A leave of absence from work for several weeks to several months to have a baby. In many countries, the right to take unpaid maternity leave (or parental leave, for fathers or adoptive parents) for a certain period of time without penalty is legislated as a human right.

Maternity leave in the UK works for 3 periods of time.

  • 6 weeks on 90% of your salary
  • 20 weeks on £100 / week (net)
  • 26 weeks on nothing

Some companies offer more than this (eg 90% for extra weeks), but if they do so, they often require the person to come back to work for a significant amount of time afterwards, or to repay the money.

For the first 6 months, your employer must keep your job for you. For the second 6 months, they must guarantee you an equivalent job of an equivalent level with the same pay, but it doesn't have to be the same job.

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