Can I go back to my old job?

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Yes. Unless you're made redundant, you're entitled to return to the same, or a similar, role. This must have the same, or better, terms and conditions as before.
Worried about going back to work? Get advice on making your return to work easier.

Can I work for my employer while on maternity leave?

Yes. 'Keeping in touch' days have recently been introduced which allow you to work for a maximum of 10 days during maternity leave without having to sacrifice your SMP.

If I don't go back, will I have to repay my maternity pay?

You won't have to repay SMP. However, if your company offers additional maternity pay on top of SMP, you may have to repay this if you don't return within a set period.

What if I've adopted my child?

You have the same rights as other working mums: 26 weeks' paid and a further 26 weeks' unpaid leave for working adoptive parents.

What about my partner?

If he's a working dad he'll be entitled to two weeks paid paternity leave if he has worked for his company for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the beginning of the week when your baby is due. Most men eligible for paternity leave are also entitled to Statutory Paternity Pay. This is 90% of usual earnings, or £112.75 a week.

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What if I don't qualify for SMP?

If you can't get SMP from your employer, you may get Maternity Allowance (MA) of £112.75 weekly or 90 per cent of your average weekly earnings, whichever is less paid for up to 39 weeks. You qualify if you:
  • are employed
  • are self-employed and pay Class 2 National Insurance contributions or
  • have a Small Earnings Exception certificate
  • are not employed but have worked close to or during your pregnancy either on an employed or self employed basis) for at least 26 of the 66 weeks before the week your baby was due and earned an average of £30 over any 13 of those 66 weeks.

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