What are my maternity rights?


it’s not always straightforward but hopefully the following questions and answers will help!

when do I have to tell my boss?

25 weeks is the official date, but if you want paid time off for scans and check up’s, you’ll need to let them know.

You’ll need a MATB1 form from your midwife to show your employer and put in writing the date you want to finish work. They should come back to you within 28 days to confirm your leave.

what if I can’t do my job while I am pregnant?

If you think your job will be dangerous for baby, your boss will need to find something safer to do and if they can’t, you are entitled to stay off work during your pregnancy on full pay.


how long do I get?

you are entitled to 52 weeks, but the rules regarding pay and returning to work change after 6 months. Your HR department will be able to give you full details.


do you have any rights during maternity leave?

yes, the same ones as if you were at work – pay rises apply and you accrue holiday. You will need to check with your employer regarding pension contributions.

do I get paid still?

as a minimum you should get 90% of your average weekly earnings (before tax) for the first six weeks. After six weeks it will either stay at 90% or fall to £139.58, whichever is lower. You can claim that rate for 33 weeks. Maternity allowance is available if you are self employed, depending on NI contributions, you can get an MA1 form from https://www.gov.uk/maternity-allowance/how-to-claim

do dads have rights too?

depending on criteria, dads can usually have up to two weeks of paternity leave at 90% of his average weekly earnings or £139.58 per week. In April 2015 parents have been able to share parental leave, you could take six months off each, or both take time off together.

I want to go back to work now, what do I do?

you may decide to go back early, if you do, you need to give your employer 8 weeks notice. If you decide you don’t want to go back, you need to let your employer know, follow your normal notice period. You might also decide that your previous hours are not suitable, put in a request to talk to your manager about this so they can consider it.

did this answer your question?