Rules for maternity leave in the UK

In our more enlightened times we have realised that the need for women to have plenty of time to recover from, and to enjoy becoming, a mother is vital. It is also the case that women had to, and still do, make a decision about whether they want to have a career or a family. The introduction of Maternity leave was, and is, an attempt to protect women and ensure that they have an income. Pregnancy has also been used as a way of dismissing women or making them feel as if they should leave a role when there is no question of their lack of competency at a role. This is where a Constructive Dismissal Claim, made with the help of can be expected to be received from the ex employee.

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Maternity leave in the UK is for 52 weeks. Basically you are allowed to have a year off to concentrate purely on you and your baby, whilst being supported. The expectation is that you will go back to the role you were doing, if you want to.

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When you do decide to return, you can go back sooner if you wish, then the employer has to look at giving you a phased return or flexible working. Also, the terms of your employment have to be respected whilst you are on maternity leave. There are some issues, you can’t do anything if the business fails, but you still qualify for redundancy pay for example even if you are not there full time.

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