Home Advice for Parents & CarersMaternity Leave Your rights if you are on maternity leave and pregnant again

Your rights if you are on maternity leave and pregnant again

Last updated: 25 Jul 2022

Being on maternity leave does not change your rights to further periods of maternity leave and pay.

You continue to be an employee during your maternity leave and have continuous service. Therefore, the normal rules for qualifying for maternity pay for your next baby apply.

You should give your employer notice to take maternity leave and claim maternity pay again.

You may not have earned enough 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 SMP are treated as earnings when working out how much SMP 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.

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

If you have further questions and would like to contact our advice team please use our advice contact form below or call us.

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The information on the law contained on this site is provided free of charge and does not, and is not intended to, amount to legal advice to any person on a specific case or matter. If you are not a solicitor, you are advised to obtain specific legal advice about your case or matter and not to rely solely on this information. Law and guidance is changing regularly in this area.

We cannot provide advice on employment rights in Northern Ireland as the law is different. You can visit the Labour Relations Agency or call their helpline Workplace Information Service on 03300 555 300.