Top 5 Essential Things You Need to Know About Maternity Rights When You’re Pregnant

Mar 21, 2023 | Maternity, Pregnancy

Congratulations on your pregnancy! This is an exciting time in your life, but it can also be a time of uncertainty. If you’re employed, you may be wondering about your maternity rights at work during your pregnancy.

There are laws in place to protect you from unfair treatment and discrimination during your pregnancy and after the birth of your little one.

These laws are designed to ensure that you can continue to work safely and comfortably as you journey into motherhood.

Here are some of the key things you need to know about your maternity rights:

  • You have the right to paid time off for antenatal appointments.

This means that you can take time off work to attend any appointments that are recommended by your doctor or midwife. You are entitled to the same pay for this time off as you would receive for working.

  • You have the right to take reasonable time off work to attend antenatal classes.

Antenatal classes can provide you with important information and support during your pregnancy. Your employer must allow you to take time off for these classes, even if they are not during your normal working hours, and without loss of pay.

  • You have the right to maternity leave.

This is a period of time when you can take time off work to have your baby and care for them in the early months. You are entitled to up to 52 weeks of maternity leave, which can be taken in one block or split up over time.

  • You may be entitled to maternity pay.

The amount of maternity pay you receive will depend on your earnings and how long you have been employed by your employer. If you are eligible for maternity pay, you will receive a percentage of your usual earnings for the first 39 weeks of your leave.

  • You are protected from unfair treatment and discrimination.

This means that your employer cannot treat you unfairly because you are pregnant, or because you have taken maternity leave. If you believe that you have been unfairly treated, you can make a complaint to your employer or to an employment tribunal.

If you have any questions about your maternity rights, you should speak to your employer or to an employment lawyer. They will be able to advise you on your rights and help you to make sure that you are treated fairly at work.

Here are some additional tips for pregnant employees:

  • Let your employer know as soon as you know you are pregnant. This will give them time to make any necessary adjustments to your work environment or duties.
  • Keep your doctor or midwife informed of your pregnancy. They will be able to advise you on how to stay safe and healthy at work.
  • If you are experiencing any problems at work, speak to your employer or to a union representative. They will be able to help you to resolve the issue.


For the latest information on maternity rights, visit

Are you expecting? Join The Parents Class

You can also find out more on maternity leave, and other useful topics for your second trimester on our Mid-Pregnancy course, designed for parents at 18-28 weeks.

Learn more about our antenatal classes here.

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