Community has written to the Prime Minister calling for an extension of the furlough cut off date for pregnant women and women on maternity.
The trade union is calling on the government to adopt a number of measures to ensure pregnant women are not discriminated against.
Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of Community, said:
“At Community we have heard from women members who are working on the front line in care homes, who have been forced onto sick pay. We’ve heard about employers telling women that because they are in earlier trimesters of pregnancy they are not entitled to furlough and must be paid only statutory sick pay- significantly less than the 80% of wages they would be entitled to under the furlough scheme, and much less than the 100% of pay these women would be entitled to should they have been correctly placed on maternity suspension as a result of health and safety risks that could not be mitigated.
“Not only does this drastically reduce the income that these women will receive, pushing many into poverty pay, but also makes it more likely that pregnant women feel forced to return to an unsafe workplace, despite the evident risk to them and their unborn child.
“We are very clear that the risk of being in the workplace for a pregnant woman is greatly enhanced by the current situation. Your own government’s guidance is clear that pregnant women should be staying at home as much as possible. We urge you to issue clear directions to employers to allow pregnant women to follow that guidance.”
The NHS website places pregnant women in the list of people at moderate risk (clinically vulnerable).
Community is continuing to ensure our members are not left behind as the COVID-19 crisis continues across the country, put us in your corner today.
The full text of the letter is below:PM letter - 040620