trainee midwives who were denied paid maternity leave are taking their case to
an employment appeal tribunal today.
Fletcher, Tracey Parkes and
Shelley Wilkinson claim the halting of a £6,000 annual Department of Health
grant amounted to sexual discrimination.
tribunal earlier this year ruled that trainees were not protected by European
directives aimed at helping working mothers. But it did criticise the bursary
scheme that allowed 60 days’ paid sick leave, but not maternity leave.
Royal College of Midwives said that full maternity rights are vital to attract
students at a time when there is a shortage of 10,000 midwives in the UK.
service union Unison said that if the appeal is successful, it could affect
student nurses and all NHS trainees.