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Furlough Pay and Maternity

March 2020


Pregnant and new mums now have to consider how the government emergency coronavirus guidance affects them. It is early days and there is little published information but we thought you would like to read our initial interpretation (with some guesses) at how the new measures will affect you and your pay during your pregnancy and maternity leave.

Furlough pay is being introduced by the government to help employers retain staff during the emergency. Furlough pay is 80% of your pay* based on a maximum of £2500 per month. This means that the maximum furlough pay you can get is £2000 per month. Your employer may top this amount up to the normal level of your pay. Furlough Pay will probably be based on your pay* in February 2020. Pregnant mums are designated as vulnerable and are advised to self isolate so may be put on furlough pay if they are less than 29 weeks pregnant and not able to work from home. Furlough Pay should not affect mums already on maternity leave.

We have divided pregnant and new mums into six categories to explain the possible changes to their pay during maternity leave following the introduction of the furlough pay.

On Maternity Leave
  1. If you are currently getting Maternity Allowance, this will be based on 148.68/week for 39 weeks. From 6th April 2020 this rises to £151.20
  2. If you are currently getting Statutory Maternity Pay and are in the first 6 weeks of your maternity leave, you will still get 90% of your previous salary (based on the relevant time period) which includes SMP, followed by 33 weeks of SMP.
  3. If you are currently getting Contractual Maternity Pay this will be as previously agreed in your contract of employment.

Use our Maternity Pay Calculator to find out how much Maternity Pay you will receive while on leave.

Not yet on Maternity Leave
  1. If you are working from home and self isolating, you will still be getting your usual pay. Your pay may now change to Furlough Pay if you employer accesses the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
  2. If you are less than 29 weeks pregnant and at home because you are sick, you will either be eligible for Contractual Sick Pay or Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). SSP is currently 94.25 week rising to 95.85 from April 6th 2020.
  3. If you are more than 29 weeks pregnant, you will probably have to request to start your maternity leave. Your maternity pay will either be Maternity Allowance, Statutory Maternity Allowance or contractual (occupational, employment) maternity pay.

We will add to this article and update it as and when we get new guidance from the government. Stay healthy and safe.