It will be different for each company, read the individual policy.
But I think by and large its usually 26 weeks before you're entitled to statutory maternity pay. So if that's the case you ought to be fine as even if you got pregnant next week and went on mat leave at six months, you'd have been there for a year.
Every company is different. I think there are national rules that everyone in some kind of employment is entitled to the statutory rights of basic statutory maternity pay (not much) and keeping their job open for a set period of time.
Most companies offer more than this though if you have been with them for more than 6 months before becoming pregnant.
From the friends I made on Mat leave it seems civil servants have the best deal with 6 month full pay!!!!! Some people in private companies only got 2 weeks of full pay but they were still entitled to take a whole year off with statutory mat pay for the first 9 months then nothing for the last 3 months.
Thank you for all the help ladies. In my paper work all it says about maternity leave is just to let your boss know as soon as possible and we don't have an HR department that I can ask. Oh god how do you live off £139 a week?!
I have only just come off my pill and I have heard that on average it takes around a year to get pregnant, I know that I haven't been in my job for very long but if it takes us about a year to get pregnant then hopefully I would have been working there long enough to be entitled to good maternity pay.
Maybebabybee, the enhanced pay isn't always dependent on you coming back afterwards - it depends on your company policy. My company offers 13 weeks at full pay and there's no provision in the policy to make me go back following my leave.
I suggest you also consider your childcare plans once you return to work. I was earning a good salary (approx £40k) but when I went back to work my childcare costs were so high that I ended up with even less than £139/week! Something to bear in mind
Yes my partner keeps reminding me that it may be a lot sooner than I am expecting!
Childcare is also a worry but I am hoping to try and go back part time just while the baby is young so nursery fees won't be as crippling and I also have a very baby obsessed mother that I'm sure will be eager to babysit.