Will a surrogate mother be entitled to paid maternity leave?
Yes, provided that they meet the normal eligibility criteria, a surrogate mother will be entitled to paid maternity leave. What the birth mother plans to do with the baby after it is born has no impact on their right to maternity leave or statutory maternity pay. Pregnant employees have the right, irrespective of length of service, age, marital status or any other factor, to take up to 52 weeks' maternity leave and resume working afterwards.
The employee must give their employer notification of their pregnancy, of their expected week of childbirth and of the date on which they intend their maternity leave to start. Notification must be provided no later than the end of the 15th week before the week that the employee's baby is expected, or as soon as reasonably practicable.
In order to qualify for statutory maternity pay, the employee must have a minimum of 26 weeks' continuous service calculated as at the end of the 15th week before the week the baby is due (the qualifying week). They must also have average weekly earnings of at least the lower earnings limit for national insurance contributions, and still be employed by their employer during the qualifying week.
The intended parents, who will have responsibility for the care of the child, may be entitled to statutory adoption leave and pay, paternity leave and pay and shared parental leave and pay.