Advice line

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Have you just found out that you are pregnant and want to know what your rights are at work?

Do you think that you are being discriminated against at work because of your pregnancy or because you have been on maternity leave?

Wondering which benefits you could claim whilst you are pregnant and once the baby’s born?


Maternity Action’s Advice Line offers free, confidential telephone support and advice.

Our team of specialist advisers can offer advice and information to help you understand and take up your rights and entitlements throughout your pregnancy, maternity leave and return to work.

If you have questions about your maternity rights, call us on 0845 600 8533 to talk to our advisers.

Calls cost 5p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.

Our advice line is open:

  • Wednesday 3pm – 7pm
  • Thursday 3pm – 7pm
  • Friday 10am – 2pm

We are currently experiencing very high call volumes and we know that this can make it very difficult to get through to an adviser, but we do our best to answer as many calls as we can so please keep trying.  You may also find the answer to your question in the frequently asked questions below or in advice section of our website.

Unfortunately, we are not currently able to offer any advice by email.


Frequently asked questions

Our information sheets cover a wide range of questions and answers about pregnancy, maternity, father’s rights to leave and pay and benefits for families. For example, did you know that…

  • You do not have to repay your Statutory Maternity Pay/Maternity Allowance if you do not return to work (but check your contract if your employer pays you any occupational maternity pay). See the information sheet: Maternity Pay Questions
  • You can resign during maternity leave; the notice period in your contract (or statutory notice if you don’t have a contract) applies. See the information sheet: Resigning during pregnancy and maternity leave
  • All your normal terms and conditions apply during maternity leave including accruing holiday. See the information sheet: Discrimination during maternity leave
  • You have the right to ask for changes to the hours, days or place of your current job. Your employer must consider it reasonably and can only refuse for good business reasons. See the information sheet: Child-friendly working hours
  • If you have more than one job you may be able to get SMP from each employer as long as you meet the conditions in each job (you cannot add up your earnings from different employers for SMP but you can for Maternity Allowance). See the information sheet: Rights for parents with more than one job
  • If you fall pregnant whilst you are on maternity leave you have the same rights from work to maternity leave and pay. You are entitled to another period of maternity leave of up to 52 weeks and may qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay as long as you are paid more than £112/week around weeks 18-26 of your pregnancy. See the information sheet: Pregnant during maternity leave


You may also find these resources from other organisations useful: Parental leave checker

Turn2us online benefits calculator

Citizens Advice template grievance letter


If you work with pregnant women and new families, we also offer training workshops.



The Maternity Action advice line does not receive any government support. It is completely funded by donations and we are always trying to secure funding to enable us to increase our advice line capacity. Your story (no names needed) will help us show how important this service is.

If you have phoned our Advice Line and found it useful, please do let us know by emailing us

If you would like to support our work text MAMA13 £5 to 70070 or donate through our JustGiving page.