Maternity & Paternity Leave


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If you are having a child then you will undoubtedly have to take some time off for the end of the pregnancy, childbirth, and post-delivery period, and if you and your partner are working then the time you need to take off work might have a major impact on your financial situation. Different employers have different policies when it comes to parental leave, and as such it is important to know what your legal rights are here in the UK.

Maternity Leave

In the UK women are entitled to 52 weeks of maternity leave, of which 6 weeks should be paid at just under your usual salary. The rest of the period of leave is paid but at a much lower late, and in total you can expect to have received about 40% of your usual wage over the course of the 52 weeks. You are not obliged to take time off after the initial 6 weeks if you don’t need or want it, but as you can see, for working women taking a longer period of maternity leave can have a bigger impact on your finances. In fact only the 2 weeks following childbirth are legally mandated maternity leave.

Paternity Leave

Men are obliged to take two weeks’ leave by law, and are also provided with the legal right to take time off work to attend antenatal sessions with a partner. However to qualify for those two weeks you may need to have been with an employer for about 26 weeks. The pay rate for these two weeks is 90% of your average salary.

These are just your basic rights as an employee, and while there are criteria you need to meet to receive them, you can expect to have some paid leave as either a father or mother. Remember that your employer might have slightly different policies towards maternity and paternity leave, and as such it is always worth talking to your employer about it.


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