Maternity and paternity rights and benefits

If you are expecting a baby or thinking about planning a family, you can find out more about balancing family and work in the Balancing Family and Work leaflet (PDF, 761kB).

Maternity Leave - entitles employees to 52 weeks Statutory Maternity leave, regardless of length of services or the number of hours you work.  The first 26 weeks is called Ordinary Maternity Leave and the next 26 weeks is called Additional Maternity Leave.
Statutory maternity leave and pay information

Statutory Maternity Pay - will be paid for 39 weeks.  This is made up of 90% of your average weekly earnings for the first 6 weeks followed by 33 weeks of £ 136.78 or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower)

Maternity Allowance - is usually paid if you don't qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay.  It is paid for 39 weeks at £ 136.78 or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower)
Statutory maternity allowance information

To qualify you must have worked for at least 26 weeks during the 66 weeks before your baby is due and be earning at least £ 30.00 a week over any 13 week period.

Other allowances available:

  • Paternity Leave - If a father has worked for an employer for 26 weeks by the 15th week before the baby is due and earned at least £ 109.00 a week, he will be entitled to take two weeks off work following the birth of his child.
    Information on how to claim paternity leave

  • Adoption Leave - To qualify for Adoption Leave you must have worked continuously for your employer for at least 26 weeks by the beginning of the week you're matched with a child.  Your salary and number of hours worked is not taken into account when qualifying. 
    Information on adoption leave