Working Mothers in United Kingdom

Does the Law have provisions on maternity leave? Yes
What is the duration of maternity leave? 52.0 weeks
What percentage of the monthly salary does a worker get during maternity leave? 67  %
Who pays for maternity leave? Both employer and government
Does the law require that workers be protected from dismissals during the term of pregnancy and maternity leave? Yes
Does the law provide for the right to return to same position after availing maternity leave? Yes
Does the law require that pregnant and nursing workers must not be engaged in harmful work? Yes
Does the law require that pregnant workers be provided free ante and post natal medical care? Yes
Does the law provide for breastfeeding breaks for nursing mothers? Yes
Does the law require parental leave for parents? Yes
Does the law provide for paid or unpaid parental leave? Unpaid
What is the total duration of parental leave? 126
What is the wage replacement rate for parental leave? No provision
Does the law require that parents with minor children or workers with other family responsibilities be provided with flexible time or part time work options? Yes

To comply with international standards, maternity leave duration should be at least 14 weeks and during maternity leave workers should be paid at least 67% of their wage.

More about maternity leave:

According to section 71-73 of ER, female employees are entitled to a period of six months' ordinary maternity leave (OML) and six months' additional maternity leave (AML). At least two weeks' leave must be taken after a child's birth (compulsory maternity leave). Usually, the earliest leave can start is 11 weeks before the expected week of childbirth. Worker must give her employer at least 8 weeks’ notice if she wants to change her return to work date.

Source: §71-73 of Employment Rights Act 1996

A woman's usual terms and conditions of employment continue throughout Ordinary and Additional maternity leave, except remuneration. Remuneration is replaced by Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP). SMP is paid for up to 39 weeks at a rate of 90 per cent of normal pay for the first six weeks, followed by a flat rate of £136.78 a week (from April 2013) (or normal weekly pay if lower) for a further 33 weeks. Some employers offer enhanced contractual maternity pay. The remaining 13 weeks of maternity leave are unpaid. To claim SMP, worker must tell her employer, 28 days before she decides to start maternity leave, that she is pregnant and will be off work because of the birth. The employer may want to see a medical certificate (a MATB1) and worker must show it to the employer.

Source: §2-6 of The Statutory Maternity Pay (General) Regulations after amendment & The Maternity; Parental Leave Regulations 1999

More about parental leave:

People who have worked for their employer for one year have the right to unpaid parental leave. Workers are entitled to 18 weeks' unpaid leave before the child is five or before 18 years age if the child is disabled. The employee who is absent on parental leave is entitled to the benefit of the terms and conditions of employment which would have applied if he had not been absent including seniority, pension rights and similar rights. For each adopted child, the unpaid parental leave is allowed up to the child’s 18th birthday or 5th anniversary of his/her adoption, whichever comes first.

Source: §76-77 of ERA; The Maternity and Parental Leave Regulations