Maternity and Work

Maternity Leave

According to section 71-73 of ER, female employees are entitled to a period of six months' ordinary maternity leave (OML) and six months' additional maternity leave (AML). At least two weeks' leave must be taken after a child's birth (compulsory maternity leave). Usually, the earliest leave can start is 11 weeks before the expected week of childbirth. Worker must give her employer at least 8 weeks’ notice if she wants to change her return to work date.

Source: §71-73 of Employment Rights Act 1996; Maternity Leave and Adoption Leave (Guernsey) Ordinance, 2016


A woman's usual terms and conditions of employment continue throughout Ordinary and Additional maternity leave, except remuneration. Remuneration is replaced by Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP). SMP is paid for up to 39 weeks at a rate of 90 per cent of normal pay for the first six weeks, followed by a flat rate of £136.78 a week (from April 2013) (or normal weekly pay if lower) for a further 33 weeks. Some employers offer enhanced contractual maternity pay. The remaining 13 weeks of maternity leave are unpaid. To claim SMP, worker must tell her employer, 28 days before she decides to start maternity leave, that she is pregnant and will be off work because of the birth. The employer may want to see a medical certificate (a MATB1) and worker must show it to the employer.

Source: §2-6 of The Statutory Maternity Pay (General) Regulations after amendment & The Maternity; Parental Leave Regulations 1999

Free Medical Care

Female workers who are pregnant or have had a baby in last 12 months are entitled to National Health Service (NHS) prescriptions. They are also entitled to free NHS dental treatment including routine check-ups. To prove the entitlement, worker has to show a valid maternity exemption certificate. The certificate is valid from one month before the date that the application is received until twelve months after the expected date of the baby's birth, or if the baby has already been born, 12 months after their date of birth.

Regulations on Maternity and Work

  • Employment Rights Act (ERA), 1996 last amended in 2012
  • The Paternity and Adoption Leave Regulations 2002
  • The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • The Maternity and Parental Leave Regulations 1999
  • Government Emergency Ordinance no. 96 of 14 October 2003 on Maternity Protection at Work