Friday, 19 July 2013

Pregnancy-related sick-leave and pay

Q : I have exhausted my 14 days sick leave, actually I took 18 days and was suspended without pay for 5 days. The reason for my absence is due to illness since I am 7 months pregnant along with time off taken to attend clinic appointments. Can my boss fire me for taking more time off if sick before I go on maternity leave. I have been employed with this company for 9 years and 5 months.


A:  After a pregnant employee has exhausted her sick leave entitlement (usually 14 days), subsequent pregnancy-related sick leave DOES NOT count toward the entitled sick leave and the employer is not obliged to pay the employee for those days. Employers should not pay the pregnant employee for those extra days because it will be considered discriminatory against the other employees. 

Time off for prenatal (antenatal) and postnatal appointments must be allowed, and do not count towards sick leave. 

Disciplinary action taken (which is the case here) as a result of any pregnancy-related time-off is discriminatory, and you can bring action against your employer.

59 comments:

Juliette Carbon said...

Hi Good day. I am currently 7mths pregnant and my due date is approximately 2 weeks before I make a year with the company. Am I entitled to pay while I am on my leave? I am monthly paid

Trinbago Rights said...

No

nick said...

hi this blog is very helpful i am in a situation where i was given a 3 month contract in which i was written on the contract that i will not be re reimbursed for any sick leave taken however i was injured on the job and had to apply for 7 days sick leave and two casual day leave due to exposure to a gas leak on the job my the last date of my contract ended i was then evaluated 14 days later where i was told because my supervisors did not teach me how to use the equipment and i did not partake in any of the study programs offered by the company that i would be given another 3 month contract i had continued to work since the date my contract ended and since then i have been constantly harassed and intimidated by my manager to the extend it affected my health many times she told if it were up to her she would exercise the one day notice to terminate my employment which is not written on the contract

Trinbago Rights said...

How can you write all of that without any punctuation? That is absolutely ridiculous for an adult working person. I don't usually publish this kind of poorly written stuff, but I don't like to see employers taking advantage of employees.

If you were injured at work, after day 3, workmen's comp kicks in and all your bills must be covered and you must be paid for the time you had to take off; this does not come out of your sick leave.
The first thing you need to do is deal with compensation for your injury and then we could deal with the harassment. Send me a private e-mail.

Anonymous said...

If I took a sick leave to do a surgery at the san fernando general hospital and after the surgery is done the doctor gives me a sick leave stating I should get 30 days away home am I entitled to get pay I have been working with the company 4 months

Trinbago Rights said...

You would be entitled to pay for your sick-leave allowance... any extended sick pay is at the discretion of your employer.

Anonymous said...

Ok so if I am not working with the company anymore and still have my payslips and other documents stating the period when I was in the hospital could I get back my money. Reason being I wanna bring it out is because there are other times they short paid me a lot and I got my proof of everything

Anonymous said...

Hi, quick query, thanks in advance.

At my place of employment we are entitled to fourteen (14) days sick leave and a medical certificate must be presented for every sick day applied for (even for one day). I think that the industry norm is if sick for more than (two) 2 days then a medical certificate should be presented.

Anyway, this is the company's policy and is generally (if not reluctantly) accepted by the employees. The issue however is that in a case where the employee is not going by the doctor for a minor ailment and called in sick (such as first day period pain [cramps]) the employer proceeds to take that day out of the employee's allotted annual vacation days - since a medical certificate was not presented.

Should this been treated as a no-pay day instead? Can the employee take days out of the employee's vacation days without consultation as described above?

Anonymous said...

I am not allowed sick leave in the company I work for. If I stay home they refuse to pay. November would make two years I would be working here. I do not have vacation rights either. If I stay home for three days & present a sick leave, can they fire me & get away with it?

Trinbago Rights said...

No they can't.

You are actually entitled to sick pay; don't let them take advantage of you.

Anonymous said...

