Maternity leave and pay

All employees have basic legal maternity rights, including the right to up to 52 weeks’ maternity leave, although not all of that will be paid. 


The amount of maternity pay you get depends on who you work for and for how long you have worked there.

Most NHS employees and transferred NHS staff are covered by the NHS Terms and Conditions of Service Handbook Section 15, and these terms are better than the statutory ones.

However, to qualify, you need to have been continuously employed by NHS Employers for 12 months.

Non-NHS employees should check their contract of employment to see if they are entitled to more than the statutory minimum rights. 

If you don’t qualify for any NHS or contractual maternity pay but have worked for the same employer for 26 weeks, you may be entitled to statutory maternity pay.

There are other rules around maternity leave, such as how you notify your employer, and your rights to return to your job and to take time off for antenatal care.

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