Maternity Rights Solicitors in Leeds

Maternity rights solicitors

We are maternity pay/maternity rights solicitors call to speak with us to discuss your maternity issues.

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Statutory maternity pay

This is the standard maternity pay. It comes from your employer, and there are 3 steps to getting it: 

  • Tell your employer you are pregnant 

  • Confirm your pregnancy with a form or letter from your doctor or midwife - you will need to do this at least 15 weeks before your due date 

  • Give your employer at least 28 days’ notice of when you would like your maternity pay to start 

You can do most of this at the same time you arrange your maternity leave. 

You will be paid by your employer in the same way you get your usual pay.  

After you tell your employer you are pregnant you will be entitled to rights whilst pregnant. These rights include protection from discrimination and paid time off for antenatal appointments. 

Maternity pay

To get your maternity pay, you need to give your employer proof that you are pregnant. Your proof should also show your due date. You should do this at least 15 weeks before your due date. You can show them either a maternity certificate (Form MATB1) that you will get from your midwife or doctor after your 20-week scan or a letter from your doctor or midwife 

Contractual maternity pay is an extra benefit some employers offer. It. Is paid in the same way as your normal pay. 

If you need help understanding your contractual maternity pay or have problems getting it from your employer:

Contact us 

Maternity Allowance

You might be able to claim Maternity Allowance from the government if you can not get statutory or contractual maternity pay.  

If you are claiming Maternity Allowance because your employer has said they will not give you statutory maternity pay, your employer should have given you a form called ‘SMP1’, confirming they will not pay statutory maternity pay.  

Maternity leave

You have a right to take up to a year of maternity leave regardless of how long you worked for your employer, how much you are paid or how many hours a week you work. Maternity leave is separate from maternity pay, which has different rules.  

You might also be able to share your leave with your partner 

You are entitled to maternity leave if you are an employee, but not a worker Finding out whether you are an employee can be difficult – get in touch and we can guide you. 

How to get your maternity leave

At least 15 weeks before the week when your baby is due, tell your employer: 

  • that you are pregnant 

  • when your baby is due 

  • that you want to take maternity leave 

  • when you want your maternity leave to start and end 


It is best to tell your employer in writing so you have a record. Your employer should confirm the end date of your maternity leave.  

Your employer can ask to see a medical certificate, such as your MATB1 form. You will get this at an antenatal appointment after your 20-week scan. 

As soon as you tell your employer you are pregnant, you are entitled to maternity rights at work. 

When can you start maternity leave

You can start your maternity leave any day from 11 weeks before your due date. Your maternity leave will start earlier than the date you pick if your baby comes early, or you are off work with an illness related to your pregnancy, and this happens in the 4 weeks before the week of your due date 

How long maternity lasts

Your maternity leave will last for a year unless you tell your employer you want to return earlier. The shortest maternity leave you can take is 2 weeks. This goes up to 4 weeks if you work in a factory. 

Adding holiday to your maternity leave

You can take holiday immediately before or after your maternity leave if you want to spend more time away from work. 

If your employer says you can not take maternity leave. Your employer should agree to your maternity leave if you have given them the right amount of notice. 

If your employer says you can’t take maternity leave, this is likely to be maternity discrimination: 

Contact us  


Pregnancy and maternity discrimination

Pregnancy and maternity discrimination solicitors 

If someone at work treats you unfairly because you are pregnant, breastfeeding or because you have recently given birth, you may have been discriminated against and we may you may be able to do something about it. Call us to discuss 

When you have given birth or are breastfeeding, you are protected against discrimination for 26 weeks following the day you gave birth.  

Additional protection when you’re breastfeeding

If you are being treated unfavourably because you’re breastfeeding your baby who’s over 26 weeks old, the Equality Act says it is direct sex discrimination. Unlike other direct sex discrimination cases, you do not have to show that you were treated worse than someone of the opposite sex. All you need to show is that you were treated worse than if you hadn’t been breastfeeding. 

Pregnancy and maternity discrimination at work

It is unlawful to discriminate against you because: 

  • you are pregnant, or 

  • of a pregnancy-related illness 

The protection against discrimination lasts for a specific period which starts when you become pregnant. This is called the protected period. 

If you have the right to maternity leave, the protected period ends when your maternity leave ends or when you return to work, if this is earlier. All employees have the right to take maternity leave. 

If you don’t have the right to maternity leave the protected period ends two weeks after your child was born. If you are treated unfavourably after this, you could still be protected against discrimination because of your sex. 

Once you have given birth, it is also unlawful to discriminate against you for one of these reasons: 

  • you are on maternity leave 

  • you have been on maternity leave 

  • you have tried to take maternity leave which you’re entitled to

Statutory Adoption Leave

There is more than one form of leave for which you may be eligible. For instance, if you have a child by way of a surrogate mother or you adopt a child you may be eligible for statutory adoption leave and pay.

Statutory adoption leave covers up to 52 weeks with 26 weeks of standard adoption leave and an additional 26 weeks of extended leave. Only one partner may claim adoption leave although it may be possible for the other to claim paternity leave.

Bear in mind too that the particulars of adoption leave vary depending on the type of adoption involved. For example:

  • If the adopted child is in the UK adoption leave starts 14 days before the adopted child moves in with you.
  • If the adopted child is coming from overseas, adoption leave starts when the child arrives in the UK.
  • In the case of a child delivered by a surrogate mother, adoption leave can start on the day or the day after the child is born.

Notification requirements

In order to be eligible for statutory adoption leave you must give your employer proper notice. That means you must inform your employer that you plan on applying for statutory adoption leave within 7 days of being matched with a child. Said notification must include the following details:

  • How much leave you are requesting
  • The start date of your leave
  • The placement date when the child is expected to be placed with you

If the child is coming from overseas the rules are somewhat different. Within 28 days of receiving notification, you must tell your employer when you expect the child to arrive. You must also inform them how much leave you want and when you want it to start.

Dealing with workplace statutory adoption leave

If you have abided by the rules, provided your employer with adequate notice along with start dates for your statutory adoption leave and its duration and are still meeting with resistance from your company contact Frederick Solicitors.

Likewise, if you are terminated while on statutory adoption leave or you return to work to find the company has given your position to someone else and expects you to take a lesser job, contact Frederick Solicitors. We will assess your situation quickly and accurately and advise you on your rights and the best course of action.

Our expert employment solicitors are here to help resolve your issue as quickly as possible. 

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