It’s good you are planning ahead because to qualify for maternity leave you need to follow some rules:

  • You have to work continuously from 41 to 15 weeks before your due date (translation: That’s a few weeks before getting pregnant until around three months before the baby is born). 
  • You have to earn over £113 a week, on average. 

If you answered yes to both of these you will get statutory maternity pay which is 90% of your salary for the first 6 weeks and £140 a week for another 33 weeks. It’s funded by the government but your employer arranges it and will pay what you are oweed into your bank account each month. 

You may be thinking ‘this isn’t a lot of money’, and you’re right. Your employer can choose to top-up and many do so that their employees get at least three months full pay, and more generous companies top-up to give six months full pay. 

If you are not sure what your company offers, speak with your manager or HR. Don't be afraid to ask because legally they are not allowed to treat you any differently and can face a huge law suit if they do. 

Need to know more about Maternity Pay? Read our guide

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