How can I go about getting my vacation & sick leave? I already tried asking but they they keep saying they don't give "those things". If I call labour board to investigate, I will get fired. Is there another way to go about dealing with this?

Anonymous said...

while pregnant i was diagnosed with moderate depression..i was very depressed and sick and i wasnt able to work after about 3 and a half months of pregnancy...my social worker as well as psychiatrists suggested leave throughout prenancy... i was only working approximately 4 months wen i started taking leave without pay..i even called ministry to confirm if it was ok to take this leave and was told yes...now they are saying i am not entitled to the leave and they are terminating my contract..to top that i was asked to resign so that thing wont b complicated for ministry..and wen i said no i was told a termination letter will b served and another boa was sent to my work dept..two months have passed and no one has called me back about it...nor was any letter sent..i keep calling but ministry is rejecting my calls and employees are being very impolite and unhelpful to me..some one even disconnected me whilst i was speaking..my contract specifically states any leave taken after 14 days will be classified as no pay leave...there is nohting stating that i need to make one year in order to take no pay leave during prenancy..do i have any rights here and what steps should i take....

Trinbago Rights said...

I think we need to write your employer a letter. Let me know what you want to do.

And no, you can't get fired for calling anyone. It's called victimization.

Anonymous said...

If I am put on sick leave prior to my due date and the sick leave goes 6 weeks into my due date can my company count my sick leave as part of my maternity leave and deduct it from my maternity leave of 14 weeks ?

Trinbago Rights said...

Absolutely not. Sick leave and maternity leave are entirely independent.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much....because this is what they want to do. How do I fight them on this ?

Trinbago Rights said...

If you retain me, I could write a letter on your behalf.

Anonymous said...

That would be great....does this come at a cost ? Please let me know.

Anonymous said...

I gave birth 5 months before my due date it was considered an inevitable miscarriage I have been employeed for the past 4 years previously was on 31 days sick leave will they deduct the money from the leave

Trinbago Rights said...

Send me an e-mail.

Trinbago Rights said...

Deduct what money? Did the baby live or die?

Have you worked there for more than 12 months?

Anonymous said...

Can I get your email address please. Thanks

Anonymous said...

I am almost 8 months pregnant and it will be 6 weeks until the start of my maternity leave. I am having some complications and had to take some sick leave recently. My sick leave is almost exhausted and I'm worried that if i need more sick leave it will be unpaid. I really dont want to start my Maternity leave unnecessarily early.

Trinbago Rights said...

Look under "About Me".

Trinbago Rights said...

Unfortunate.

Bereaved said...

My cousin was killed at his job by another employer, despite numerous complaints. It's been 3mths now since his death and the employer has not compensated. What advise can

Trinbago Rights said...

Firstly, I don't give advice online.

Secondly, I can't help you with such limited information. You need to send me a private e-mail.

Trinbago Rights said...

The company policy is contrary to law and cannot stand. He cannot deduct holidays without the employees permission. If this still persists, you need to send me a private e-mail.

Trinbago Rights said...

They're not taking your calls because they know they can't fire you. That's also why they asked you to resign... DON'T!!

Crystal Milano said...

Good day, I presently own a pre-school that I opened in September 2013. I have two situations that I need your advice on:
Firstly, one of the employees who began working at the opening of the school apparently became pregnant some time later.
She never informed me or the head teacher of the school of her pregnancy. Instead she began taking sick days one at a time but never submitted any medical certificates. This continued without her once informing anyone of her pregnancy.
After the carnival season of this year (2014), she was absent from work without any contact but when the head teacher contacted on the Friday of said week she stated she is in Tobago because her doctor told her she needed to rest.
The following Monday she came to work without any medical certificates and no information from her doctor about her pregnancy or date of confinement. She continued to take sick leave without submitting medical certificates but i continued to pay her and NIS.
During March she stopped reporting for work and I assumed she had left the job. There was no contact from this employee....not even a letter from a medical practitioner.
At present i am being faced with a claim that I verbally fired her and she and the union representing her wants 9 months compensation totalling to thousands of dollars.
Can you please enlighten me as to whether she has a case against me?

