I'm pregnant and I'm worried about my maternity leave. I don't know what I should be entitled to but I thought I should get maternity pay. Someone told me I might not get anything if I took time off work. Can you tell me what I'm entitled to?
Not only are you entitled to maternity leave but you have a range of other rights that your employer must provide:
- Employers have a duty to safeguard the health and safety of their employees and are required to assess the risks to health and safety their employees are exposed to in their work.
- You're entitled to paid time off to keep appointments for antenatal care made on the advice of a doctor, midwife or health visitor. Antenatal care is not restricted to medical examinations. For example, it could also include relaxation classes and parentcraft classes.
- As an employee you have the right to 26 weeks of Ordinary Maternity Leave and 26 weeks Additional Maternity Leave. In order to take advantage of this right you must ensure you give your employer the correct notification before you begin your leave, but it doesn't matter how long you have worked for them, how many hours you do or what you get paid. The earliest you can start your maternity leave is 11 weeks before your expected week of childbirth.
- You have a right not to suffer unfair or detrimental treatment at work because a) you are pregnant, b) you have given birth to a child, c) you have taken or sought to take maternity leave or any of the benefits of maternity leave or d) you have been suspended from work for health and safety reasons connected with your maternity.
- Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) is a weekly benefit paid to women who are on maternity leave. If you don't qualify for SMP you may qualify for Maternity Allowance. You may also qualify for other benefits in addition to SMP - you can find out more about other benefits by taking a look at Directgov.
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Question answered by CAB