Career Support

NHS Parental and Sick Leave Entitlements

This page has information on the parental and sick leave entitlements as an NHS employee.

Parental Leave

Maternity leave

Regardless of how long you’ve been working in the NHS, all pregnant employees are entitled to 52 weeks (1 year) of maternity leave.

Depending on how long you’ve been working in the NHS during pregnancy, you may also be entitled to maternity pay. For clarity regarding your entitlement to maternity pay, you should (1) read your contract and the NHS Terms and Conditions Handbook and (2) speak with your HR department.

Your employment terms are protected while you’re on Statutory Maternity Leave.

Paternity leave

Fathers are entitled to two weeks of paternity leave. This applies to same-sex partners as well as nominated carers for single mothers. It can be paid leave if the father/same-sex partner/nominated carer has been an NHS employee for a year before the baby was born.

Shared parental leave 

You and your partner may be eligible to share parental leave and pay. To find out whether you and your partner are entitled to share parental leave, you should read the NHS Terms and Conditions Handbook and speak with your HR department.

Sick Leave

If you’re unfortunately absent from work due to illness then you are entitled to receive sick pay, subject to the conditions of your contract. Sick days will not be deducted from your annual leave entitlement.

For details of NHS employee annual leave entitlements, read our NHS Annual Leave Entitlements blog.

If you’re interested in working in the UK and would like to discuss the positions available in your specialty, and how we can assist you, please contact our team.