Maternity Rights at Work

Employees benefit from enhanced legal protections during pregnancy and maternity leave.

We can advise on your maternity rights.

Maternity rights at work

Expecting parents benefit from many rights and protections in the workplace. For expecting mothers, this includes specific maternity rights at work. 

Maternity rules however are not always straightforward, making it challenging for employees to ensure they are being treated fairly and receiving their full legal entitlements both under statute and any potential contractual enhancements.

If you believe your employer is falling short of their responsibilities, you can take action.

Maternity rights at work: What you need to know

Maternity rights are typically derived from a combination of statutory entitlements and contractual benefits and cover a specific protected period, from pregnancy through to returning to work. 

This can include:

  • Time-off work for antenatal appointments 
  • Sickness absence due to pregnancy-related illness
  • Guidance on health & safety issues relating to the pregnancy
  • Maternity pay
  • Maternity leave
  •  Annual leave accrual 
  • Communication during maternity leave
  • Return to work including keep in touch days
  • Redundancy during the protected period

It is an area of continued change, with additional rights now conferred under shared parental leave. 

In all cases, you will first need to ensure you understand what you are eligible for. You should also take time to understand your obligations as an employee, for example in giving notice to your employer of your intended maternity leave start date.

We can help

DavidsonMorris can advise on all areas of pregnancy, maternity, adoption, shared parental rights and flexible working requests.

We work with employees to advise on their rights and provide guidance if you have concerns that you are not receiving your full entitlement for pay and leave, or if you are not being treated fairly or lawfully because you are exercising your maternity rights at work.

We can advise on issues throughout the protected period, from pregnancy through to returning to work.

We are also experienced in dealing with redundancy and supporting employees who are facing redundancy while pregnant or on maternity leave.


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