Maternity leave

Bar Huberman

Editor's message: Irrespective of their length of service, all pregnant employees are entitled to take 26 weeks' ordinary maternity leave followed immediately by 26 weeks' additional maternity leave (ie a total period of up to 52 weeks' maternity leave).

Employees have various rights and obligations in relation to maternity leave and pay. As an HR practitioner, you should ensure that a pregnant employee and her line manager are aware of these rights and obligations, for example by providing them with a copy of the maternity policy. This will help to ensure that the leave is well managed.

To encourage employees to return to work after maternity leave, there are various steps you can take, for example asking the employee to attend keeping-in-touch days, and talking to her about flexible working options.

Bar Huberman, acting employment law managing editor

New and updated