Maternity and paternity leave

Maternity leave

All employees regardless of service are entitled to ordinary maternity leave of up to 26 weeks which may be followed by up to 26 weeks additional maternity leave. The total maternity leave period is a maximum of 52 weeks.

Employees who have 26 weeks continuous local government service at the end of the 15th week before the expected week of confinement are entitled to the further 26 weeks additional maternity leave, giving them the option to take the total 52 weeks maternity leave.

Maternity leave may start at any time after the 11th week before the baby is due (expected week of confinement).

You should notify the council at least 28 days before the absence begins or as soon as is reasonably practicable, that you are pregnant and the expected start date of your absence. This must be in writing and include a certificate from a registered medical practitioner or registered midwife stating the expected week of childbirth. The certificate is referred to as a MATB1.

If you are pregnant you will be granted paid time off to attend antenatal care providing you submit evidence of appointments if requested.

A Work Place Risk Assessment will be completed so that consideration will be given to any health and safety implications for pregnant or breast-feeding employees.

Paternity leave

Who is entitled to paternity leave?

  • An employee who has responsibility for bringing up the child, including the biological father, the mother’s husband or partner (including same sex couples).
  • Employees who have at least 26 weeks’ continuous service by the end of the 15th week before the expected week of birth (or the week in which a match is made with a child for adoption) and continue to work for their employer until the baby’s birth.

How long is paternity leave?

A qualifying employee can take either one or two consecutive weeks, beginning on any day of the week, to care for a new-born or adoptive child and support the mother or adoptive parent. This cannot be taken as odd days and only one period of leave may be taken, even if the pregnancy results in more than one child.

The employee can choose to take paternity leave from the date of the baby’s birth or later as long as leave is taken within 56 days of the birth.

If the birth is premature, the leave can be taken within 56 days of the expected date of birth.

Please see the Parental policy for rates of pay during paternity leave.

Parental policy (PDF, 737KB)

Related documents

Attendance at work procedure (PDF, 1.7MB)