Maternity and Paternity Leave and Pay

All pregnant women who are employed are entitled to a full year of maternity leave, which is split into two 26 week blocks (known as ‘ordinary maternity leave’ and ‘additional leave’). During this time, you may be eligible for maternity pay or paid time off for antenatal care.

As an employee who is expecting to become a father, there are legal protections that apply to you also. This includes being able to take time off work (two weeks’ paternity leave paid at the statutory rate). In addition to this leave, fathers/partners may also be entitled to take additional paternity leave of up to 26 weeks. Given recent changes to employment law in this area, there may be other work issues for fathers and partners at this demanding time, such as wanting to work more flexible hours.

If you feel your employer is trying to deprive you of your entitlement to paid leave, or if you feel you are being unfairly discriminated against because you have asked to take leave, then our employment solicitors may be able to help.

For employees: BPS Law’s expert solicitors have an excellent reputation for representing people who experience maternity and paternity discrimination at work. We have particular experience in discrimination cases involving redundancy during maternity leave, and refusal to agree flexible working requests on return to work, as well as health and safety issues during pregnancy.

For employers: Many employers are not aware of the legal rights employees have to maternity support leave. It’s not uncommon for employers to be less accepting of requests for leave or flexible working from fathers or partners than from mothers. We can help by advising employers as to what they should or shouldn’t be doing; thereby reducing the possibility of any discrimination and/or constructive dismissal claims.