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Employment Law Advice

Maternity & Paternity Leave

Get free employer advice for businesses on maternity pay and leave and paternity pay and leave

Maternity & Paternity Leave

Employees who are parents whilst employed may be eligible for parental leave and also maternity and paternity pay. There are several main points in regards to the rights of those with children that employers must be aware of.

Employers should outline their maternity and paternity leave policies in their staff handbooks. This can help prevent a formal grievance procedure if employees fully understand the terms of their employment.

Employers often find it complex to deal with the various rules in place for parents, call our free helpline for more advice on 0161 115 6164

Parental Leave & Adoption Leave

Those eligible are allowed to take unpaid parental leave or adoption leave to spend time with their children, look at schooling options and settle children into childcare. Their employment rights and contracts of employment are protected during this leave. The entitlement varies for parents but usually only qualifies for parents with children under 5. It is restricted to 4 weeks per year unless an employer agrees to an extension.

This applies for employees with service of over 1 year. If you’re unsure whether an employee is eligible for parental leave contact our free helpline on 0161 115 6164 today.

Paternity Pay

Paternity pay consists of 1 to 2 weeks of Ordinary Paternity Leave, or 26 weeks of Additional Paternity Leave if the mother returns to work. The rate for paternity pay is £136.78 or 90% of an employee’s weekly earnings, whichever is lower.

If you need to know more about paternity pay please contact 0161 115 6164 for free advice.

Maternity Leave

If an employee takes time off to have a child they may be eligible for the following;

  • Maternity leave
  • Maternity pay
  • Time off for antenatal care

Antenatal care includes medical appointments and antenatal classes, if they are recommended by a medical professional. There are also many health and safety procedures to comply with for staff having children, contact our free health and safety advice helpline.

How Does Maternity Pay Work?

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) is paid for up to 39 weeks. This is divided into two;

  • 90% of average weekly earnings for the first six weeks
  • £136.78 or 90% of average weekly earnings for the next 33 weeks, whichever is lower

It is the duty of the employer to explain SMP if they have any questions or disagree about the amount of pay due to them.

If you’re concerned about being unable to pay SMP, such as if you’re insolvent, call our free helpline now on 0161 115 6164.

How Long Is Maternity Pay Paid For?

39 weeks are paid. Employment rights are protected throughout the entire duration of Statutory Maternity Leave. This consists of up to 52 weeks leave, 26 of Ordinary Maternity Leave and 26 of Additional Maternity Leave. 2 weeks of leave are mandatory.

Employees who give 28 days’ notice are eligible for SMP no matter how long they have worked for an employer or how much they are paid. However, they must earn on average of at least £109 per week and provide proof of pregnancy – such as a letter from a doctor.

If you have any queries about whether an employee is eligible for maternity leave call us on 0161 115 6164 for free expert advice.

Maternity Rights For Employers

Employers should be aware that employees can take Statutory Maternity Leave and SMP if they are entitled to it. In addition employers should be aware of the following;

  • You can offer more than the statutory amounts of pay if your company operates a maternity scheme. These policies must be made clear to staff
  • If the baby is born before the set start date of leave, it starts the day after the birth
  • Employees qualify for leave or pay if the baby is stillborn after the start of the 24th week of pregnancy or dies after being born

If you have any questions about your rights as an employer in regards to maternity rights please call our free helpline for expert advice – 0161 115 6164.

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