How long you're entitled to maternity pay and leave?

Hetal Gir

30 July 2019

What are your Statutory Maternity Leave rights

Eligible employees can take up to 52 weeks’ maternity leave. The first 26 weeks is known as ‘Ordinary Maternity Leave’, the last 26 weeks as ‘Additional Maternity Leave’.

The earliest that leave can be taken is 11 weeks before the expected week of childbirth, unless the baby is born early.
Employees must take at least 2 weeks after the birth (or 4 weeks if they’re a factory worker).

What is Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)

SMP for eligible employees can be paid for up to 39 weeks, usually as follows:
• the first 6 weeks: 90% of their average weekly earnings (AWE) before tax
• the remaining 33 weeks: £148.68 or 90% of their AWE (whichever is lower)

This is the question we put to employment law expert Hetel Gir.

Transcript
How long you're entitled to maternity pay and leave? Employment law solicitor Hetal Gir will explain in this short video.

Okay so maternity leave there's a total entitlement of 52 weeks and that's made up of the first 26 weeks called ordinary maternity leave and the following 26 weeks of additional maternity leave. Maternity pay is different and you're entitled to 39 weeks in total and that's split into six weeks at nineteen ninety per cent of your average weekly earnings followed by the 33 weeks of either your 90 per cent of your average weekly earnings or the rate that's set by the government every year the lower of the two so in 39 weeks in total.

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