Maternity Leave and Statutory Maternity Pay

Maternity Leave – Changes

Notice of intention to take maternity leave

A pregnant employee must notify her employer of her intention to take maternity leave by the end of the 15th week before her Expected Week of Childbirth (EWC), unless this is not reasonably practicable. She must tell her employer:

  • that she is pregnant
  • the week her baby is expected to be born
  • when she wants her maternity leave to start.

A woman can change her mind about when she wants to start her leave providing she tells her employer at least 28 days in advance (unless this is not reasonably practicable).

Employers are required to respond to a woman’s notification of her leave plans within 28 days unless the woman has varied that date, in which case the employer must respond with 28 days of the start of maternity leave. An employer must write to his employee, setting out the date on which he expects her to return to work if she takes her full entitlement to maternity leave. A model Maternity Leave Letter is available for employers to use (if they wish to do so) and is also in the Maternity Rights (PL958) PDF.

There is no change to how early a woman is able to start her maternity leave – the earliest date continues to be the beginning of the 11th week before her baby is due.

Maternity Leave & Statutory Maternity Pay business advice Crown Copyright © 2003-2011

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