Presently, in the United Kingdom there are six basic rights concerning maternity which are as follows:
A right not to be dismissed on grounds of pregnancy or childbirth – This right ensures that all employees, regardless of how long they have worked for their employer, are entitled not to be dismissed simply because they are pregnant, or have given birth.
A right to Maternity Leave for all employees
Statutory maternity leave is for 52 weeks if the week the baby is expected to be born starts before 1 April 2007 and it is for 26 weeks with an extra 26 weeks if the employee meets certain conditions. The employee may be entitled to receive Statutory Maternity Pay for up to 39 weeks of the leave.
A right for a mother to return to work after extended maternity leave. This right ensures that whereas all employees have a right to return to work after their 18 weeks' maternity leave, only those who have worked for at least one year (decreased from two years for those whose expected week of childbirth falls on or after 30 April 2000) for their employer at the beginning of the 11th week before the expected week of childbirth, qualify to extend their absence up until the end of the 29th week after the actual date of childbirth, and still be entitled to return to work.
A right to maternity pay - The Statutory Maternity Pay which was introduced in 1987 guarantees the right to maternity pay. The employee needs to satisfy certain conditions to qualify for the statutory maternity pay.
A right to alternative work or payment during suspension on grounds of maternity.
A pregnant employee has a right not to be unreasonably refused paid time off work to attend ante-natal care recommended by a doctor, midwife or health visitor.
Besides, maternity leave there are two other kinds of leave which can be taken by parents, i.e., Paternity and Parental Leave.