I am expecting a child. Can I take maternity leave?

All pregnant employees are entitled to 52 weeks' maternity leave from the day they start a job, and you are entitled to take it regardless of how long you have worked for your employer, how many hours you work or how much you are paid. However, you must give your employer the proper notice.

See our Maternity Leave section for more comprehensive information on maternity leave and pay.

For children born or placed for adoption on or after 5 April 2015, you may also want to think about sharing some of your maternity leave with your partner, if you both qualify. See our Shared Parental Leave section for more information about this right.

You can also find useful information about Shared Parental Leave on the SPLASH web portal, devised for working parents by a group of charities and legal advisors.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.