This policy is non-contractual and does not form part of your terms and conditions of employment and may be varied or withdrawn at any time without notice. However, this is not applicable to any statutory rights you may have.
Introduction We know that having a child is one of, if not the most important thing that you will do, therefore this policy is to ensure you are clear on your entitlements to statutory leave and pay both while you are pregnant and after childbirth. In addition, it will outline the support you can reasonably expect from us.
Scope All Colleagues, Ireland and Kelly Secondment Employees (KSE’s).
Eligibility You are entitled to a basic period of paid maternity leave regardless of how long you have been working for us or how many hours you work per week. You are also entitled to additional unpaid maternity leave.
Statutory Entitlement You are entitled to 26 weeks maternity leave, in addition to that 16 weeks unpaid additional leave which begins immediately after the maternity leave has ended.
Maternity Leave Periods Your maternity leave must commence no later than two weeks before your expected week of childbirth and no earlier than 16 weeks before the expected date of child birth.
You must also as a minimum take 4 weeks leave after the child is born.
In case you become ill while on additional unpaid maternity leave you may want to end your leave. The company may agree to bring your additional maternity forward as per your request, however you will not be entitled to the remainder of the leave. You will then be treated as being on sick leave and may be entitled to illness benefit from the Department of Social Protection.
Notice Requirements You should let your Line Manager know as soon as reasonably possible that you are pregnant, we ask that this is done in writing, confirming the date of the expected week of childbirth and when you intend to start your maternity leave.
Maternity Leave Policy Ireland
You can bring forward or postpone your maternity leave, we just ask that you give your Line Manager 28 days’ notice (or as much notice as reasonably possible).
There are very strict circumstances in which you may be able to postpone your maternity leave once you are on maternity or additional leave e.g. your child is hospitalised. If you believe you may be eligible for this we ask that you contact a member of the HR team to discuss as if you do
Antenatal Appointments Before your child arrives, you are entitled to a reasonable amount of paid time off to attend antenatal appointments as advised by your doctor, midwife or health visitor.
Antenatal can include relaxation and parent craft classes that you have been advised to attend in addition to your medical appointments.
We ask that you give your manager as much notice of these appointments as is reasonably possible. We may ask to see evidence of your medical appointments e.g. medical appointment cards.
Statutory Maternity Pay The company does not pay any contractual maternity pay. You may however be eligible for Maternity Benefit from the Department of Social Protection if you have paid enough PRSI. Please be aware however that maternity benefit is not paid for the additional 16week maternity leave.
Health and Safety The safety and wellbeing of you and your unborn child is of paramount importance to us. You will find in the “notice requirements” section of this policy the minimum timeframes you have to tell us that you are pregnant, however we encourage you to tell your Line Manager as soon as reasonably possible. On notification that you are pregnant your Line Manager will complete a risk assessment for you in your role which should also be repeated towards the end of your pregnancy also.
A risk assessment will also be completed if you come back to work after recently given birth or are breastfeeding.
If health and safety risks to you and/or your unborn child have been identified these will be removed or you will be moved away from them. If neither action is possible then you will be requested to take health and safety leave. You will be paid your normal wages for the first three weeks of health and safety leave. After this, Health & Safety benefit may be paid.
If you work night shifts and your doctor or midwife has provided you with a medical certificate stating that you must not continue to work nights you may be entitled to Health and Safety Leave. Please refer to the Night Worker Policy for more details.
You should speak with your Line Manager or the HR team immediately if at any time you have any concerns about your health and safety, and that of your unborn child.
Sickness Absence If absent from work for pregnancy related reasons, you will be paid sick pay in line with your contract.
You may experience medical problems related to your pregnancy e.g. morning sickness, we ask that you keep an open dialogue with your Line Manager so that we can support you as far as reasonably possible.
Annual Leave & Public Holidays Your entitlement to annual leave and public holidays continue to accrue when you are on maternity leave, including any additional maternity leave you elect to take.
The public holidays will automatically be paid to you when they are due. Your annual leave entitlement we encourage that you take at the start or the end of your maternity absence, however in some circumstances a payment can be made to reflect the annual leave you have accrued at the end of your maternity absence.
Special Cases If you have a stillbirth or miscarriage any time after the 24th week of pregnancy, you will be entitled to your full maternity leave and to Maternity Benefit.
If your baby is born prematurely maternity leave starts immediately when the baby is born. With effect from 1st October 2017 you will have the right to extend your maternity leave and pay (refer to the Statutory Maternity Pay section in this document for more information). The period between the actual date of birth and the expected start date of maternity leave will correspond to the amount of time you will be able to claim as extra leave and pay.
I.e.: the baby was born in week 30 of the mother’s pregnancy and her maternity leave was planned to start on week 37 (which is 2 weeks before her expected due date) the mother would be able to claim an extra 7 weeks of leave and pay in addition to her
statutory maternity entitlement to pay and leave.
Returning to Work You will be entitled to return to work at the end of your maternity leave or additional maternity leave into the role you held prior to your leave. If for operational reasons this is not feasible, we will find you a reasonable suitable alternative where the terms are no less favourable.
If you return to work and are breastfeeding please do let your Line Manager know as you may be eligible to a reduction of hours without your salary being impacted.
If you decide you do not wish to return to us, you are required to provide us in writing with your standard contractual notice