Maternity Leave and Rights
You must be employed at 11 weeks before the baby is due, otherwise no one is responsible for paying your maternity pay.
If you have had 12 months continuous NHS service at 11 weeks before the baby is due you should receive 8 weeks full pay, then 18 weeks half pay, then your post is held open for another 26 weeks. If you have less than 12 months’ continuous NHS service, you may only get Statutory Maternity Allowance (currently £125/week).
Be cautious of getting pregnant during research which is not NHS-funded, some Universities have reciprocal contracts with the NHS, but get advice about your individual case before trying for a baby.
Any NHS employee is entitled to maternity or adoption leave. You decide how much time you want to take, up to 12 months, and the date of your return.
'Full pay' and 'half pay' includes banding and London weighting. The earliest you can commence maternity leave is the 11th week before the baby is due, i.e. 29 weeks into your pregnancy. Many women can work longer into their pregnancy than this. Do not forget to take enough time off afterwards to be with the baby.
If you are on a rotation, you can choose to return to the same job, or the next one. You accrue pension and annual leave while on paid maternity leave. Discuss annual leave dates with your manager.
The Health and Safety rights of pregnancy also apply to someone who is breastfeeding or has given birth within the last 12 months. A risk assessment should be done, and change of working patterns if a risk is found.