Employees planning to take paid parental or adoption leave whilst on furlough will be entitled to full pay based on their usual earnings rather than a furloughed pay rate.
Announced by the government on 24 April 2020, the changes ensures that all employees intending to take time off following the birth, adoption or death of a child, will not see their pay affected during the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, effective from 25 April 2020.
Statutory maternity pay and other forms of parental pay are calculated through an individual’s pay over an eight week period. For maternity allowance, entitlement and the payable rate is determined by assessing an employee’s average pay over a 12 week period.
Employees who are pregnant or are new mothers are entitled to take up to 52 weeks of leave, with the first six of those weeks being 90% of their full pay and the following 33 weeks being paid at the statutory rate of £151.20. Adoption leave and statutory adoption pay follow a similar suit.
Statutory parental bereavement pay is two weeks long and is paid at £151.20 per week or 90% of average earnings.
Paul Scully, business minister, said: “Maternity and other forms of parental leave are pivotal times in people’s lives, and they should absolutely be protected from the impacts of Coronavirus.
“We are supporting employees and businesses in a way never seen before, in response to the unprecedented effects of Coronavirus. These measures will ensure those on the Coronavirus job retention scheme continue to receive the parental leave and pay they are entitled to.
Baroness Stedman-Scott, lords minister for the department for work and pensions, said: “At an already challenging time for families, peace of mind that they can rightly take time off and receive their full entitlement will provide much-needed reassurance.
“Throughout this health emergency we’ve taken unprecedented steps to help those affected make ends meet and today’s new measures further extend vital financial support.”