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What about maternity pay?

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  • You can now get Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) for up to 39 weeks, as long as you meet the conditions.
  • To qualify for SMP you must pay tax and National Insurance as an employee, or would pay if you earned enough. Your employer can't offer you less than the statutory scheme.
  • If you get SMP, your employer will give you full pay for the first six weeks, then up to £123 for the remaining 33 weeks. You pay tax and National Insurance in the same way as on your regular wages. Your employer reclaims the majority of SMP from their National Insurance contributions and other payments. The earliest SMP can start is 11 weeks before the week your baby is due.
  • If you have the right to receive SMP, you'll get it even if you decide to leave your job before you start receiving SMP.

 



How much notice do I need to give?

If you take your full leave, you don't need to give notice that you're coming back, but it's a good idea to do so.

If you decide not to return to work at all, you must give your employer notice in the normal way. You need to give eight weeks' notice if you return before the full year.

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You don't have an automatic right to return to work part time after maternity leave, but as a parent with a child under six, or if you have a disabled child under 18, you have the right to request flexible working. Your employer is legally required to take your request seriously and if they refuse, offer a good business reason why this wouldn't work.

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