Maternity and Paternity Rights

Whether you are having a child or your partner or spouse is having a child, you will both have specific employment rights and may be eligible for:

  • Statutory maternity/paternity leave
  • Statutory maternity/paternity pay
  • Paid time off work for antenatal care
  • Help from the government

Maternity Leave

Whilst you are on statutory maternity leave, your employment rights are protected, including your right to: a pay rise, accrual of holiday and return to work.

Statutory maternity leave covers a 52 week period, consisting of ordinary maternity leave and additional maternity leave, each consisting of a 26 week period. Generally, the earliest date that you can start your leave is 11 weeks prior to the expected birth of your child.

Statutory maternity pay is paid for up to 39 weeks and for the first 6 weeks you are entitled to 90% of your average weekly wage, after this period you are entitled to the lesser of 90% of your weekly wage or £139.58.

  • Requirements to Qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay

    • Earn, on average, at least £112 a week.
    • Provide your employer with the correct notice.
    • Provide your employer with proof that you are pregnant. 
    • Have been in continuous employment for 26 weeks prior to the 15th week before your expected week of childbirth.  

Paternity Leave

It is possible to obtain shared parental leave ("SPL") or statutory shared parental pay ("SPP").

In order to qualify for SPL or SPP, you must be responsible for the child with the child's other parent.

You or your partner must be eligible for maternity pay or leave and you must have been in continuous employment for 26 weeks prior to the 15th week before the expected due date. 

If you are eligible for SPL or SPP, the mother of the child must end her maternity leave, maternity allowance or maternity pay, you will then be eligible to take the remaining leave as SPL or take the remaining pay as SPP. 

If you have any questions relating to maternity or paternity leave or believe that you have been discriminated against due to being pregnant, do not hesitate to contact one of our employment solicitors who will happy to discuss your matter with you. Our team can be contacted be e-mail by clicking here or alternatively, you can contact them directly on 0113 284 5023.

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