Statutory Maternity Leave
You qualify for Statutory Maternity Leave if:
It does not matter how long you’ve been with your employer, how many hours you work or how much you get paid.
You cannot get Statutory Maternity Leave if you have a child through surrogacy - you could get Statutory Adoption Leave and Pay instead.
Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)
To qualify for SMP you must:
- earn on average at least £120 a week
- give the correct notice and proof you’re pregnant
- have worked for your employer continuously for at least 26 weeks continuing into the ‘qualifying week’ - the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth
If you usually earn an average of £120 or more a week, and you only earned less in some weeks because you were paid but not working (‘on furlough’) under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, you may still be eligible.
You cannot get SMP if you go into police custody during your maternity pay period. It will not restart when you’re discharged.
Early births or you lose your baby
You can still get Statutory Maternity Leave and SMP if your baby:
- is born early
- is stillborn after the start of your 24th week of pregnancy
- dies after being born
If you’re not eligible for SMP
Your employer must give you form SMP1 explaining why you cannot get SMP within 7 days of making their decision. You may be eligible for Maternity Allowance instead.