Maternity Leave

Covered in this topic:

Are you a Mum-to-be and in work? This section covers the basic (sometimes called statutory) rights that employers must provide for new mothers who work for them.

Your employer may offer better rights than the legal minimum and you need to check your contract of employment, your staff handbook, or perhaps a special leaflet that the personnel department may provide in larger organisations to find out your entitlement with your current employer.

Further Information

Maternity rights are complicated because everyone’s situation is different, so you may need more specific advice than you will find in this section. You can visit our free help webpage for general advice and help organisations, but here are some organisations you can go to for further help on this particular topic:

Maternity Action (is a charity providing advice for pregnant women and new parents). It runs an Advice Line 0845 600 8533.

Charity Working Families runs a free, confidential helpline for parents, carers and their advisers that gives advice on employment rights and benefits. Tel: 0300 012 0312 or you can email

The National Childbirth Trust (NCT) runs a helpline on tel: 0300 330 0700.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website provides information for new and expectant mothers.

The government's Equality Advisory Support Service (EASS) has a website and a Free Helpline. Tel: 0808 800 0082.

In Northern Ireland, you can get help and information from the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland. Helpline: 028 90 500 600. .

A web portal SPLASH has been devised by a group of legal advisers and charities, including Working Families and Maternity Action, to advise parents and families on the Shared Parental Leave regime.

HM Revenue and Customs provides guidance on Tax Credits section. Tel: 0845 300 3900 in England, Wales and Scotland; 0845 603 2000 in Northern Ireland (lines open 8am-8pm).

The Department of Work and Pensions.