Maternity leave: A practical guide

Following recent changes to maternity law we publish a handy first-stop-shop guide for statutory entitlement to maternity leave.

Your business may have contractual or discretionary provisions which supplement the statutory basics, but this article should provide a framework upon which you can overlay any supplementary provisions.

Statutory Maternity Leave: the entitlement

The only pre-condition for maternity leave is that the woman is an employee, therefore self-employed staff and contractors may not be entitled to the statutory minimum.

An expecting mother is entitled to:

-    26 weeks ordinary maternity leave (OML); and
-    26 weeks additional maternity leave (AML)

The employee must take a minimum of two weeks’ leave after the birth of the baby; this is called compulsory maternity leave.

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