Maternity and Adoption Leave

Maternity Leave

If you are planning a period of maternity leave during your GP training it is important to know what you need to do, and when, so that you can stay organised and ensure that all your training requirements are met.

A useful place to start is this handy guide, written by Wessex trainees who have been through the process of having a baby during GP training:

Other useful checklists can be found here:

Returning to work (Advice from

Employees have the right to return to their job if they take:

  • Ordinary Maternity or Ordinary Adoption leave
  • Ordinary Paternity Leave
  • Additional Paternity Leave
  • 4 weeks or less of parental leave

The rules are different if the employee takes:

  • Additional Maternity or Additional Adoption Leave
  • more than 4 weeks of parental leave

In this situation, employees have the right to their job or a similar job (if it’s not possible to give them their old job). Similar means the job has the same or better terms and conditions. If the employee unreasonably refuses to take the similar job the employer can take this as their resignation.

Adoption Leave

Adoption leave is paid as per occupational maternity leave at 8 weeks full pay plus 18 weeks half pay.

The GP trainee has to have worked continuously in the NHS for 12 months ending with the week in which the GP trainee is notified of having been matched with a child for adoption.

12 months continuous service in the NHS can be in one or more posts – hospital, practice, etc.

However, in order to receive the additional Statutory Adoption Pay the following criteria is necessary as indicated on the government website:

  • have worked continuously for your current employer for at least 26 weeks before the beginning of the week when you are matched with a child

Breaks between practices and hospital posts etc are counted as separate employments as far as the Inland Revenue are concerned, e.g. in the case of a GP Registrar starting in practice on 01.08.2012 the Statutory Adoption Pay is not payable unless the GP Registrar is matched with a child after the 4 February 2013 at the earliest.