Leave and Pay
Maternity, Adoption and Shared Parental Leave
All new parents are entitled to leave with their child.
The mother or primary adopter must take a minimum of two weeks maternity or adoption leave straight after the birth or placement of the child. Thereafter it can be shared up to a total of 52 weeks leave.
Maternity leave shall not normally commence prior to the 11th week before the expected week of childbirth (EWC – ie 29 weeks pregnant) but can commence at any time up to the EWC [NHS Terms and Conditions of Service Handbook | NHS Employers].
You must ensure that the relevant documentation such as the MATB1 form is passed to the Lead Employer HR Department to process no later than 28 days before the start of the intended maternity leave [NHS Terms and Conditions of Service Handbook | NHS Employers].
Maternity and Adoption Pay
If you have 12 months continuous service with one or more NHS employer at the beginning of the 11th week before the expected week of childbirth (EWC), and you have notified your intention to return to work with the NHS, you are entitled to:
- 8 weeks' full pay, less any Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) or Maternity Allowance (MA).
- 18 weeks' half pay plus any SMP or MA (providing the total does not exceed full pay).
- 13 weeks' SMP or MA.
- 13 weeks’ unpaid leave.
It is possible to agree to have the occupational pay entitlement paid in a different way, for example, spreading it equally over the maternity leave period rather than having a period of full pay and then a period of half pay.
Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) is available for 39 weeks to qualifying employees. NHS occupational adoption pay provides:
- 8 weeks full pay (inclusive of SAP) and;
- 18 weeks half pay plus SAP
for employees with at least 12 months service by the week they are notified they have been matched with a child.
- All of this is covered in more detail at: NHS Terms and Conditions of Service Handbook | NHS Employers.
- BMA - Maternity, paternity and adoption - Pay and contracts also includes more detail and a helpful checklist.
- Further GOV.UK guideance: Maternity or Paternity Leave or Pay and Maternity Allowance and Adoption pay and leave.