Guide

Maternity leave and pay

Introduction

This guide will help you comply with the laws on statutory maternity leave and pay.

All pregnant employees are:

  • entitled to take 52 weeks' statutory maternity leave (SML) around the birth of their child
  • protected from suffering detriment or dismissal for taking SML
  • entitled to benefit from her existing terms and conditions, except those relating to wages or salary, during SML

In addition, the guide looks at shared parental leave and pay, which was introduced in Northern Ireland in April 2015. It provides parents with greater choice in how they share time off work and care in the first year of their child’s life. The new rules also apply to adoption or surrogacy.