Having a baby - Know your rights at work
You usually need to have worked for an employer for 6 months to qualify for maternity pay. In 2014-2015, the first 6 weeks of Statutory Maternity Pay is equal to 90% of your average weekly earnings before tax. For the remaining 33 weeks, it’s £138.18 – or 90% of your average weekly earning before tax (whichever is lower). Just like your salary, tax and National Insurance are deducted from your maternity pay. Your partner may also be eligible for paternity pay.
If you’ve worked for your employer for less than six months, or are self-employed, you might be able to apply for Maternity Allowance. See Gov.uk for full details. You’ll find more details on your rights at work while pregnant on Gov.uk.
Once you've had the baby, make sure you're aware of what you and your partner are entitled to - these might include: Child Benefit, Child Tax Credit, Income Support, Housing or Council Tax. You can find out more at direct.gov.uk.
Also, check if your work runs a childcare voucher scheme – it’s a government initiative which your employer can sign up to, and deducts a certain amount from your wages every month, before tax. For example if you have £243 taken out each month, you could save around £77 each per month in tax. Which in a household of two parents is a saving of almost a £2,000 year. Definitely worthwhile when you are paying full time nursery fees.