Furloughed workers planning to take paid parental or adoption leave will be entitled to pay based on their usual earnings rather than a furloughed pay rate, the government announced today (24 April).
Entitlement to Statutory Maternity Pay, as well as the other forms of Parental or Adoption Pay, are currently calculated through someone’s average earnings over an 8-week assessment period. For Maternity Allowance, entitlement and the rate payable is also determined by looking at average earnings over a 13 week period.
The statutory instrument laid in Parliament today will ensure workers whose period of family-related pay begins on or after 25 April will be assessed on their usual, full pay.
The changes will ensure those intending to take time off following the birth, adoption, or death of a child will not see their entitlement to pay affected as a result of being furloughed in the wake of the impacts of COVID-19.
Business Minister Paul Scully 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 COVID-19.
“We are supporting workers and businesses in a way never seen before, in response to the unprecedented effects of COVID-19. These measures will ensure those on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme continue to receive the parental leave and pay they are entitled to.”
Lords Minister for the Department for Work and Pensions, Baroness Stedman-Scott 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.”