Employment Rights and Maternity Benefits (UK)

AIMS provides information and support around the issue of Maternity care, and decisions around pregnancy and birth. Employment Rights and Maternity Benefits are not our area of expertise, but we can point you in the right direction.

Your employer has an obligation to provide you with information about what you may be entitled to. However, information about employment rights and maternity benefits is available from many online sources, some of which we list below. We would recommend that you make yourself aware of all your rights from your employment.

If you are in any doubt, there are organisations which can help you and guide you. Please use the organisations below before turning to expensive lawyers. We know from experience that people in these organisations can assist you to establish your rights.

Starting with Government information, the following are a few information sources:

Rights for pregnant employees can be found at www.gov.uk/working-when-pregnant-your-rights

Statutory Maternity Pay and Leave information can be found at

www.gov.uk/maternity-paternity-calculator

And for those in Northern Ireland

www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/working-when-pregnant

If you are unsure what applies to you please seek further advice.

Possible sources of advice:

Citizens Advice (formally known as CAB - Citizens Advice Bureau)

They are a series of independent local charities which provide free, confidential and independent advice face-to-face, over the phone, by email and by web-chat.

www.citizensadvice.org.uk

Maternity Action

Another charity offering free advice for parents and legal guardians worried about their rights at work and rights to benefits and healthcare. They also produce a range of accurate and user-friendly publications and information sheets about these rights. Their Advice Line also offers confidential telephone support.

www.maternityaction.org.uk/advice-2/mums-dads-scenarios/pregnant/health-and-safety-during-pregnancy-and-on-return-to-work

ACAS(Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service)

A Statutory body which provides free and impartial information and advice to employers and employees on all aspects of workplace relations and employment law. They support good relationships between employers and employees which underpin business success. When things go wrong they help by providing conciliation to resolve workplace problems.

www.acas.org.uk

Family Lives

www.familylives.org.uk

Family lives is another organisation that provides support to families and carers at different stages. They have a chat line too, and their support includes helping with family finances, helping single parents, providing emotional and wellbeing support as well as a wide range of other topics.

Working Families

www.workingfamilies.org.uk

Working Families has a free helpline for parents and carers on employment rights and in-work benefits. They provide legal advice for free, to parents and carers on their work rights.

If you do not live in the UK we hope you will find similar information and helpful organisations in your own countries by searching the Internet. One of those is Birthrights. They are not specific to employment or maternity rights and benefits, but can offer different support as a start.

Birthrights

Further information for parents can be found on Birthrights, a campaign group on human rights in pregnancy and birth. They have produced some information and translated it into several languages including Arabic, Farsi, Somali, French and Kurdish.

www.birthrights.org.uk/factsheets/your-basic-birth-rights-translated

Written by: Shane Ridley
Reviewed by: Veronica Blanco
Reviewed on: 21/10/2021
Next review needed: 21/10/2022


AIMS supports all maternity service users to navigate the system as it exists, and campaigns for a system which truly meets the needs of all. AIMS does not give medical advice, but instead we focus on helping women to find the information that they need to make informed decisions about what is right for them, and support them to have their decisions respected by their health care providers. The AIMS Helpline volunteers will be happy to provide further information and support. Please email helpline@aims.org.uk or ring 0300 365 0663.

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