Maternity leave is a right given to new mothers who are employees to take up to 1 year off work, and return to the same, or reasonably similar job thereafter.

Maternity leave is compulsory for the first 2 weeks post childbirth.

The first 26 weeks of maternity leave is referred to as ordinary maternity leave. If the employee returns to work during this period, they are entitled to the same job. They are also entitled to maternity pay over this period.

The remaining 26 weeks is referred to as additional maternity leave, and if the employee returns to work during this period they are entitled to a reasonably similar job if the employer cannot give them their original one back.

Maternity pay is not available during tall of he additional maternity leave period.

Parents now have a right to shared maternity/paternity leave.

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Updates: For employers: Family rights and flexible working | For employees: Family rights and flexible working |

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