Home Advice & informationMaternity Leave Your rights if you are on maternity leave and pregnant again

Your rights if you are on maternity leave and pregnant again

The fact that you are on maternity leave does not change your rights to further periods of maternity leave and pay. There are no special rules about being pregnant when you return from maternity leave, but people find it confusing.

You continue to be an employee during your maternity leave and have continuous service. The normal rules for qualifying for maternity pay for your next baby apply. However, you may not have earned enough (or anything) in the relevant calculation period to qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP). If you do not qualify for SMP for your next baby you may be able to claim Maternity Allowance. Remember that holiday pay and Statutory Maternity Pay (but not Maternity Allowance) are treated as earnings when working out how much Statutory Maternity Pay or Maternity Allowance you could claim.

You have the same right to return to work and to choose your new maternity leave dates as normal. Depending on how your dates fall you might be able to run the two maternity leaves together if you wish. Remember, though, you accrue holiday as normal throughout maternity leave so you should take the holiday in between the two lots of maternity leave.

If you do return to work then you have the same rights to time off for ante natal appointments, health and safety risk assessments and to return to the same job. Do not feel pressured to return to a different role or take your maternity leave at a time that is more convenient to your employer.

This advice applies in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. If you live in another part of the UK, the law may differ. Please call our helpline for more details

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