Pregnant employees (working under a contract of employment), are entitled to take up to 52 weeks' maternity leave (which consists of 26 weeks' ordinary maternity leave immediately followed by 26 weeks' additional maternity leave), regardless of length of service, so long as they follow the rules for telling the employer in advance.
A pregnant employee who satisfies certain qualifying criteria - see below - will be entitled to up to 39 weeks' Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP).
If an employee has 12 months' continuous service with an NHS employer by the 11th week before the expected week of childbirth (EWC), she will be entitled to enhanced pay under the NHS contractual maternity pay scheme.
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