The second situation is:
None of my four employees at the school signed contracts at the beginning of their employment. Only one person has been employed continuously for a year and a few months. Because of the situation mentioned above I want to implement contracts.
My question here is....am i in my legal right to implement these contracts and what will be my position if they don't want to sign

Trinbago Rights said...

Contact me via: www.jbemploymentconsulting.com

Anonymous said...

hi i am working at a place that pays 12.50 a hour and they only allow u to work 7hrs do i have a right to quit and get pay?

Trinbago Rights said...

Why do you want to quit? You're not making sense. Give me some more details.

K.J. said...

Good morning, I am 8 months pregnant and scheduled to begin maternity leave 2 weeks before my due date. I would just like to know what happens if i deliver my baby before my maternity leave begins. Will the dates of my maternity leave have to be adjusted? I applied for my vacation to begin immediately after the 14 weeks maternity leave...so i'm just a bit concerned if he comes early if those dates will have to be adjusted as well.

kay said...

hi I have a question. I have been employed with my employer since 2011 but this year I left the job in june 2014. the company re-employed me in july (a month after). I found out I'm pregnant and I'm due in june but that would make 11mths working with the company and I know you have to be employed 12mths and more in order to benefit the maternity leave. but can I take vacation days or no pay leave in order to get my maternity leave?

Trinbago Rights said...

If you left the job voluntary in June 2014, your 12 months restarted at that point. You won't qualify for maternity benefits from your company until June 2015.

kay said...

i understand this but I have days to take. can I take these days in order to get the maternity leave after not before the baby is born

Trinbago Rights said...

It's possible, but that's something your HR department would have to agree on.

Trinbago Rights said...

All dates will have to be adjusted.

Anonymous said...

Good Day.

I am pregnant and my expected day of delivery is the day immediately after I make 12months on my job. It is my understanding that I am not entitle to maternity leave or benefits from the job if the baby comes before I make the 12 months. However, given that babies are know to come from 2 weeks before the expected date of delivery I would be proceeding on 2 weeks sick leave immediately before proceeding on maternity leave. My question is: if the baby comes during those 2 weeks that I am sick leave, will I then lose my entitlement to maternity leave and benefits from my job? Or can I just proceed on maternity leave upon completion of my sick leave regardless of the baby coming during the sick leave period.

Trinbago Rights said...

According to the law, you're not entitled to maternity-leave pay if you haven't made your 12 months before confinement date or the day the baby is born.

Anonymous said...

Hello and good day
Teacher related questions:

1. If sick leave is exhausted and I take extended sick leave (2-3 days or more), is a medical certificate to be signed by a District Medical Officer or will any medical practitioner be acceptable?

2. Is time off allowed for pregnant teachers to fulfill appointment dates, etc?

3. Maternity leave: I will be on the July / August vacation prior to my due date – am I absolutely required to go on leave 6 weeks before the due date (early in September) since I will already be on vacation and pose no risk at the workplace?

Anonymous said...

If my doctor gives me 1 month sick leave prior to my due date to rest because he finds i need it and my job is stressful.how is this treated?my employer only gives 10days sick leave.also if i opt to go to the us to have my baby am i obligated to notify employer?

Trinbago Rights said...

If you've been given 1-month sick-leave, only 10 days will be paid by your employer.

Notify your employer of what? The trip or the pregnancy?

Kensa Thomas - James said...

If a woman is pregnant and she able to work up to her due date , can she take her 3 months maternity after the baby is born which would give her more time at home with her baby?

Trinbago Rights said...

Only with the approval of your employer, taking into consideration your health and well-being.

marilexa23 said...

