Advice about your entitlement to Ordinary Maternity Leave (OML) and Additional Maternity Leave (AML)
There are two types of maternity leave: Ordinary Maternity Leave (OML) and Additional Maternity Leave (AML).
Ordinary Maternity Leave (OML)
- 26 weeks leave for all employees
- Right to return to the same job
OML is the right to 26 weeks leave from work with the right to return to the same job at the end of it. However you must give your employer the correct notice.
All women employees are entitled to OML from day one of their employment. It does not matter how many hours you work or how long you have worked for your employer, you are still entitled to OML. If you work for an agency or do casual work you are probably not an employee, but you can still get maternity pay.
The earliest you can start your ordinary maternity leave is 11 weeks before your expected week of childbirth. This about 29 weeks pregnant, but you have to use the due date on your MAT B1 certificate which your midwife or GP will give you. Find the Sunday before your baby is due (or the due date if it is a Sunday) and count back 11 Sundays from there. It is for you to decide when you want to stop work. You can even work right up until the date the baby is born. Unless:
Additional Maternity Leave
- You have a pregnancy-related illness or absence in the last four weeks of your pregnancy. In this case your employer can start your maternity leave, even if you are ill for only one day.
- Your baby is born before the day you were planning to leave . In this case your leave will start on the day after the birth and you should tell your employer as soon as you can after you have given birth.
From the 1st April, 2007, all women are entitled to 26 weeks additional maternity leave regardless of whether they worked full or part time prior to taking OML. Up to 13 weeks of this leave will be paid according to SMP, however the final 13 weeks of AML will remain unpaid.
Additional Maternity Leave (AML) lasts for 26 weeks and starts on the day after the end of OML. However you must give your employer the correct notice.
You do not need to tell your employer how much maternity leave you intend to take. If you are entitled to AML your employer should assume you will be taking it. If you decide not to take some or all of your AML you will need to give 8 weeks notice to return to work.