Maternity leave can be a divisive subject when employers and parents (or expecting parents) get together. However, many of the views on maternity leave are merely myths and assumptions.

Employers have a statutory right to pay pre-natal and post-natal mothers, and the amounts and timescales are set out in law. These are minimum payments, however, and some employers will offer much more parent-friendly rates of maternity pay and leave.

Employers can claim back statutory pay from the government after it has been paid. At present, this is £136.78 per week or 90% of average weekly earnings (whichever is lower), and is payable every 2 or 4 weeks for up to 39 weeks.

Mothers-to-be can start claiming at 26 weeks into the pregnancy. They must also be allowed paid time off for antenatal appointments.

Maternity can be a complex issue for employers as they often have to find replacement staff at short notice, and this may involve a degree of training and familiarisation. Some employers worry that returning mothers will have forgotten elements of the work, will miss out on new developments or that they will not return at all. Employers are, however, legally bound not to discriminate against pregnant women or mothers.

Peninsula Business Services can provide advice and assistance on any aspect of maternity leave and pay. Contact us online today, call 0800 0282 420, or use our callback form to arrange for us to get in touch at a time that is convenient for you.