Stonewall Cymru | Parental leave
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Parental leave

Maternity leave

The person giving birth to the baby is entitled to the following maternity leave and pay:

  • They must take the first two weeks off following the birth of the baby (4 weeks if they work in a factory)
  • They are entitled to 26 weeks Ordinary Maternity Leave. If they return to work during this period they will be entitled to return to exactly the same job they had before they took maternity leave.
  • They can then take a further 26 weeks of Additional Maternity Leave. If they taks more than 26 weeks leave they have the right to return to the same job unless it is no longer available, in which case they must be given a similar job with the same pay and conditions.
  • For the first 6 weeks of maternity leave they are entitled to 90% of their average weekly earnings before tax
  • For the following 33 weeks they are entitled to statutory maternity pay, which is currently £138.18 per week, or 90% of average weekly earnings if this is lower

Paternity leave

Those entitled to paternity leave include the spouse, civil partner or partner of the person giving birth or primary adopter, who will share responsibility for the child’s upbringing.

  • Leave entitlement is two consecutive weeks of Ordinary Paternity Leave during the 56 days following the child’s birth.
  • During Ordinary Paternity Leave the  pay entitlement is 90 per cent of average weekly earnings before tax, or statutory paternity pay, whichever is lower.
  • For parents of babies born on or after 5 April 2015, Additional Paternity Pay has been replaced with the system of Shared Parental Leave.
  • During Ordinary Paternity Leave: 90% of average weekly earnings before tax, or statutory paternity pay, whichever is lower.
  • During Additional Paternity Leave: at the same rate as Ordinary Paternity Leave, but only for the remainder of the birth parent or primary adopter’s period of statutory maternity/adoption pay which they have not used.

Shared parental leave

In relation to children born or placed for adoption on or after 5 April 2015, employees who are parents (whether by birth, adoption or surrogacy) will be able to take Shared Parental Leave (SPL) during the first year of the child’s life, or the first year after their placement for adoption. Additional Paternity Leave and Pay will be abolished from 5 April 2015.

If the birth parent or primary adopter returns to work before the end of their period of statutory maternity or adoption leave has finished, the couple can share the remaining leave between them. The remaining leave can be taken in 3 separate blocks, allowing the birth parent to return to work for a period, and then return to maternity leave for a further period. Similarly, maternity or adoption pay can be shared between the couple if the birth parent or primary adopter returns to work before their entitlement to pay has ended.

For further information please contact Stonewall Cymru's Information Service on 08000 502020 or email