to an end;
- any KIT days, are treated as a day's work;
- KIT days do not extend the length of the ordinary maternity leave period.
Reasonable contact between the employee and the employer (either during compulsory or ordinary maternity leave) say for discussing the employee's return to work does not:
- constitute work; or
- end the period of maternity leave.
Right to return after maternity leave (Art 55J)
An employee is entitled to return to work after the end of either compulsory or ordinary maternity leave to the job she was employed in immediately before going on maternity leave and this entitlement is to return:
- with her seniority, pension and other similar rights as if she had not been absent;
- on terms and conditions that are no less favourable than those which would have applied had she not been absent.