Maternity Leave And Pay

From the first day of employment there is an entitlement to 26 weeks’ ordinary maternity leave and 26 weeks additional maternity leave.

If the employee has worked continuously for the same employer for 26 weeks by the 15th week before the child is due she is entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), if her average weekly earnings are at least equal to the lower earnings limit for National Insurance contributions, for the first 39 weeks.

The rate of SMP is 90% of average weekly wages for the first 6 weeks and then the statutory rate for SMP for the remaining 33 weeks (unless 90% is less than the statutory rate in which case she receives that amount instead).

At the end of ordinary maternity leave an employee is entitled to return to the job in which she was employed before absence.

At the end of additional maternity leave an employee may return to the job in which she was employed before absence unless it is not reasonably practicable for the employer to permit her to return to that job, in which case she is entitled to return to another job which is suitable for and appropriate for her to return to in the circumstances.

All pregnant employees are entitled to reasonable time off for antenatal care.


Related Topics

Working Parents

Shared Parental Leave


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