Protection of Maternity Leave

I am an NHS nurse and midwife (10 years of service). I, amongst many others, have been placed in the shielded category due to being at increased risk of morbidity and mortality from Covid-19. It has become apparent that the health risks from coronavirus are a long term threat. It is currently in discussion whether pregnant NHS staff should be forced to take maternity leave from 28 weeks. This would cause financial hardship as well as impacting the care of the newborn should the mother have to return to work far earlier than expected.

Why the contribution is important

The Scottish government has placed great emphasis on the care of families with the introduction of Best Start and the Baby Box. It should continue to protect the employment rights of new mothers during this unprecedented time. My concern is that women in financial struggle may ignore government and medical advice by continuing patient facing work to make ends meet. The option of non patient facing work for those at highest risk has not been offered. However, the option to continue working against government advice is allowed (RCOG guidance). The government need to reassure pregnant frontline workers that their employment and maternity rights will not be ignored due to the current unprecedented circumstances.

by nursemidwife on May 07, 2020 at 01:29PM

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