Topics

Maternity leave and maternity pay

Laura MerryleesEditor's message: With women constituting around half of the UK workforce, and the majority becoming pregnant at some point during their working life, most employers will need to manage employees through the transition from pregnancy to maternity leave, and then back to work, on a regular basis.

Regardless of length of service, all pregnant employees are entitled to a year's statutory maternity leave. However, entitlement to statutory maternity pay is limited to those with at least 26 weeks' service into the qualifying week and average weekly earnings of at least the lower earnings limit for national insurance purposes. Statutory maternity pay is payable for 39 weeks - six weeks at 90% of the employee's average earnings, followed by the remainder at a lower flat rate. However, many organisations choose to offer enhanced maternity pay above the statutory minimum, viewing this as a key way of improving the maternity experience for employees, and ensuring that the organisation retains their skills and experience in the longer term.

Laura Merrylees, employment law editor

New and updated

  • Date:
    19 August 2020
    Type:
    Editor's choice

    New Calculators tool

    XpertHR has six calculators to help HR professionals calculate statutory and enhanced redundancy pay, and entitlements around statutory maternity leave and pay. These can now be found in our new Calculators tool.

  • Date:
    12 August 2020
    Type:
    News

    Ensure women do not lose out on maternity pay, say Labour

    The Labour party has called for the government to take urgent action to ensure that those who have been pregnant during the pandemic do not have their maternity pay wrongly docked.

  • Type:
    Calculators

    Maternity notification deadline calculator

    An up-to-date, accurate maternity dates calculator. Use this calculator to calculate by when a pregnant employee must provide their official maternity notification and the earliest they can start their maternity leave.

  • Type:
    Calculators

    Additional maternity leave end date calculator

    An up-to-date, accurate additional maternity leave end date calculator. Use this calculator to calculate when an employee's maternity leave will end if she takes all her statutory maternity leave entitlement.

  • Type:
    Calculators

    Maternity pay service eligibility calculator

    An up-to-date, accurate maternity pay eligibility calculator. Use this calculator to calculate if an employee has worked for the organisation for long enough to qualify for statutory maternity pay.

  • Type:
    Calculators

    Maternity pay earnings eligibility calculator

    An up-to-date, accurate maternity pay eligibility calculator. Use this calculator to calculate if an employee earns enough to qualify for statutory maternity pay, where they are paid weekly on the same day or monthly on the same date.

  • Type:
    Calculators

    Statutory maternity pay calculator

    An up-to-date, accurate statutory maternity pay calculator. Use this calculator to work out how much statutory maternity pay an employee is entitled to receive.

  • Date:
    10 June 2020
    Type:
    News

    Employees on maternity leave can still access furlough after deadline

    Parents who are on statutory maternity and paternity leave and due to return to work in the next few months will still be eligible for the furlough scheme after it otherwise closes to new entrants today.

  • Date:
    28 April 2020
    Type:
    News

    Furlough: parental pay to be calculated on usual earnings

    Furloughed workers taking parental or adoption leave will receive parental or adoption pay based on their usual earnings, not the lower rate they receive while on furlough.

  • Type:
    Legal timetable

    Rules on calculating normal weekly earnings for family-related benefits for those who are furloughed introduced

    The rules on calculating normal weekly pay for entitlement to and payment of family-friendly benefits and maternity allowance have been adjusted for those who have been furloughed.