If you are a working mother-to-be or a new parent you have certain rights and benefits during pregnancy.
All workers have legal protection if they are dismissed or treated unfairly because of pregnancy or childbirth, whether they are employed full-time or part-time, or are agency workers.
Am I entitled to Maternity Leave?
You are entitled to maternity leave if you are an employee (whether you are employed on a fixed term or temporary contract) or if you are an apprentice. Agency workers who have completed 12 weeks in the same job have the right to paid time off for antenatal care and health and safety protection as employees in the same job.
How long does it last?
The first 26 weeks of maternity leave is called “ordinary maternity leave”. If you return to work after 26 weeks, you have the right to return to exactly the same job.
“Additional maternity leave” starts on the day after the end of ordinary maternity leave, and lasts for a further 26 weeks. If you return to work after additional maternity leave, you have the right to return to the same job but, if it is not reasonably practicable, your employer can offer a suitable alternative job on similar terms and conditions.
How do I give notice of maternity leave and pay?
You must tell your employer the information set out below in or before the 15th week before your baby is due. This information is also in the “MATB1 form”. Your midwife or GP will give you this form when you are about 20 weeks pregnant. The information in the form is:
- That you are pregnant;
- The expected week of childbirth (see the MATB1);
- The date on which you intend to start your maternity leave. (If you want to change this date, you must give your employer notice of the new date at least 28 days of the new date or the old date whichever is the earliest).
If you qualify for SMP (see below) you must also give your employer 28 days’ notice of the date you want to start receiving your pay, together with a copy of your MATB1. You can do this at the same time as you give notice of when you want to start your maternity leave. It is advisable to provide your employer with a copy of the MATB1 form under cover of a dated letter and to keep a copy of the letter and form for yourself.
What will I be paid during my maternity leave?
This depends on your contract as some employers provide maternity pay which is more generous than Statutory Maternity Pay (“SMP”). However, if not, you may be entitled to SMP. Whether or not you will be entitled to SMP depends on how long you were employed before you got pregnant but even if you do not qualify for statutory maternity pay, you may qualify for Maternity Allowance instead. SMP is paid at the rate of 90% of your full pay for the first 6 weeks, and then at the rate of SMP currently in force for the following 33 weeks
If you feel you have been treated unfairly because of pregnancy, you may have a claim for sex discrimination. However, you must ensure that you get advice quickly because the deadline for any complaint of sex discrimination is 3 months (less 1 day) from the date on which the complaint arose in most cases. These time limits are very strict and are generally not extended.
If you have any queries or you think we can help then contact one of our solicitors on 24 hour Advice Line 0800 526 368 or click here to email us.
"My experience with OH Parsons has been brilliant. The communication was excellent and very professional. The solicitor kept me informed at every step of the claim. I would definitely recommend OHP . Thank you."
Mr Watson, Personal Injury Case
"I have never had to deal with the solicitor for anything and for my first experience I am very glad to say that OH Parsons solicitors handled my case with utmost respect and professionalism. I would recommend OH Parsons to family and friends that need legal services. Thank you for all your help."
Ms Greca, Personal Injury Case
"The service that you provided for me was very professional. I always felt at ease with you and easy to talk to you. I know if I ever need your services again I will not hesitate to contact OH Parsons family solicitor again."
Mrs P, Family Law Case
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank OH Parsons for tremendous assistance throughout the legal claim. I was regularly informed about the proceedings of my case in a simple language. I am very happy with the service I was offered and would recommend it to others."
Mr Sehgal, Personal Injury Case
"OH Parsons solicitors - Extremely helpful, honest, very professional, friendly and polite. Kept me informed and up to date with every development . Explained all the information thoroughly. Would definitely recommend and use them again. Thank you."
Mrs Power, Clinical Negligence Case
"OH Parsons guidance and advise greatly appreciated. I have been well informed about my Personal Injury claim all the time. I would definitely recommend OH Parsons to my friends and relatives. Thanks."
Ms R. Nair, Personal Injury Case
"I found OH Parsons very caring, yet professional in their approach to my case. Although I only had an accident report to support my claim, they took that and was able to prove that y employeers were negligible. I would recommend OH Parsons to anyone to represernt them. I am very happy with the support and service I received. Thank you to Nicholas especially, he was really ‘on the ball’"
Ms D Box, Personal Injury Claim
"These last 3 years has been something that I would not want to go through again, we as a family nearly lost everything and each other. I and my family cannot thank Hannah and all the staff enough. A very professional company, with a very personal service to their clients. Thank you. "
Mr A, Norfolk, Personal Injury Claim
"Nazir had dealt with my case and was very very good, she dealt with the case very professionally, was nice and friendly on the phone, answered all my emails straight away, gave me good advice and I was very satisfied with the outcome, given the circumstances of my accident"
Mr L, Personal Injury Claim
"During the years my case was going on, I was always treated with respect and sensitivity by my solicitor, at OH Parsons. The case was brought to a successful conclusion, and while nothing can make up for the heartache of losing my husband, the settlement at least meant I would not have financial worries in the future."
Mrs B, Telford, Mesothelioma Claim
Churchill House Chalvey Road East, Slough, Berkshire, SL1 2LS, United Kingdom
OH Parsons LLP
OHP is a trading name of OH PARSONS LLP, a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with Registered Number oc385704. OH PARSONS LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority | 606560. VAT Number: 239 026 763. Any reference to a partner in relation to OH PARSONS LLP is to a member of OH PARSONS LLP.