Pregnancy in the UK know your rights
In England, a lot of people choose to enlarge the family, so therefore it is necessary to know the rights that pregnant women have . In this article, I will present everything you need to know and how to proceed. Pregnancy in the UK is not significantly different from other countries, but there are differences that may affect the amount of money you get or the length of time that you could spend with your baby after birth.
Pregnancy in England – informing an employer and the first medical visit
When it turns out that soon you will become a mom, you will have to deal with two the most important things to do. The first is the medical visit, which usually involves a consultation with a midwife in your clinic. It is recommended that the first visit should take place after taking a pregnancy test. The midwife will confirm the pregnancy and determine when you should take the first of two entitled ultrasound scans (it is usually performed around 12 and 20 week of pregnancy). During the ultrasound scan, you will become aware of the approximate date of birth. Remember it well, because you have to tell the employer about your pregnancy no later than 15 weeks before the planned date of birth of the child. In addition, it is worth talking with your employer about maternity leave.
Medical care in England involves an appointment with the midwife according to the schedule. If the pregnancy is going well, and this is not the first pregnancy a woman, only several visits are required. But if it is the first child or during pregnancy will result some irregularities, pregnant woman is directed to a gynecologist, and visits are held at least once a month. The gynecologist in England is a last resort, and most cases are run by midwives.
The most important rights of the pregnant woman:
- One of the most important and indisputable rights of pregnant is the right to have paid time that the expectant mother must spend to a visit with a midwife / doctor or when she participates the classes for expectant parents. It sometimes happens that the visit is held during the work – a woman, after prior notification of the employer, can go to a meeting with the doctor, and it is paid time.
- Secondly, every mother is entitled to maternity leave and salary during its period.
- Pregnant is protected against dismissal and unequal treatment in the workplace.
Statutory Maternity Pay
Once you tell your employer that you are pregnant and you tell a date of birth, you may request to show the evidence that you are pregnant. Then, the employer has 28 days to confirm what will be amounted of your SMP (Statuatory Maternity Pay – more you will learn from this page: www.gov.uk/maternity-pay-leave/overview) and when you start and finish the maternity leave. It happens that the employer refuses to pay SMP and in this case he has 7 days to give reasons for such a decision.
You have exactly three weeks (21 days) from the date of SMP to provide your employer the following documents: MATB1 certificate and a letter from your doctor / midwife. MATB1 form is issued not earlier than 20 weeks before the date of termination.
However, to receive paid leave, you must meet a few requirements: earn at least £112 a week and have worked at least 26 weeks in a continuous way in less than 15 weeks to the date of birth.
How to calculate the amount of salary for the maternity leave?
You can calculate this on the www.gov.uk/pay-leave-for-parents. There, you can calculate the salary based on the following data: employment status, the start of work in which you are applying for leave, the amount of income when you are planning go on leave, or whether you are planning to finish the job until then and how long maternity leave are you planning to take. Also, the important information is whether only you will be responsible for child care or maybe you will share responsibilities with your partner. In the second option, all the data will also be needed on the other side.
If you are a parent or you expect a child you absolutely need to read the previous posts on the blog
- A child in the UK and the household budget – don’t run into the financial trouble
- What is a Tax Free Children – think about the financial future of the child
- What is Marriage Allowance – start using the tax relief
- What happens if you get sick in the UK – know your rights
- How to get free insurance – if you are pregnant or have a young child
What if the woman is not entitled to SMP?
Pregnancy in the UK is also possible to obtain the so-called Maternity Allowance (more about Maternity Allowance you will learn from the government website: www.gov.uk/maternity-allowance/overview). Maternity Allowance is provided for employed women, who recently stopped working or are self-employed and paid insurance of second class (Class 2 National Insurance for a minimum of 13 weeks from 66 prior to pregnancy.
The required minimum period of employment during these 66 weeks is 26 weeks, with the minimum amount of salary of £ 0 for at least 13 weeks. At this moment it seems be complicated, but in fact you will certainly know when and what you are entitled to.
If you want to apply for Maternity Allowance, you will need to fill out a MA1 form. After successful application, you will be paid for a period not longer than 39 weeks in the amount of 90% of your average weekly earnings or £139.58 per week.
Mandatory time of the maternity leave to not only which every woman is entitled to, but which every woman needs to use it, is from 2 to 4 weeks, depending on the place where she works. Paid maternity leave lasts for 39 weeks. If you want longer leave, you can take an additional 13 weeks, but you won’t get salary for it.
There is one more thing you need to know. Depending on what terms you are working, you have different rights. What does it mean? If you are working on a contract, you are entitled to paid maternity leave or normal leave. It looks a little different when you’re working through employment agencies – then you still have the right to SMP, but not necessarily to the SMP (Statuatory Maternity Leave). So if you are a worker from the employment agency, after 39 weeks of leave you have to decide to return to work or complete cancellation.
You can go on leave no earlier than 4 weeks before the planned date of birth, but you can also start the leave on date of the planned birth.
Sure Maternity Grant
If this is your first pregnancy in the UK, the first child, you can apply for SMG one-time payment of £500. This is non-refundable aid which does not affect other holdings or future benefits (including Child Benefit, for which you apply shortly after the birth). However, not everyone can apply for such assistance. You can leanr more on Maternity Grant Sure from this website: www.gov.uk/sure-start-maternity-grant/overview
In order to be eligible for Maternity Grant Sure, you:
- musnt have other children in the family
- you or your partner needs to retrieve one of the benefits: Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related to the Employment and Support Allowance, Pension Credit, Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit, Universal Credit. Details are available on the government website. Link above
- If you are expecting twins or more children you are eligible for SMG payment.
Fathers – Paternity leave
It is worth mentioning that a dad is entitled to 1 or 2 weeks leave, which must be used within 56 days from the date of birth of the child. Unfortunately, at this time fathers can get only £ 139.58 or 90% of average weekly earnings whichever is lower. If you work for a good company, you will get 100% of your weekly salary.
Of all the rights of women, the greatest is to be a mother. Lin Yutang
What are the requirements for paternity leace?
- you should be employed
- you should earn at least £ 112 per week
- you should continuously work at least 26 weeks
- you should provide the employer SC3 from at least 15 weeks before the date of birth if the employer does not have his own solutions
What’s more, fathers can take two days off, which are not paid to accompany his partner in examinations. This is 6.5 h per visit. Of course, the employer may give more days off, but the 6.5 h is statutory. Most people still give up this right.
Please write in the comments whether some strange stories happened to you. Pregnancy in the UK can surprise. Share as it was in your case.
NOTE: I present private opinions and I am not responsible for the readers’ decisions. I always try to present current information but may no longer be up to date. Therefore, before making a decision, please verify them and consult a licensed financial adviser.