At Skills4 UK, we are always looking to help those returning to work after Maternity to get the best platform to succeed on their return.

And while our coaching and training programmes are for those returning to work, there are so many of our customers who research everything and anything to do with maternity leave before they even begin their time off.

So to help with answering some of the information you may be looking for regarding maternity pay and leave, we have put together this information based on what is provided from We advise you to check that site for any more up to date information.

Maternity Leave

Statutory Maternity Leave is comprised of 52 weeks. this is made up of the following – Standard Maternity Leave (The First 26 Weeks) & Additional Maternity Leave (The final 26 Weeks).

Depending on your working environment, you MUST take 2 weeks maternity leave after your baby is born (this can expand to 4 weeks if you work in a factory).

You can use the Government Planner to help work out the dates for your Standard and Additional Maternity cover –

When can you start your maternity leave?

The earliest you can generally start your maternity leave is 11 weeks BEFORE the expected birth date. The required 2 weeks maternity leave begins the day after the birth of your child.

How do I calculate Maternity Pay?

Because Maternity Leave is broken into the two classes of Standard Maternity and Additional Maternity, the pay for both is different.

Statutory Maternity Pay is paid up to 39 weeks. This comprises 90% of your average weekly salary (before tax) for the first 6 weeks. After this, it is £148.68 or 90% of your average weekly salary (whichever is lowest) for the next 33 weeks.

You can use the Government Maternity Pay Calculate to help work out your Maternity Pay –

Statutory Maternity Leave begins when you start your Maternity Leave.

How do I know if I am eligible for Maternity Leave & Pay?

You will qualify for Maternity Leave if you are comply with the following:
– You are an employee (not a worker).
– You provide your employer with the correct notice (see link for more information –

To receive the Statutory Maternity Pay, you muse earn at least £118 per week, provide proof that you are pregnant and provide your employer with the correct notice.

If you employer decides to not provide you with Statutory Maternity Leave Pay, they must provide you with a SMP1 form to explain their decision with 7 days of that decision.

Is there anything else beyond Statutory Maternity Pay?

Yes. There are a number of additional maternity benefits from Universal Credit, Child Benefits, Child Tax Credits, Working Tax Credit and Income Support. Your employer may run a maternity scheme. Please ask your employer for more information.

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