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

Employees who do not have earnings of at least the lower earnings limit for national insurance purposes will not be entitled to statutory maternity pay, but they may be entitled to receive maternity allowance for up to 39 weeks. To get this benefit an employee must have been employed and/or self-employed for at least 26 weeks in the 66 weeks prior to the expected week of childbirth. Their average weekly earnings must be at least equal to the maternity allowance threshold and they must have paid sufficient national insurance contributions.