Before your baby is born
If you’re working and having a baby, you can get paid time off for antenatal care, no matter how long you’ve been in your job. This is in addition to annual leave.
After your baby is born
Once you’ve had your baby you’re entitled to a year’s maternity leave. You don’t have to take the full year, but you must take at least two weeks off work following the birth of your baby.
If you decide to take maternity leave, you could get the legal minimum of up to 39 weeks Statutory Maternity Pay if you’re eligible.
To qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay:
For 2019/20 you get 90% of your average weekly earnings before tax for the first six weeks. For the next 33 weeks you get £148.68 or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is less). The final 13 weeks (if taken) are unpaid.
If you don’t qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay, you can apply for Maternity Allowance. How much you get depends on how much you earn and how much National Insurance you’ve paid.
Use Gov.uk to find out if you are eligible for Maternity Allowance.
When your partner gives birth, if you adopt a child or if you have a baby by surrogate, employees may be entitled to one or two weeks paternity leave and paternity pay. Most agency and contract workers aren’t eligible.
To qualify for statutory paternity leave:
For 2019/20, the rate of Statutory Paternity Pay and Statutory Shared Parental Pay is either £148.68 per week or 90% of your average weekly wage, whichever is lower.
Eligible new parents can use Shared Parental Leave. This lets you share up to 50 weeks of parental leave and 37 weeks of pay with your partner.
To be entitled to shared parental leave:
There are other types of financial support you may be able to claim after you’ve had a baby such as tax credits and free childcare. Read our childcare options and help with benefits article to find out what is available and how to claim.
If you are adopting, you can also claim Statutory Adoption Pay and Leave. However, be aware that some rules may be different.
To find out more about the different types of parental leave, visit the Money Advice Service website.
If you feel that you are starting to worry about your money - we are here to help. The range of tips and advice on our Money Worries pages can point you towards ways of staying on top of your finances.
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