6. Maternity rights

You may be able to get Statutory Maternity Pay, but you can’t get Statutory Maternity Leave.

If you’re on a ‘pay between assignments’ contract you’re an employee of the agency, not an agency worker. You have employee’s pregnancy rights.

It’s illegal to discriminate against you on the grounds that:

  • you’re pregnant
  • you’ve given birth in the last 6 months
  • you’re breastfeeding

It’s discrimination if your:

  • agency refuses to place you in a job
  • hirer refuses to hire you
  • job was terminated because you’re pregnant
  • agency refuses to keep you on its books
  • agency offers you only short jobs and gives longer ones to other agency workers
  • hirer won’t let you come back after having leave due to maternity

Contact Acas if you believe you’ve been discriminated against.

If there’s a risk to your health

Your hirer should make reasonable adjustments so you can do your job. If this isn’t possible your agency must find you alternative work or pay you at the same rate for the expected length of your contract.

Antenatal care

After 12 weeks in the job you can get paid time off to go to ‘antenatal care’ if you can’t arrange it outside working hours.

Antenatal care includes antenatal classes, appointments and parenting classes if they’ve been recommended by a doctor or midwife.

You must also be paid for the travel time if it’s during working hours.