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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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 new 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 new Shared Parental Leave regime.
This TUC booklet, Leave and pay for mothers (PDF, 131KB) provides information on the right to leave, including Shared Parental Leave, unpaid parental leave, the right to request flexible working and the right to emergency time off for dependants, which may help mothers balance paid work with bringing up their children.