1975 - Employment Protection Act 1975

Major Implications of the Reform: 

For the first time, female employees were protected from being terminated from their job due to pregnancy. In addition, women were granted maternity leave with reinstatement rights at their place of work prior to confinement over a period of 29 weeks, beginning in the week of confinement. The terms and conditions for an employee taking leave could not be less favourable than those which would have been applicable if she had not been absent (e.g. with regard to seniority, pension rights). The coverage was rather limited (see 'Eligible Groups'). A Maternity Pay Fund for a maternity pay scheme was established. A form of maternity pay was introduced that ran parallel to the maternity allowance scheme that had been in place since 1948. Under this new scheme, female employees had the right to receive maternity pay for periods in which they were absent from work due to pregnancy or confinement. However, the maximum period for which they could receive maternity pay was six weeks, and maternity pay could not be used to cover any leave taken prior to the 11th week before the expected week of confinement. The employee was entitled to 90 % of the weekly earnings, reduced by the amount of maternity allowance, regardless of whether she also received a maternity allowance.