Posted: 25th January, 2024

Issue 14: Maternity and paternity leave and benefits

When you are pregnant you are entitled to a number of benefits. Once you have given birth, or have adopted a child, both you and your partner are entitled to maternity/paternity leave.

Maternity and Paternity Benefits and Leave

Maternity pay and leave

If you are employed and pregnant, you are entitled to 52 weeks (1 year) of maternity leave, no matter how long you’ve worked for your employer. It’s made up of:

  • Ordinary Maternity Leave – first 26 weeks
  • Additional Maternity Leave – last 26 weeks
  • You do not have to take 52 weeks, but you must take 2 weeks’ leave after your baby is born (or 4 weeks if you work in a factory).

You have a range of rights during this period and can also request that your employer provide flexible working arrangements if you decide to return to work at the end of your leave. Your employment terms (for example, your pension contributions) are protected while you’re on Statutory Maternity Leave. If you’re made redundant while on Statutory Maternity Leave, you also have extra rights.

Paternity leave

What is statutory paternity Leave?

If you’re a father-to-be or the partner of someone who is pregnant – including same-sex partner – you could have the right to paternity leave.

You may be eligible for:

  • 1 or 2 weeks’ paid Paternity Leave
  • Paternity Pay
  • Shared Parental Leave and Pay

You may not get both leave and pay, and there are rules on how to claim and when your leave can start.

Find out more about your employment rights when on leave.

What benefits can I claim when I'm pregnant or have a baby?

There are lots of benefits and entitlements available when you’re pregnant or have a baby.

You also qualify for benefits if you’re pregnant and unemployed or on a low income.

Shared parental leave and pay

You may be eligible to share parental leave and pay with your partner.

Shared Parental Leave is designed to give parents the flexibility to decide when to return to work and allow families to spend time together in the early stages of a child’s life.

  • Leave and pay can be shared following the first 2 weeks after your baby’s birth. This means up to 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay can be shared.
  • You can take all of your Shared Parental Leave in one go, or you can take it in blocks separated by periods of work in between.
  • Shared Parental Leave can be taken by both parents at the same time so you and your partner can spend time at home together with your baby.

Find out about adoption pay and leave.


What’s New on the LMNS Website?


Epilepsy in Pregnancy

New Epilepsy content has been added to our Maternal Medicine Existing Health Conditions page. Follow the link below to read it, and information about other health conditions.

Other News

27th July, 2023

Issue 9: Having a Healthy Pregnancy if you Smoke

Read More

15th November, 2022

Issue 1 : The New LMNS Website

Read More

30th March, 2023

Issue 5: Transforming Maternity Services

Read More

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