What are you entitled to?

When you are pregnant you are eligible for free support and help for various different things. It’s important you explore what’s on offer to you, so you don’t miss out.

Maternity leave

This depends on your employer and what policy they have for maternity leave. Statutory maternity leave is 52 weeks, ordinary maternity leave is the first 26 weeks, and additional leave is the last 26 weeks. You don’t have to take this, but you do have to take 2 weeks leave after your baby is born. (If you work in a factory, this is 4 weeks)

Maternity pay

This depends on where you work and what maternity pay they give their staff. Statutory maternity pay is paid for up to 39 weeks. You get 90% of your weekly earnings for the first 6 weeks, and then £140.98 a week for the next 33 weeks. You qualify for statutory maternity leave if you are an employee and you give the correct notice. It doesn’t matter how long you have worked there for, and how many hours you work, or how much you get paid. You can’t get less than the statutory maternity entitlement.

Extra help from the government

You may be able to get further support from the government, depending on your current situation.

This could include:

  • Child benefit helps parents with the cost of caring for their children
  • Child tax credit gives financial support for children
  • Working tax credit helps people in lower paid jobs by reducing the amount of tax they pay
  • Income support and job seekers allowance are payments for people who are not in work or who don’t have enough money to live on.
  • Housing benefit can help with your rent or mortgage repayments.

Did you know...

  • When you are pregnant you are entitled to
  • FREE DENTAL CARE (including up until the year after the baby is born)
  • PAID TIME OFF to go to your antenatal appointments.
  • If you are studying you could get help to pay for your living expenses and living costs

Statutory Paternity Leave and Pay

To get this you must be:

  • The child’s biological father or adopter
  • The mother’s partner
  • The intended parent (if you’re having a baby through surrogacy)

You must also:

  • Have worked for your employer for 26 weeks by the 15th week before the baby is due
  • Be employed by your employer until the baby is born

Statutory paternity leave and pay is oneor two weeks paid time off work so that you can help look after your new baby.

Welfare Rights Advice Line

Welfare Rights gives free independent and impartial advice and support on all welfare benefits. Appointments can be made to see a welfare rights representative. For more information call 0121 569 3158 or email welfarerights_team@sandwell.gov.uk.

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