Maternity Leave, Maternity Pay and Maternity Allowance

Typically, employers and employees inquire about maternity leave, maternity pay, maternity allowance and employment rights, especially when the employee begins working while pregnant or discovers she is pregnant shortly after starting work.

Even if the employee is pregnant during the job interview, the employer is not permitted to discriminate against her based on her pregnancy.

The employee is not required to notify her employer of her pregnancy until the 15th week before her due date when she gives notice for maternity leave. 

However, it is preferable to notify the employer as early as possible. At least 15 weeks before the week the employee’s baby is due, they should inform their employer: that they are pregnant when their baby is expected. That they wish to take maternity leave when they wish their maternity leave to begin and end (They can change these dates later).

The employee may begin maternity leave 11 weeks before the due date, although this may change if the baby arrives early or if the employee experiences medical complications.

  • Maternity leave can last up to a year, at least two weeks, or four weeks if the mother works in a factory.
  • Typically, for an employer to be eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), they must: earn an average of £123 per week. They may still qualify if they earned less due to inactivity, leave, etc..
  • Provided proper notice and proof of pregnancy worked for the employer continuously for at least 26 weeks, including the “qualifying week” – the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth
  • An employee will still receive SMP if the baby is born prematurely, after the beginning of the 24th week of pregnancy, or dies after birth.
  • If an employee does not qualify for SMP, the employer must provide them with Form SMP1 within seven days.
  • A maternity allowance is a payment made when an employed woman who is pregnant and unable to receive SMP takes time off to give birth.
  • Are self-employed and have recently stopped working, conduct unpaid work for a spouse or civil partner’s business
  • Maternity allowance is up to 39 weeks. It can be filed for after 26 weeks of pregnancy. Payment can begin up to 11 weeks before the due date. You’ll need a Maternity Allowance (MA1) claim form.

The employee may be eligible for additional benefits; it may be worthwhile to contact the Department of Works and Pensions (DWP).

When an employee is an immigrant on a skilled worker visa, the Home Office requires the employer to update the Sponsor Management system (SMS) within specified timeframes. 

The employer and employee must adhere to Home Office requirements and visa conditions. Under the skilled worker visa, the sponsored skilled worker is typically required to have no access to public funds.

Tann Law Solicitors can help with employment and immigration matters. Please visit our contact page to arrange a consultation.