Can I recruit a temporary replacement if my pregnant employee is likely to be off ill for a long time?
Yes, you can recruit a temporary replacement if your pregnant employee is likely to be off ill for a long time, but you must not remove an employee’s job from her just because she is off work with pregnancy related illness. You can cover her absence in the short-term in the same way as you would with any employee. It is good practice to discuss this with your employee to reassure her that her replacement is temporary until she is well enough to return to work.
What if she is ill for a reason not related to her pregnancy?
If your employee's ill health is not related to pregnancy then she can take sick leave like any other employee. You must not insist on her starting her maternity leave early unless the illness is related to her pregnancy.
Is an employee entitled to time off to have fertility/IVF treatment?
You are not legally required to give an employee time off to have fertility/IVF treatment. Any time off for fertility/IVF treatment should be treated in the same way as other medical appointments. We recommend that employers treat requests for time off for fertility/IVF treatment sympathetically. Employers may wish to establish procedures for allowing time off for fertility/IVF treatment. These procedures may enable women to tell named members of staff on a confidential basis that they are having treatment.
What are the rights of a woman undergoing IVF and when is she treated as being pregnant?
A woman undergoing IVF is treated as being pregnant after fertilised eggs have been implanted. If the implantation fails, the protected period, during which a woman must not be treated unfavourably on the ground of her pregnancy, ends two weeks later.
What if a woman is ill following IVF treatment?
It is good practice to record pregnancy related illness (which may include illness in connection with the IVF treatment) during the protected period separately from other sickness. It is a legal duty to ignore the pregnancy-related absences during the protected period (inc. where the pregnancy results from IVF).
What must I do if an employee has a miscarriage in the first 24 weeks of her pregnancy and needs time off?
Your employee may need time off work if she is ill as a result of a miscarriage (that is she loses the baby in the first 24 weeks of her pregnancy). Sickness absence related to a miscarriage must be treated in the same way as pregnancy related sickness.
What happens if an employee's baby is still born?
If an employee’s baby is still born after 24 weeks of pregnancy, she is legally entitled to maternity leave and protection from pregnancy and maternity discrimination in the same way as if she had a live birth.