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Further to our earlier blog on the forthcoming changes in maternity pay, it is also interesting to note that following the changes in the Maternity and Parental Leave Regulations mean that a woman on maternity leave retains all her contractual rights to benefits, eg. company car, mobile phone, health insurance, during the whole 52 weeks of maternity leave.

Women also continue to accrue their contractual holiday entitlement.  Pensions are not included and employers do not have to continue to pay pension beyond the period of paid maternity leave, ie. the first 26 weeks.

For babies due after 3 April 2011 a father may take additional statutory paternity leave.  They will be able to commence this leave 20 or more weeks after the child’s birth and once their partner has returned to work from statutory maternity leave.  The leave will have to have ended by the end of the 52nd week after the child’s birth and the father will be paid the statutory rate, equivalent to the weekly rate of statutory maternity pay.

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