Good day, I am a monthly paid officer under the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries and have been working for 9 years as such. In 2012 I took Maternity Leave then proceeded on 90 days Extended Sick Leave. My ESL at that time was warded with full pay. In 2014 I again proceeded on Maternity Leave and followed with 90 days ESL. This was also awarded with full pay and both times the leave was taken with the support of a medical citing Postpartum Depression. My issue now is that on the 11th November 2015 i received a letter dated 26/08/2015 from the Ministry of the Environment (no longer a Ministry), stating that my previous approval has been rescinded and cited the Maternity Protection Act, Section 10, in doing so. The letter explained that i was to receive 42 days half pay and 48 days no pay for ESL taken in 2012, and 42 days half pay and 39 days no pay for ESL taken in 2014. Can you please offer some insight as to where i stand in this situation?

Kezzier London said...

Hi I wanted to know one simple question. If im a security officer and im on 6 months parole,and on my 7th month of working with this company could I file for maternity leave if im 6 months pregnant?

Rachael Wallace said...

Hi I'm 28 weeks pregnant and I just wanted to know if my work was not paying n.I.s but they were taking out if our pay. I know that N.I S will not b able too pay me for Maternity leave cause my work was not paying. So does that mean that my employer will have to pay it I have been working there for over 2 years.

Trinbago Rights said...

Contact the Trinidad and Tobago Workers' Association.

Kim said...

I have been with a company for 4 years... on contract (1 yr contract for the 3 years then 6 months then 1 year contract) I am on maternity leave but my contract will come to an end while on leave. Am I entitled for renewal of my contract? Is illegal to fire me?

Trinbago Rights said...

Depends on several factors. Contact me privately.

mandie gervais said...

I was employed under contract in the public service wef 7th August last year. My due date is September 20th. I am entitled to vacation leave from d 11th month. I wanted to go on vacation from august12th to september 7th and maternity leave from September 8th. My question is: is there a law or relulations saying i have to proceed on maternity a month before my due date or is it just an option. If i go a month before i wont make the year to be entitled to salary by my employer. Is this correct?

Trinbago Rights said...

Maternity Protection Act
It is the employee's choice to choose when to go on maternity leave.

9. (1) An employee is entitled to fourteen weeks maternity leave and may proceed on such leave six weeks prior to the probable date of confinement as stated in the medical certificate submitted under section 8(1)(c) OR at a subsequent date at the employee’s discretion

Anonymous said...

Good day
My maternity leave started on the 1 August 2016 and was scheduled to return 7 November 2016. My contract ended on the 3rd of August the period during my leave however I knew my contract would be renewed due to my appraisal. I did sign my contract before returning to work. Would like to know if I had csection and I worked for a week only to realise I not medically fit to work could I still send in sick leave and my job not be comprised. Is this possible?

Trinbago Rights said...

I'm assuming you mean "compromised"?

Maternity Protection Act, section 10:
10. (1) Where an employee is unable to return to work on
the required date, she shall submit to her employer a certificate from a registered medical practitioner stating that by reason of disease or bodily or mental disablement, whether to herself or her baby, she will be incapable of returning to work on the required date and stating her intended date of return.

(2) An employee who extends her absence from work for medical reasons under subsection (1) may do so for a period
not exceeding 12 weeks after the required date of return and shall inform her employer in writing of her intended date of return.

(3) Subject to an employee’s right to sick or vacation leave with pay under any other written law, industrial award or collective
agreement, an employee under subsection (2) shall be paid half pay for the first six weeks and no pay for the next six weeks.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I read through the posts but im still just a little bit confused about the 12 months continuous employment part of it.. does that mean that u will only be entitled to the maternity benefits (from M.O.E) if u get pregnant AFTER you have worked for the 12 consecutive months.. or are you also entitled to it if u will be making the baby a month after u have completed the first year of work. To make it clearer, I started working on the 9th of January this year but my baby is due the 21st of February next year which means i will be making a year before the baby is born. Am i entitled to maternity benefits from Ministry of Education? My colleagues have me confused as im hearing 2 different things.

Trinbago Rights said...

Yes you're entitled.

SexyassSpade said...

What eventually happened? I'm in a very similar situation and I'd like to know what my rights are.
Thanks in advance!