Redundancy during maternity leave

Preparing for a new arrival can be a particularly emotional time. Redundancy can make it all the more stressful. But there are things you can do to help lessen the impact of being made redundant.

Woman dealing with redundancy during maternity leave

It's important to know your rights, where you stand and what your options are. That way, you can make the decisions that are right for you.

This can happen because your employer needs to downsize, relocate or shut down. Whichever the case, here are some of the basic things you need to know about your rights and your options. You can also find useful information about your rights and options at How to deal with redundancy. And if you need help getting through a period of transition, we might also be able to help with an overdraft or an increase to your Barclaycard credit limit. This is subject to application, financial circumstances and borrowing history. You can also call at 0800 051 8346*.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Can you still be made redundant whilst ‘furloughed’ and receiving Statutory Maternity Pay?

If you’re already receiving Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), your employer must continue to pay you if they decide to furlough you or make you redundant. During the current crisis, employers can use the UK government Coronavirus Job Retention scheme to pay 80% of the normal salary of employees who are unable to work. This scheme will pay up to a maximum of £2,500 a month and will be in place until the end of October 2020. This is called being a ‘furloughed worker’.

However, in the event you’re already collecting Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), your employer must continue to pay it based on your usual full pay while you’re furloughed. You can still be made redundant while you’re furloughed and while you are on maternity leave. If you’re entitled to redundancy pay, it will be calculated using the amount you earned before you were furloughed.

For more information about how to manage during this period, you can visit Coronavirus help and support. You’ll find practical advice on staying on top of your finances, plus information about cash advances and how to apply for a Barclaycard payment holiday. Please note that these will be based on individual eligibility criteria, suitability and terms and conditions. Interest in line with current rates will still be charged.

Is it a genuine redundancy situation?

It’s crucial to know your rights if you’re made redundant while on maternity leave. Being pregnant or on maternity leave doesn’t stop your employer from making you redundant. However, they must have a legitimate business reason. For example, the company might be downsizing or closing. Your employer can’t simply let you go because you’re pregnant, on maternity leave, or to avoid paying your Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP). If they do, you may be able make a claim of unfair dismissal or pregnancy and maternity discrimination. If this is the case, you should seek legal advice straight away.

Are you entitled to a redundancy payment?

If you’re made redundant for legitimate reasons during your maternity leave, you may still be entitled to redundancy pay. If you’ve worked for your employer for two continuous years or more, you will be entitled to redundancy pay.

If you’re made redundant during your maternity leave, the amount of redundancy pay you receive will be based on your regular weekly pay before going on maternity or shared parental leave.

Whatever your circumstance, it’s a good idea to find out about your rights at the UK Government guidelines concerning redundancy pay. That way, you’ll know exactly where you stand and what your options are.

Will Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) continue after being made redundant?

This depends on when you were made redundant. If your employment ends before the qualifying week for SMP (the 15th week before the week the baby is due), you won’t get Statutory Maternity Pay. If your employment ends during or after the qualifying week, but before the maternity leave starts, you’re still entitled to SMP for 39 weeks.

If your employment ends while you're receiving SMP, you will still be entitled to SMP for the remainder of the 39 weeks.

Dealing with finances during a redundancy

Facing redundancy is stressful at the best of times. It can be particularly challenging if you’ve got a new arrival on the way. But there are steps you can take to make sure your finances are in hand. An important first step is to make a budget – or update your existing one. Budgeting may not sound like much fun. But it’s a powerful way to make sure you’re on top of your spending. Check out some of our helpful tools:

  • how to plan and stick to a budget offers time-saving budgeting tools to help you manage spending and find ways to save – from switching energy suppliers to reducing your mobile phone bill
  • use our handy budget calculator at Barclays Budget Planner to help you plan out repayments on credit cards and other loans
  • explore other ways to borrow for possible ways to get a loan 
  • track your spending and set up alerts with your Barclays app – a convenient way to stay on top of your money and avoid unexpected surprises. If you don’t already have one, you’ll need a Barclays or Barclaycard account, a mobile number and be 16 or over to use the Barclays app. Terms and conditions will apply.

You can also get other useful advice about How to deal with redundancy. Finally, our Barclaycard team is always available by phone to provide support and plan for the future. You can visit our Coronavirus support page for more information.

What's next?

If you’re looking for help with finances during redundancy, Barclaycard can help.

Debt advice for the unemployed

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