Can I start a new job while on maternity leave?

Whether you can start a new job while on maternity leave depends on several factors, including your employment contract, company policies, your individual circumstances, and the specific terms of your maternity leave arrangement with your current employer.

Maternity leave is granted to provide new mothers with time to recover from childbirth and bond with their newborns, and during this time, they may receive certain benefits, such as paid leave or job protection. Starting a new job while on maternity leave could potentially impact your eligibility for these benefits or your job security. 

Here are some key points to consider:

Employment contract

Review your current employment contract and any relevant policies to understand your rights and obligations while on maternity leave. Some employment contracts may restrict you from starting a new job during this time.

Company policies

Check your employer's policies regarding maternity leave. Some companies may have specific rules or restrictions on engaging in other paid work while on maternity leave.

Government benefits

If you are receiving government parental leave payments (such as the Paid Parental Leave scheme or the Dad and Partner Pay), there are rules about working while on parental leave. You are generally allowed to work for up to 10 "keeping in touch" days without affecting your government benefits.

Returning to work

If you intend to return to your current employer after your maternity leave, you should communicate your intentions with your employer. They may have a right to know if you intend to engage in other paid work during your leave.

Conflict of interest

Be mindful of any potential conflict of interest if you start a new job during your maternity leave, especially if the new job is in the same industry or related to your current employer's business. This could raise ethical and legal concerns.

Ethical considerations

Consider the ethical aspects of starting a new job while on maternity leave, especially if you intend to resign from your current position shortly after returning from leave. This could affect your relationship with your current employer.


The timing of when you start a new job during your maternity leave is also crucial. You may want to ensure that the new job aligns with your caregiving responsibilities and personal circumstances.

Legal advice

It's a good idea to seek legal advice or consult with a labour law expert to fully understand your rights and responsibilities regarding employment and maternity leave.

In summary, whether you can start a new job while on maternity leave is a complex issue and depends on your specific circumstances and the legal and contractual framework in place. It's essential to communicate with your current employer and carefully review your employment contract and any relevant government regulations before making any decisions.

To learn more about your maternity leave entitlements, click the button below to read our article on whether you can accrue annual leave while on maternity leave.

Can I start a new job while on maternity leave?

Are you looking for a job?

Are you looking for a job?

Now that you know whether you can start a new job while on maternity leave, you should take a moment to check our current vacancies page.

At 11 Recruitment, we have a range of white-collar temp and perm jobs available. We're always on the lookout for top talent to place with our clients, so we encourage you to apply for any positions that are of interest.

If none of our current vacancies are right for you, you should register for job alerts. Then we’ll be able to notify you when we receive a position that matches your profile.