Accommodation and maternity rights

Maternity rights of someone who lives in or has a property that comes with the job.

This is a question we are often asked.

Q: What can we do we do if the nanny/domestic staff take maternity leave and they live in or have  a property that comes with the job but we need the room/property for the maternity cover person?

A: This is a very difficult position which can cause some problems if it is not dealt with correctly,

The law states that a woman on maternity leave  has a  right to the benefit of all of the terms and conditions of employment which would have applied had she not been absent, except for pay.

Therefore, all contractual benefits other than pay (such as annual leave, health club membership, private use of a company car and so on) will continue during maternity leave. This includes the property or room in which they live in. However this has not been tested in the Employment Tribunals.

Cars, non-cash benefits and cash allowances

The situation with the accommodation is likened t that of a car that comes with the job. If an employee is entitled to use the car for personal use it would count as a benefit in kind other than  remuneration, and she would be entitled to continue using it during maternity leave.

We accept that this can throw up some strange situations such as a live in Nanny who has a child then brings the child up in the family home. This may be against the wishes of the family who do not want a baby around or the house is not suitable for an infant.

An option is to speak to the employee and agree that you will find or contribute to  suitable alternative accommodation up to the rateable value of the room or property they were staying in.

Please feel free to contact Iain Lock at if you have any questions or need some help.

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