Maternity Leave

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There are three occasions in which you should submit information regarding maternity leave. These are:

On all of these occasions you will need to complete a Maternity/Adoption Leave instruction and submit it through the HR School Support Online system. The system guides you through the process of submitting a Maternity/Adoption Leave request ensuring that all the relevant information is gathered. 

Before making the submission you should give consideration to the following;

Written Confirmation

No later than 15 weeks prior to the date the baby is due, your employee must have informed you in writing:

The employee may change their mind about when they wish to start their ordinary maternity leave provided further notice is given at least 28 days in advance (Officers) or 21 days in advance (Teachers) of the commencement of their leave (unless this is not reasonably practicable).

There is a requirement on employers to respond to an employee’s notification of her leave plans within 28 days. Please ensure that this information is forwarded to your Senior HR School Support Officer as soon as possible in order for this requirement to be met. The written confirmation will contain details of the employee’s entitlement and the date on which she is expected to return to work.


All pregnant women should be issued with a MATB1 certificate by their doctor or midwife after the 21st week of pregnancy. This certificate confirms the expected week of childbirth. Your employee must provide the school with the original MATB1 certificate and this should be sent to your Senior HR School Support Officer in order for them to qualify for Statutory Maternity Leave and Pay.

Leave Entitlement

All women expecting a baby are entitled to 52 weeks made up of 26 weeks Ordinary Maternity Leave (OML) followed by 26 weeks Additional Maternity Leave (AML).

Maternity Pay

Maternity Allowance (MA)

In order to qualify for Maternity Allowance the employee must have worked for 26 weeks in the 66 weeks before their baby is due and be earning at least the Lower Earnings Limit (LEL)* for 13 of those weeks. MA is paid for 39 weeks or 90% of the employees average earnings if that is less.

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)

In order to qualify for SMP an employee must have 26 weeks continuous service at the end of the 15th week before the baby is due and their average earnings should be abovethe Lower Earnings Limit (LEL). SMP is paid at 90% of the employee’s average earnings for the first 6 weeks of maternity leave and then at standard rate SMP for the remaining 33 weeks. If 90% of their average earnings are less than the standard rate SMP they will receive 90% for the full 39 weeks.

Occupational Maternity Pay (OMP)  - Maintained Schools & Academies & Free Schools which have adopted Local Conditions of Service

In order to qualify for OMP an employee must have 1 year’s continuous service at the 11th week before the baby is due. However this is based on the understanding that it is their intention to return to work following the end of their maternity leave. The employee does have the option to defer payment of the OMP if they are unsure that they will return. However if they accept payment of OMP and then choose to resign they may be required to repay the OMP.

OMP is paid for a continuous period of up to 18 weeks.

A teacher who is entitled to OMP will be paid their full salary, in the first 4 weeks. The following 2 weeks will be paid at 90% of their salary, which is made up of their normal pay, offset against SMP. A teacher will receive half their salary for the next 12 weeks in addition to the SMP. The remainder of the 21 weeks will be made up of SMP.

An officer will receive 90% of their salary, in the first 6 weeks, which is made up of their normal pay, offset against SMP. The following 12 weeks, will be paid at half the salary, in addition to SMP. The remainder of the 21 weeks will be made up of SMP.