It is really quite important to state that Helvar Limited has not updated its maternity policy since June 14th, 2005. Its policy hence does not fully comply with the current statutory requirements and may, therefore, be regarded as a mere formal establishment rather than a practical exercise (Helvar, 2009). The current maternity leave policy differs from legal stipulation s as follows: The policy does not include certain aspects mentioned in the law; no mention is made about the flexibility of working pattern after an employee returns from maternity leave.
It is noted in this case that many women would wish to renegotiate their working conditions to allow flexible working hours so as to be able to fulfil family commitments. According to the 1996 Employment Rights Act, employees who have been in continuous service for at least 26 weeks have a right to negotiate for flexible working hours in order to care for children below six years or those with disabilities. Secondly, in contrast to the law, no mention is made of the KIT days in the Helvar Limited maternity policy.
The current regulation introduced KIT days that make it possible for the employee to do a maximum of ten days’ work during the maternity leave for the employer without ending the maternity leave or losing legal rights to legal maternity entitlements. The current regulation also states specifically that reasonable contact between the employee and the employer during the maternity leave is permitted. This statement is not clearly discussed in Helvar Limited’ s maternity policy as it remains vague and devoid of clarity (Helvar, 2009). The statement in the company’ s policy fails to state which party is charged with the responsibility of initiating contact.
It also does not state any importance of maintaining reasonable contact between the employer and the employee among other things. This clearly states that either party may initiate contact with the aim of discussing the employee’ s resumption to work or other work-related issues that are of importance to both parties. Such contact, according to the law will not imply that the maternity period is terminated (Helvar, 2009). The law requires the employer to perform safety and health checks upon taking notice of the employee’ s pregnancy with an aim of assessing whether the employee’ s job presents any risks to her personal health or to her unborn child (Helvar, 2009).
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