Maternity Leave Rights exist for pregnant employees in order to provide time for antenatal care, maternity leave and maternity pay. Antenatal care consists of medical appointments and proscribed parenting or antenatal classes. Employers are not allowed to change the terms and conditions of the employee’s contract while they are on leave. Statutory Maternity Leave is made up of 52 weeks. If the employee is not taking Maternity Leave, then she must take 2 weeks off after birth (or 4 weeks if she works in a factory). In some circumstances, you may be able to take Shared Parental Leave. Employees must tell their employers 15 weeks before their baby is due. If they did not know they were pregnant, then they must inform them as soon as possible. This is because employees are required to tell their employers when they wish to start their Statutory Maternity Leave and Statutory Maternity Pay. Statutory Maternity Pay is 90% of your earnings for the first 6 weeks and afterwards, £139 a week or 90% of your earnings (whichever is lower).
Maternity rights for employees are for those that are eligible. To be eligible, you must be employed as a worker and provide them with the correct notice. You must have worked for your employer for 26 weeks prior to your qualifying 15th week before your birth. You have the right to statutory leave even if your child miscarries after 24 weeks of being pregnant or you have a still birth.
Many women are concerned about losing their job while on Maternity Leave. It is important to know that it is illegal to not offer your job, or a job of equivalent pay, upon returning to your employment. If you return before 26 weeks, they must offer you the same position you had prior to your leave.
If you require advice on your Maternity Rights, or are concerned about the security of your job while on Maternity Leave please get in contact with our Maternity specialists. We appreciate this is an exciting time, and you do not need the additional stress of not knowing how to access your Maternity Rights. We will listen to your current situation and discuss your options in order to provide you with advice accordingly. Congratulations, we look forward to hearing from you.
What do I do next?
Contact us online or speak to one of our top employment solicitors on 0207 998 7777 for a free initial consultation. With our vast experience in the field, our employment law team will work with you to ensure this process runs as smooth as possible. All information you provide us with is treated with the utmost confidentiality.
We will contact you no later than the next working day to arrange a meeting at our offices in London W1 to advise on the agreement.