There is no statutory right to sick pay during statutory maternity leave. this is because it amounts to "remuneration" which is not payable to women on maternity leave (in contrast to the position during pregnancy, when normal sick pay rules apply to pregnancy-related illness). A woman on maternity leave has to bring it to an end before she can claim sick pay – leave can be ended early by the employee giving at least 8 weeks' notice.
Neither was there any contractual right to sick pay during maternity leave in this case. Despite some lack of clarity, the EAT construed the contractual terms, which were set out on an intranet site, as excluding sick pay during maternity leave. The fact that the employee did not have access to a copy of those terms during her leave was immaterial. She had been notified in her contract document where to find the terms (and therefore could have accessed them before starting her leave). (Department of Work and Pensions v Sutcliffe, EAT)