We have an increasing number of situations where staff on PHI qualify for Maternity Benefit and we want to ensure our policy is fair and is in keeping with the legislation. Question – What are the obligations of the company where an employee moves from a period of extended PHI, essentially paid by the Insurer to Maternity Leave, where it is the company’s policy to pay salary, less social welfare benefit?

Is the company obliged to operate this practice where an employee may have exhausted their sick pay entitlements? Or is it the case that the employee can only be classed as on Maternity Leave or Sick Leave and subject to the form of leave, the company must act in accordance with the relevant policy, be it sick leave or maternity leave policy?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 6 November 2012

An employee cannot be treated as being on a period of sick leave and maternity leave at the same time. Therefore, where an employee is in receipt of a benefit payable under the company's PHI policy, once they commence a period of maternity leave, they are no longer considered to be on a period of long term sick leave and are treated as any other employee of the company would be under its maternity policy. Where the company's maternity policy provides for company maternity pay equal to the employee's salary less any social welfare maternity benefit, the company is obliged to apply the policy

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 02/09/2015
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