Forced to return early – the impact of low rates of maternity pay
Maternity Action
by Lisa Roscoe
1M ago
By Annah Psarros, Senior Policy Officer Maternity pay in the UK is some of the lowest among comparable countries and the cost of living crisis has exacerbated the financial hardship experienced by new mothers and their families. Mothers are returning to work earlier than they would like in order to avoid long periods of low income – with potentially detrimental effects on their health and wellbeing.  ‘The terrible maternity leave conditions we have was already a worry, never mind the cost of living crisis we now face as well.’ Survey Respondent Women in the UK have very low rates of mat ..read more
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Mothers, work and the cost of living
Maternity Action
by Lisa Roscoe
2M ago
By Annah Psarros, Senior Policy Officer Loss of earnings, discrimination from employers, lack of employment rights and outdated notions of women’s income as ‘non-essential’ are some of the factors that disadvantage pregnant women and new mothers at work. The poorly designed system of statutory leave for fathers and second parents has been a missed opportunity to redress the balance. With the ever-rising cost of living, women’s place on the employment market may be more important than ever. So what needs to change? UK women on maternity leave are some of the worst paid among their international ..read more
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NHS charging blog – Rosa fund videos
Maternity Action
by Lisa Roscoe
2M ago
Today Maternity Action is launching a series of videos featuring women who tell us what it is like to be charged thousands of pounds for their maternity care. These videos offer a glimpse into some of the problems women face when they receive an NHS bill (usually without warning or explanation) whilst navigating pregnancy, poverty or low income and insecurity.  It is UK Government policy to charge people who are not ‘ordinarily resident’ for NHS care.  Chargeable pregnant women are asked to pay thousands of pounds for straightforward births and even more for C-sections or more compli ..read more
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Healthy eating for mothers? Getting by on maternity leave during the cost of living crisis.
Maternity Action
by Lisa Roscoe
3M ago
By Annah Psarros, Senior Policy Officer The importance of good nutrition during pregnancy, breastfeeding and early life is indisputable. As the NICE guideline on maternal and child nutrition states, it forms the foundation for the long‐and short‐term health of both mother and baby. However, the cost of living crisis has made it more and more difficult for pregnant women, new mothers and their young children to maintain a healthy diet, as the price of food and other essentials have skyrocketed. It is becoming more and more difficult for women on maternity leave to cover everyday costs. As only ..read more
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The Flexible Working Act 2023 – ground-breaking legislation or a missed opportunity
Maternity Action
by Michaela Lee
5M ago
By Natalia Byng, Solicitor What is flexible working? There has been a lot of press in recent weeks about the changes to flexible working and the new rights we all have – but actually what are the new “rights” and do we all have them?? Keep reading if you want to know… Working from home has been the topic of many headlines over the last few months post-pandemic. However, flexible working encompasses more than simply working from home – it can mean a change to your hours of work, the days you work, your place of work, or a combination of these in relation to your current job role. Currently, sta ..read more
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Working during the Maternity Allowance period – tribunal decision
Maternity Action
by Lisa Roscoe
6M ago
By Katie Wood, Senior Legal Officer This blog looks at a tribunal decision, supported by Maternity Action, which clarifies entitlement to Maternity Allowance if a woman works for more than ten days. Keeping-in-touch (KIT) days   Employed women can work for up to ten days during maternity leave without bringing leave or maternity pay to an end. KIT days are optional and neither an employee, nor an employer, can insist on working during maternity leave. However, many women need to continue working in order to top up very low levels of maternity pay or in order to prepare for a return t ..read more
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Home Office must pay Asylum Support to pregnant women/new mothers living in Initial Accommodation
Maternity Action
by Lisa Roscoe
6M ago
High Court rules that the Home Office must start paying Asylum Support and extra financial provision to pregnant women and new mothers living in Initial Accommodation.  On Friday 21 July 2023, the High Court ruled that the Home Office’s refusal to provide additional weekly payments to pregnant asylum seeking women and for children under 3 years old in (asylum support) hotels is unlawful. Maternity Action provided important evidence on this case to the legal firm representing the two claimants, Deighton Pierce Glynn, along with other migrant’s rights’ organisations.  The two claimants ..read more
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Shared Parental Leave evaluation: The Government’s response
Maternity Action
by Lisa Roscoe
6M ago
By Ros Bragg, Director Blog 5 of 5. The Government’s evaluation of the Shared Parental Leave identified a number of problems with the scheme, including extremely low take-up rates.  The Government’s recommendations for change are very limited, focusing on minor changes to Paternity Leave. The evaluation of Shared Parental Leave exposed serious problems with the scheme.  Take-up is low, probably less than 2% of all working fathers.  Those taking Shared Parental Leave are overwhelmingly older, highly qualified, higher paid fathers who are entitled to contractual pay. Key factors a ..read more
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Shared Parental Leave evaluation: What are the health impacts of Shared Parental Leave?
Maternity Action
by Lisa Roscoe
7M ago
By Ros Bragg, Director Blog 4 of 5. Maternity leave and pay are health and safety provisions intended to support the mother to recover from the birth and bond with the baby. Maternity leave is also a key measure to support breastfeeding.  The introduction of Shared Parental Leave has the potential to impact on the duration of leave taken by both parents so it is disappointing that the recent evaluation of Shared Parental Leave did not touch on these questions. Women’s bodies take six months to recover from childbirth.  One in three UK women give birth by caesarean, and these women fa ..read more
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Shared Parental Leave evaluation: What are the barriers and enablers for taking leave?
Maternity Action
by Lisa Roscoe
7M ago
By Ros Bragg, Director Blog 3 of 5. In the eight years since Shared Parental Leave was introduced, there have been several communications campaigns to raise awareness of this option for taking leave.  Take-up of leave remains very low, possibly less than 2% of all working fathers and second parents, and concentrated amongst parents who are older, higher earners in professional or management roles. The recent Shared Parental Leave evaluation explored some of the factors influencing take-up of leave.  This is the third in a series of blogs exploring the evaluation findings. The evaluat ..read more
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