TBOS’ Handy Guide To Maternity, Paternity, Shared Parental And Adoption Leave

Employees have a number of fundamental “family-friendly” rights in the workplace. Below I have prepared a go-to guide summarising the rights that are currently in place:
TIME OFF

  • Pregnant employees are entitled to paid time off to attend antenatal appointments
  • Fathers and other qualifying partners of pregnant women are only entitled to unpaid time off to accompany her to up to two antenatal appointments

MATERNITY LEAVE

  • In the UK, employees have the right to take 26 weeks’ maternity leave to begin up to 11 weeks before the expected week of childbirth (EWC). Pregnant employees can also take up to 26 weeks’ in addition to ordinary maternity leave.
  • To claim Statutory Maternity pay, the employee must have 26 weeks’ continuous service at the 15th week before EWC (and have earnings at or above the lower earnings limit for NI contributions)
  • Statutory Maternity Pay currently stands at 39 weeks x (90% of average earnings for six weeks), which is followed by 33 weeks at the lower of either £140.98 or 90% of average weekly earnings.

PATERNITY LEAVE

  • Entitlement to paternity leave is one or two consecutive weeks leave (which must be completed within 56 days of the birth)
  • Employees who have 26 weeks’ continuous service ending on the 15th week before the baby is due and have earnings at or above the lower earnings limit for NI contributions are entitled to paternity leave and pay.
  • Statutory paternity pay is the lower of 90% of average weekly earnings or £140.98.

SHARED PARENTAL LEAVE

  • The Shared Parental Leave entitlement is up to 50 weeks’ leave split between the parents. This can be taken consecutively or by both parents at the same time but must be taken in weekly blocks.
  • To qualify for Shared Parental Leave the employee must have 26 weeks’ continuous service by the 15th week before the EWC or the week in which the adopter is notified of having been matched with a child for adoption.
  • Shared parental leave is paid at the lower of 90% of average weekly earnings or £140.98.

ADOPTION LEAVE

  • All employees have the right to 26 weeks’ adoption leave to begin no more than 14 days before the date the placement is expected with the employee. Employees adopting a child can also take an additional 26 weeks’ leave after the end of ordinary adoption leave.
  • To claim pay during adoption leave, the employee must have at least 26 weeks’ continuous service and their earnings must be at or above the lower earnings limit for NI contributions.
  • Pay during adoption leave is paid at 90% of average earnings for six weeks followed by 33 weeks’ at the lower of 90% of average weekly earnings or £140.98.

Remember, it is important to give your employees the correct family-friendly leave as there are harsh penalties for business who fail to comply. For further information or to discuss particular circumstances, call TBOS on 0845 881 112.