How much maternity leave can you take?
If you work as an employee and become pregnant you are eligible to take up to 52 weeks of statutory maternity leave. This is made up of 26 weeks of ordinary maternity leave plus an extra 26 weeks of additional maternity leave. If you give the correct notice period to your employer this means you are entitled to take a full year's leave.
Statutory maternity leave is available to all employees and it doesn’t matter how many hours you work or how long you have worked for your employer.
When are you entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay?
There are additional criteria that must be fulfilled if you want to claim statutory maternity pay (SMP). SMP is a weekly payment from your employer made over a 39-week period.
SMP is payable at
The SMP is available to employees if:
The maternity allowance is a financial benefit for pregnant women who are self-employed, who are working but do not qualify for the SMP or who have recently stopped working. Your employer is free to offer you additional benefits which includes higher maternity payments, however this is at their discretion and not legally required.