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Maternity leave acknowledgement (eligible for maternity pay) letter

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If an employee has notified you that they intend to take maternity leave, issue this model letter template as acknowledgement, and to inform them that they are eligible for Maternity Pay. 

The letter includes wording for both statutory and enhanced pay (should your organisation provide it).

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10 mins
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What is a Maternity leave acknowledgement (eligible for maternity pay) letter?

A Maternity Leave Acknowledgement letter serves as a confirmation that an employee is eligible for maternity pay and other related benefits under the company's maternity leave policy. The purpose of the letter is to inform the employee that their notification of maternity leave has been received and that they are entitled to maternity pay, time off work, and other relevant benefits.

The letter typically outlines the dates of the employee's expected absence from work and the expected date of return, as well as any conditions that need to be met in order to receive the maternity pay. It also provides information on the employee's rights and responsibilities during their maternity leave, including their obligations to stay in contact with the company and to inform the employer of any changes in their circumstances.

The Maternity Leave Acknowledgement letter is an important document for both the employee and the employer, as it ensures that both parties are aware of their obligations and responsibilities during the maternity leave period. It also helps to clarify any confusion or misunderstandings that may arise, and can help to prevent disputes between the employee and employer in the future.

Best practice timescale for this to be issued
When should this letter be issued?
The letter should be issued no later than 28 days after the employee notifies their employer of their pregnancy, in accordance with UK employment law. This letter confirms the employee's entitlement to maternity leave, the duration of the leave, and the expected date of return.
Issued by who, to whom
Who should issue this letter, and to whom?
The Employer (you) to the Employee
Applicable legal jurisdictions
In which jurisdictions can this letter be used?
Great Britain & NI (United Kingdom), Worldwide

What legislation and best practice guidelines have been taken into account in the development of this template?

United Kingdom

Here are some key points from UK employment legislation regarding implementing a Maternity Leave Acknowledgement letter:

  • Employers must provide written confirmation to pregnant employees of their entitlement to maternity leave and pay within 28 days of the employee's request.

  • Employers must also provide written notification to employees of the start and end dates of their maternity leave and pay, as well as their expected return date, no later than 28 days after the employee's request.

  • The employee must give their employer at least 15 weeks' notice before the expected week of childbirth in order to be eligible for maternity leave and pay.

  • Employees are entitled to up to 52 weeks of maternity leave, with the first 26 weeks known as "ordinary maternity leave" and the second 26 weeks as "additional maternity leave."

  • During the first 26 weeks of maternity leave, employees are entitled to receive statutory maternity pay (SMP), which is paid for up to 39 weeks. The rate of SMP is 90% of the employee's average weekly earnings for the first six weeks, followed by a flat rate for the remaining 33 weeks.

  • To be eligible for SMP, employees must have worked continuously for their employer for at least 26 weeks up to the end of the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth, and must earn at least £120 per week.

  • Employers must provide employees with a written statement outlining their rights and entitlements to maternity leave and pay.

  • Employers must not discriminate against employees on the grounds of pregnancy or maternity, and must provide a safe and healthy working environment for pregnant employees.

  • Employees are entitled to return to the same job after their maternity leave, or to a suitable alternative job if their original job is no longer available.

Other territories

Consult your jurisdiction's employment legislation or labor laws to ensure compliance with the template. Review the language for local precision.

Maternity leave acknowledgement (eligible for maternity pay) [Delete this line]

[Company name]

[Sender address]



[Recipient name]

[Recipient address]


Dear [Recipient first name],


Acknowledgement of maternity leave

Congratulations and thank you for telling me about your pregnancy and the date that your baby is due. I am writing to you about your maternity leave and pay.

As we have discussed, you are eligible to take up to 52 weeks maternity leave (consisting of 26 weeks Ordinary Maternity Leave and 26 weeks Additional Maternity Leave). Given your chosen start date of [insert date], your maternity leave will end on [insert date].

If you want to change the date your leave starts you must, if at all possible, tell me at least 28 days before your proposed new start date or 28 days before [insert date leave starts] (your original start date), whichever is sooner.

If you decide to return to work before [insert date leave ends], you must give me at least 8 weeks notice.

[(If entitled to maternity pay use the following paragraph. Delete this line in either case.)]

As we also discussed, you are eligible for 39 weeks Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP).

[(For Statutory Maternity Pay employers only. Delete this line in either case.)]

Your maternity pay will be:

£[insert amount] for 6 weeks from [insert date] to [insert date] and,

£[insert amount] for the remaining 33 weeks from [insert date] to [insert date].


[(For Enhanced Maternity Pay employers only. Delete this line in either case.)]

£[insert amount] from [insert date] to [insert date].

As your employer, I want to make sure that your health and safety as a pregnant woman are protected while you are working, and that you are not exposed to risk. I have already carried out an assessment to identify hazards in our workplace that could be a risk to any new, expectant, or breastfeeding mothers. Now you have told me you are pregnant I will arrange for a specific risk assessment of your job and we will discuss what actions to take if any problems are identified. If you have any further concerns following this assessment and specifically in relation to your pregnancy, please let me know immediately.

If you decide not to return to work you must still give me proper notice. Your decision will not affect your entitlement to SMP.

If you have any questions about any aspect of your maternity entitlement, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me. I wish you well.

Yours [faithfully | sincerely],



[Sender name]

[Sender job title]

[Sender telephone]
[Sender email]

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Maternity leave notification letter template

If an employee will be taking maternity leave, they can use this model letter template as notification of their pregnancy, and when they expect it to commence.

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Maternity leave acknowledgement (eligible for maternity pay) letter template
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Maternity leave return to work reminder letter template

Our Maternity Leave Return to Work Reminder Letter template streamlines communication, reducing employee confusion and facilitating a smooth transition back to work.

Maternity leave acknowledgement (eligible for maternity pay) letter
maternity leave acknowledgement (eligible for maternity pay) letter