When it comes to maternity leave and pay there’s a lot to look at, so in this article we’ll talk you through the various stages of pregnancy and what you need to do and what your employer has to do:
- Ante-natal care
- Maternity leave
- Notification to your boss
- Returning to work
1.) Ante-natal care
Regardless of how long you’ve been with your business, every single pregnant employee is entitled to paid time off for ante-natal appointments that’ve been made on the back of advice from a registered medical practitioner, midwife or nurse.
So, this means that ante-natal care isn’t limited to just medical examinations. It covers things like relaxation classes and parentcraft classes too. Just make sure you provide your boss with a certificate from a registered medical practitioner (that means GP, midwife or nurse) proving you’re pregnant.
Employees have to get paid their normal hourly rate of pay. This can be worked out by dividing the employee’s week’s pay by the number of hours they usually work in a week.
2.) Maternity leave
Ordinary maternity leave can begin any time up to the birth of your baby – but no earlier than the 11th week before the expected due date.
If an unforeseen event like a pregnancy related illness or a premature birth triggers a maternity absence, then ordinary maternity leave starts from the day after the event.
3.) Notification to your boss
You need to notify your boss that you’re pregnant before or during the 15th week ahead of the EWC, or as soon as is reasonably practical giving them details from the form MATB1, letting them know when you plan to begin your maternity leave.
Your boss has 28 days to acknowledge it. Then they should carry out an expectant mothers risk assessment and review it every three months.
4) Returning to work
You have a statutory right to return to the position you held before going on leave.
If you want to return sooner than your full maternity leave entitlement, then you need to give your employer at least eight week’s notice.
The Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023 comes into force on 24th July 2023 (though won’t be implemented right away). It starts that protection from when an expectant mother notifies their employer of their pregnancy and extends that protection from when an expectant mother notifies their employer of their pregnancy and extends that protection for a period following their return from maternity leave.