Continuing our Family Leave theme for April, let's dive into maternity, paternity and adoption leave.
All pregnant employees have the right to take up to 52 weeks maternity leave, regardless of their length of service. Qualifying employees may also receive up to 39 weeks Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)
Employees are not allowed to work in the 2 week period (4 weeks if she works in a factory) immediately following the birth of a child.
Employment continues as normal during maternity leave and the employee continues to accrue holiday.
Employees are entitled to take up to 10 Keeping in Touch (KIT) days without losing SMP or triggering the end of the maternity leave.
Employees also have an automatic right to return to work after a period of maternity leave.
Pregnancy and maternity are protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010.
Adoption leave mirrors the entitlements and rights of maternity leave for eligible employees. There must be one main adopter who can take adoption leave and they may qualify for Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP).
Some procedures may differ where a child is being adopted from overseas.
The other parent may be able to take parental leave, shared parental leave or paternity leave.
Eligible employees with at least 26 weeks service by the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth (EWC) or the week of the match date are entitled to take up to two weeks of paternity leave.
Paternity leave must be taken in blocks of either 2x 1 week blocks or 1x 2 week block. The leave can be taken at any time within the first 56 days of the birth or placement of a child.
Eligible employees are also entitled unpaid time off to attend up to two ante-natal appointments with their partner.
Employees have an automatic right to return to their original job role they were doing before the paternity leave period.
Employees who take paternity leave are protected by the Equality Act 2010.