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What is the qualifying period for maternity pay and leave?

Hetal Gir

05 June 2018

Statutory Maternity leave and pay

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).

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: £145.18 or 90% of their AWE (whichever is lower)
Tax and National Insurance need to be deducted

Video Transcript

Maternity pay how long do you have to work for an employer to qualify for maternity pay and leave expert solicitor Hetal Gir will explain.

So there's no minimum length of period that you have to be working in order to be entitled maternity leave so you could have been with your employer for five days or five years and you'll still be entitled to maternity leave about 52 weeks in total.
Maternity pay, however, it's a different matter you have to be employed for 26 continuous weeks up to the qualifying week and the qualifying week is the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth.

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