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When can I start my maternity leave?

You can ask for your maternity leave to start at any time from 11 weeks before your due date, right up until the baby is born. This still applies even if you’ve been told that you may have the baby earlier than expected.

If your baby arrives early, your maternity leave will start automatically the day after the birth. Your employer can also start your maternity leave if you are absent from work for pregnancy related reasons in the four weeks before your official due date.

If you’ve worked for your employer as an employee (as opposed to an agency worker or self-employed) for 26 weeks or more by the time there’s 15 weeks before your due date, then you’re entitled to statutory maternity leave.  That means you can take up to 52 weeks off work to look after your baby.

Statutory maternity leave comprises ordinary maternity leave, which is 26 weeks, and an optional additional maternity leave which is up to another 26 weeks.

If you qualify for statutory maternity pay then, at the time of writing in December 2014, you’re entitled to £138.18 or 90% of your average normal pay (whichever is lower) during your ordinary maternity leave.

If you feel that you’ve been treated unfairly by your employer with regard to any aspect of your maternity leave then you may benefit from taking legal advice.  If you call QualitySolicitors on 08082747557 then we can offer you our Free Initial Assessment service.  This is a free five-minute chat that we can offer simply to listen to your problem so we can quickly explain how we might be able to help.

For peace of mind this can feel like a very valuable service, and it won’t cost you a penny to find out if we can help.

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