Maternity leave and pay policy template

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Our Maternity Leave and Pay Policy Template outlines the company's provisions for maternity leave, pay entitlements, and return-to-work arrangements, ensuring compliance with legal requirements and supporting expectant mothers throughout their pregnancy and beyond.

This policy has three parts: an 'overview' that explains what it's about, 'scope' which details who it applies to, and 'general principles' that list the main rules it follows.

Why this policy is necessary

This Maternity leave and pay policy template aims to offer you a versatile and customisable tool, serving as a solid foundation for your needs. Utilise it to ensure consistency, enhance accuracy, and save valuable time.

Adapt it to suit your unique requirements, ensuring efficiency and effectiveness in your HR processes.


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Time to read / prep / use
10 mins
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Word count / length
1132 words, 3 pages A4
Date last reviewed icon
Date last reviewed
1 July 2024
maternity leave and pay policy template

Maternity leave and pay


[Company's] employees are its most valuable resource in delivering excellent services to our customers. [Company] is keen to recruit and retain high performing and talented employees through supporting them where possible and appropriate in balancing the needs of home and work life. To reflect this commitment [Company] provides good maternity leave arrangements which [meet minimum requirements | in places, exceed what the law requires].


This policy sets out the procedures to be followed for taking maternity leave and sets out expectations, benefits and entitlements to ensure that employees and managers have a clear understanding of, and comply with the relevant procedures.


This policy is applicable to all employees of [company name].

General principles

You are free to choose when you would like your maternity leave to start, however, the earliest you can chose to start your maternity leave is during the 11th week before the expected week of your childs birth.

In certain circumstances, your maternity leave may start automatically earlier than the date you chose as the start date for your maternity leave. This applies where you are absent from work wholly or partly because of pregnancy at any time during the four weeks before the expected week of childbirth or if you give birth early.


Pregnant employees will be entitled to take 26 weeks Ordinary Maternity Leave and 26 weeks Additional Maternity Leave, irrespective of their length of service or the number of hours worked each week.

You may not return to work during the two weeks immediately following the birth of your child (four weeks for women who work in factories).

If you have at least 26 weeks service by the end of the 15th week before your child is expected to be born, you may be entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), provided your average weekly earnings are at or above the Lower Earnings Limit for National Insurance.

In order to be eligible for maternity leave and SMP, you are required to notify your line manager in writing by or during the 15th week before the expected week of your childs birth. You must inform your Line Manager of the following:

  1. you are pregnant
  2. the week in which your child is due
  3. the date you intended to start your maternity leave
  4. the date from which you will be claiming SMP


SMP is payable for 39 weeks. For the first six weeks, SMP will be paid at [90% (minimim) | 100%] of your average weekly earnings. For the remaining 33 weeks, SMP will be paid at the standard rate which is prescribed by regulations and is adjusted from time to time. The Company will inform you of the applicable rate. If your average weekly earnings fall below the standard rate, SMP will be paid at 90% of your average weekly earnings throughout.

SMP will be paid subject to deductions for tax and National Insurance contributions in the normal way.


You should enclose a MAT B1 certificate with your written notification signed by your registered doctor or registered midwife to confirm the expected week of childbirth.

Within 28 days of receiving your notice, the Company will notify you in writing of the date when your maternity leave will end.

You may change the date you start your maternity leave providing you give at least 28 days; notice in writing of either the new start date or the original start date (whichever is earliest).

Within 28 days of receiving your notice, the Company shall notify you in writing of the date when your maternity leave will end.

Prior to your departure on maternity leave, your line manager will meet with you to discuss your rights and entitlements during maternity leave, the possibility of flexible working on your return to work and the level of contact you would like with the Company during your maternity leave. You should feel free to raise at this meeting any queries or concerns you have.

Your line manager may also offer you up to 10 days work during your maternity leave. It is up to you if you wish to work these days. The rate of pay for the work will be agreed in advance with you. Your right to maternity leave and SMP will not be affected.

During Ordinary Maternity Leave, you will continue to receive your contractual benefits and your normal terms and conditions will continue to apply, except for those terms relating to wages and salary. You will continue to accrue holiday [but holiday must be taken in the year it is earned].

During Additional Maternity Leave, the rights and obligations under your contract of employment are reduced, but you must still give notice in accordance with your contract of employment if you want to leave. In addition, you will continue to be bound by your obligations of confidentially and loyalty. Only statutory holiday will accrue.

If any pregnant employees, or employees who have recently become mothers or who are breastfeeding are employed in positions which have been identified as posing a risk to their health and safety or that of their baby they will be notified immediately and arrangements will be made to eliminate the risks.

If you have concerns about your own health and safety at any time you should consult [your Line Manager] immediately.

You do not have to notify the Company separately of your return date. It will be assumed that you will come back to work on the date the Company has notified you is the end of your maternity leave period. However, if you wish to return to work before the end of your full maternity leave entitlement, you should give your line manager at least 8 weeks notice in writing of your intended return date.

If you return to work immediately after a period of Ordinary Maternity Leave you will return to work in the same job you left before you started your maternity leave.

If you return to work from a period of Additional Maternity Leave, you will return to the same job you were employed to do. If this is not reasonably practicable, you will be offered a similar job on equally favourable terms and conditions.

If you decide not to return to work after maternity leave, you should confirm this in writing and give the notice required by your contract of employment.

On your return from maternity leave, your line manager will arrange a meeting with you to discuss any changes which have taken place during your absence. This will be an opportunity to discuss any issues relating to breastfeeding. You should also feel free to raise at this meeting any queries or concerns you have.

Parallel arrangements are available for the adoption of a child.

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This policy [does not] form[s] part of your terms and conditions of employment.

Version: [1.0]

Issue date: [date]

Author: [name, job title]

Why choose our Maternity leave and pay policy template?

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