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Are you expecting or hoping to become a parent in the near future?

It’s important you check out all your maternity and paternity leave benefits with your current employer in order to work out how much statutory maternity pay you’re entitled to.

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Illustration of two couples. One with a baby in their arms and one with a pram and a dog.

Many people do not realise how difficult maternity and paternity leave will be financially. New parents will often wait until the baby arrives home to work it out. In some cases this means they have to cut their maternity or paternity leave plans short, so it is important to work out your shared parental leave entitlement before your new baby arrives.

We surveyed 2,000 mums and dads about their own experiences and our poll found that 40% of new parents were forced to cut their maternity leave short because they were unable to afford to take off as long as they wanted.

So, with you and your shared parental leave in mind, we've created this simple maternity pay calculator. It tells you how much time you can afford to take off based on your own personal financial situation.

Saving up for the arrival of your new baby is really important, find out more about the different types of savings accounts available.

You could use a 0% purchases card to spread the payments for items you need ahead of your baby's arrival or to supplement your time off after they arrive. Ensure you are able to make the monthly repayments on anything you borrow and try to pay off the full amount before any introductory offers end.