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Maternity leave

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:
  • 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.
Additional Maternity Leave

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.

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I am currently on maternity leave and my son is 6 months, i return to my original full time job in may 2011. I want to know if I can do any temp work elsewhere in the evenings and weekends until I go back to my full time job.
by jolorenzo2010 28th Jan 2011, 4:50pm
I am a contractor for the company and not entitled to maternity leave. If you say that ALL woman are entitled to OML since 1 April 2007, does that include women in my position, and do I have a leg to stand on in this regard?
by Leonore 11th Nov 2010, 10:16am
question about maternity leave and pay - i was due on 12th May and had intended to start my maternity leave and therefore pay on the monday before (10th May). Shay however decided to arrive early, on Thursday 29th April - does my maternity start on this date? Or does it have to begin on the Sunday of that week? Or as someone told me does it start the day after his birth? I am entitled to 11 weeks full pay from my employer and the date it starts could make a big difference to what im owed.
by MauraDec 12th Aug 2010, 10:31am
Hi There. Could somebody help? I am due to start a new job on the 8th March and I am 1 months pregnant. I understand I am entitled to ordinary maternity leave, but at what rate am I paid? Will I get my full salary per month whilst I am off or at a reduced rate? Please advise. Many thanks.
by Bhangoe 14th May 2010, 4:37pm
i also am confused. i started working where i am about 9 wks ago which means i am stil in my probation period and am about 4wks pregnant. how do i know if i will be eligeble for maternity leave. does anybody know if they are allowed to not offer me the permanent job after my 12wks probation? im really worried.
by tanya85 12th Sep 2009, 7:46pm
i have just started a new job i have been with them for 3weeks and have just found out that i am 7weeks pregnant were do i stand with them
by joycep 7th Jul 2009, 10:03am
Ive just started work and im 4 weeks pregnant, can i get smp?im on a 6 month contract and my hours will go up in 6 months, but by then ill have my baby, what if they dnt give me smp?HELP PLEASEX
by cara21 2nd Apr 2009, 9:05am
what if the employer sack the employee upon learning that she is pregnant, what should she do?
by hopinglady 15th Jan 2009, 9:58am
Im from the Philippines and I would like to know if OML and AML is applicable here in our country.
by kim1524 7th Aug 2008, 8:52am