What are an employee's maternity rights ?
An employer cannot dismiss an employee because she is pregnant, it does not matter if the employee does not have 2 years' continuous employment with the employer. The dismissal will be automatically unfair.
1. A pregnant employee is entitled to Maternity Leave without having worked for 2 years. Ordinary maternity leave is 26 weeks.
They also have a right to Additional Maternity Leave. This starts at the end of the Ordinary Maternity Leave period and lasts for 26 weeks.
2. A pregnant employee also has the right to Maternity Pay, if she has worked for 26 weeks or more.
The 26 weeks is counted from 15 weeks before the week the baby is due.
So take the week that the baby is due and count back 15 weeks.
If an employee has worked for 26 weeks at that stage the employee can claim Maternity Pay, this is paid for 39 weeks. Please see the maternity section of the Employment Factsheet for details.
3. Right to same contractual terms whilst off work (except same pay).
4. Right to paid leave for ante-natal care.
5. Right to return to work under the same contractual conditions after ordinary maternity leave and a comparable position after additional maternity leave.
6. The employee should be offered alternative work (if it is available), if the pregnancy means they cannot do the work they are normally employed to do.
Questions & Answers
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