Maternity leave and pay

Topic Index
The right to take maternity leave
Health and safety aspects
Rights and obligations during pregnancy and maternity leave
Keeping in touch
Redundancy during maternity leave
Returning to work
Maternity pay




  • Pregnant staff have comprehensive legal protections and employers must be aware of these or risk facing potentially expensive tribunal claims.
  • A pregnant employee has the right:
    • not be dismissed, selected for redundancy, or subjected to any disadvantage because she is pregnant or for any reason connected with childbirth or pregnancy
    • to 52 weeks' maternity leave
    • to 39 weeks' statutory maternity pay (SMP)
    • to a reasonable amount of paid time off work for antenatal care
    • to return to work in the same job after maternity leave (or, in certain cases, to a suitable alternative job)
    • to be paid normally if suspended from work on maternity grounds – unless she unreasonably refuses an offer of suitable alternative work
    • to be transferred from night work to day work if her doctor says that night work is affecting her health or that of her child
    • to have access to rest facilities during normal working hours if pregnant or breastfeeding
  • From 2015 a new system of shared parental leave and pay will operate whereby the mother of a new baby will be able to convert statutory maternity and pay into shared parental leave and pay to enable greater sharing of childcare responsibilities between both parents....
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