Priyanka’s story

Priyanka called us when she was 28 weeks pregnant. She had worked for her employer on a zero hours contract since before she became pregnant. But at this point in her pregnancy her employer refused to give her any more work and told her she was on maternity leave.

In fact, the law states that it is up to the expectant mother to decide when she wants to start her maternity leave – unless she has a pregnancy-related illness – and this cannot in any case happen before she is 29 weeks pregnant.

We advised Priyanka to assert her right to start maternity leave at a later date, and also advised her that she may be entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay from her employer – which she was not aware she may be able to claim.

Without the support from Working Families, Priyanka and her family would have continued to struggle.

Priyanka is just one of almost 3,000 parents who contact our legal advice line each year seeking advice on issues such as maternity/paternity discrimination and flexible working. If you need advice, you can reach our free advice line on: 0300 012 0312

A donation of £5 per month will help ensure our advisers can continue helping callers like Priyanka.

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