Can an employee who does not have average weekly earnings of at least the lower earnings limit for national insurance purposes claim any financial assistance throughout her maternity leave?

An employee who does not have earnings of at least the lower earnings limit may be entitled to receive maternity allowance, which is usually paid for up to 39 weeks. To get this benefit she must have been employed and/or self-employed for at least 26 weeks in the 66 weeks prior to the expected week of childbirth. Her average weekly earnings must be at least equal to the maternity allowance threshold and she must have paid sufficient national insurance contributions.