Law guide: Workplace

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Ending maternity leave or maternity pay

Ending maternity leave or maternity pay

Contents

To start shared parental leave (SPL), you (as the mother of the child) must first give up your entitlement to any maternity leave or pay, or maternity allowance. To do this, the you must either return to work or give your employer a written notice to say that you'll return.

When to give the notices

The notice must be given at the same time that you give notice to take shared parental leave or statutory shared parental pay (SSPP).

The type of notice will differ depending on whether you are entitled to receive maternity leave or pay, or maternity allowance.

If you are entitled to maternity leave

The notice must state the date that your maternity leave will end. This must be on a date that's at least:

  • 8 weeks after the date you give the notice to your employer;
  • one day after your compulsory maternity leave period of 2 weeks (4 weeks for factory workers); and
  • one week before the last day of your additional maternity leave (if taken).

If you aren't entitled to maternity leave but can receive statutory maternity pay

The notice must state the date that your statutory maternity pay will end. This must be on the last day of a week that's at least:

  • 8 weeks after the date you give the notice to your employer;
  • one day after your compulsory ordinary maternity leave (2 or 4 weeks) ends; or if you don't have this right
  • 2 weeks after the end of your pregnancy; and
  • one week before your maternity pay ends.

If the mother is entitled to maternity allowance

The notice must be given to the Department for Work and Pensions, stating the date that your maternity allowance will end. This must be on a date that's:

  • one day after your compulsory maternity leave period (2 or 4 weeks) ends; or if you don't have that right, at least;
  • 2 weeks after the end of the pregnancy; and
  • 8 weeks after the date you give the notice; and
  • one week before your maternity allowance ends.

The mother's employer might ask for a copy of the notice.

Cancelling SPL or SSPP

You can cancel by giving a written notice to your employer, but only if one of the following applies:

  • Neither parent is entitled to receive SPL or SSPP. In this case, you must give notice within 8 weeks of giving your notice to end maternity leave (you can't cancel if the notice was to end maternity pay or maternity allowance).
  • Your partner dies. In this case, notice to cancel must be given within a reasonable time of their death. The notice must state the date of their death.

You can also cancel SPL before the date given in the notice to end maternity leave or pay, or maternity allowance, as long as you give your employer (or for maternity allowance, the Department for Work and Pensions) your notice to cancel within 6 weeks of the child's birth. Note that this cancellation right doesn't apply to adoptions.

Adoptions

The process to end maternity leave and pay also applies to adoption leave and pay.

In this article, any references to the following can be substituted in this way:

  • 'main adopter' for 'mother';
  • 'adoption leave' for 'maternity leave';
  • 'adoption pay' for 'maternity pay';
  • 'match date' for 'child's expected week of birth' and
  • 'placement date' for 'child's date of birth'.