Veterinary Record 170:635 doi:10.1136/vr.e4219
  • News and Reports
  • Employment

BVA launches guidance on maternity, paternity and adoption rights

GUIDANCE on maternity, paternity and adoption rights for employees, employers and locums has recently been published by the BVA.

The new guidance, which is available to BVA members, has been produced following changes to employment legislation in the past year or so. For example, in April last year, new paternity rights came into force allowing fathers additional paternity leave if the mother returns to work. Also, in October 2011, new agency workers regulations took effect, so a section for locum workers has been included in the guidance. The BVA reports that maternity- and paternity-related questions also feature consistently in calls to its legal advice helpline.

The guide is intended to be easy to read. It will help employees find out when they need to tell their employer that they are pregnant, when maternity pay starts and what to do when they are ready to return to work. It also covers paternity rights. A timeline of ‘when to do what’ is intended to provide a reference tool for employers, and the guidance includes information on what employers should do when a locum tells them they are pregnant, and on paternity and adoption rights. Locums will find guidance on maternity, paternity and adoption issues. There is also a section of answers to frequently asked questions.

Bill Reilly, a BVA past-president, who chaired a subgroup of the BVA's Members Services Group that developed the document, commented: ‘This guidance tells everyone in the practice team what they need to know about pregnancy in the workplace.


‘Developed with the help of human resources and legal experts, this guidance answers common questions, gives a great overview of what should happen when, as well as who has which rights and responsibilities. It is specifically tailored to the veterinary environment so vets, vet nurses and practice managers should all find the clear advice useful.’

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