When you take time off to have a baby you may be eligible for Maternity & Paternity Pay and Leave. There are ante-natal classes listed on our Children’s Centre pages and the NHS have a useful Pregnancy and Baby Guide, to help you prepare.
Statutory Maternity Leave is 52 weeks. It's made up of:
- Ordinary Maternity Leave - first 26 weeks
- Additional Maternity Leave - last 26 weeks
You don't 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).
Use the maternity planner to work out the dates for your ordinary and additional leave.
Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) is paid for up to 39 weeks. You get:
- 90% of your average weekly earnings (before tax) for the first 6 weeks
- £140.98 or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower) for the next 33 weeks
- SMP is paid in the same way as your wages (for example monthly or weekly). Tax and National Insurance will be deducted.
Use maternity pay calculator to work out how much you could get.
If you take Shared Parental Leave you'll get Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP). ShPP is £140.98 a week or 90% of your average weekly earnings, whichever is lower.
It usually starts when you take your maternity leave. However, if you're off work for a pregnancy-related illness in the 4 weeks before your baby is due, it will start automatically.
When you take time off because your partner's having a baby, adopting a child or having a baby through a surrogacy arrangement you might be eligible for:
- 1 or 2 weeks paid Paternity Leave (which must be taken in one go)
- Shared Parental Leave, if your child was due or placed for adoption on or after 5 April 2015
You may not get both leave and pay, and there are rules on how to claim and when your leave can start. Use the online calculator to find out what leave you can get.
If you're having a baby, or adopting a child you may be eligible for Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP). Visit this link and check if you are eligible.