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Permission granted for judicial review of SEISS impact on women on maternity leave


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Leigh Day reporting that the campaign group Pregnant then Screwed has been granted permission for judicial review of the way women on maternity leave have been treated under the government’s self employed income support scheme (SEISS).

The group claims that SEISS discriminates against self employed women who have taken maternity between 2016 and 2019 and the negative effects on their average income has now been factored into calculations of their entitlement under SEISS.

They say the sums calculated in that way do not accurately represent ordinary trading profits for self-employed women who have been unable to work following the birth of their children.

Pregnant then Screwed is represented by Leigh Day solicitors, who argue that, having set up the SEISS scheme to “assist those self-employed persons, whose trade has been adversely affected by the economic impact of coronavirus”, the government is required to run it in a way that is not discriminatory.

The claimants say the government’s general policy of SEISS has a disproportionately prejudicial effect on those who have not worked during the relevant tax year because of maternity. They say women who have been on maternity leave between 2016-19 should be treated as a special category, which equality law requires to be treated differently, to avoid discrimination.