Please help, just started job and pregnant


Hi there,

I just started work as a newly qualified kids nurse and have also just discovered that I am pregnant. I am thrilled about the pregnancy but am very confused about the maternity leave entitlement as a new starter in the NHS. The policies are all very confusing and I am nervous about approaching HR as I've literally just started.

There seem to be a couple of rules but they are conflicting. One says to get 100% of pay for 8 weeks and then statutory maternity pay and so on for a year you must have 12 months continuous service. Obviously this is not going to apply to my situation. But there seems to be another option that might apply and it is that you have 26 weeks continuous employment at the point at which you are 15 weeks away from giving birth with lower entitlements. Can anyone explain this to me in some sort of plain English please?

Thank you so much.


4 Articles; 10,428 Posts

I wonder if you'd do better posting this in the International Forum (UK)? Good luck to you!

JustBeachyNurse, LPN

1 Article; 13,952 Posts

Specializes in Complex pedi to LTC/SA & now a manager. Has 13 years experience.

Thread moved to nursing in the UK to elicit further response

Congrats on the pregnancy and good luck!

Editorial Team / Admin

Silverdragon102, BSN

1 Article; 39,477 Posts

Specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC. Has 35 years experience.

couple of things that may help you but really go to HR and discuss this with them

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)

To qualify for SMP you must:

have worked for your employer continuously for at least 26 weeks up to the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth - known as the ‘qualifying week’

earn on average at least £109 a week

give the correct notice

give proof you’re pregnant

You can claim Maternity Allowance as soon as you’ve been pregnant for 26 weeks. Payments can start 11 weeks before your baby is due.

allnurses Guide


8 Articles; 3,016 Posts

Specializes in Advanced Practice, surgery. Has 35 years experience.

Maternity entitlements are complicated!!!

My advice wwould be to contact HR, they will be able to let you know exactly what your entitled to. Don't be nervous, it's what they are there for and they will be very happy to offer you advice.

If You really find it too scary then maybe ask your Rcn Representative to talk you through your maternity leave benefits. Much will depend on length of service.