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What are the rules about taking sick leave before maternity leave? Is it possible?

(21 Posts)
SarahScotChristmasSpirit Fri 31-Dec-10 21:35:52

I'm planning on working up until I am 37 weeks. I did this with my first pg and was fine. However, I have pgp/spd and am in pain after walking/standing too long. As a teacher I can't actually avoid having to stand and move around a lot and still be able to do my job. If I went off work earlier because of the pelvic pain would it have to be as maternity leave or could it be sick leave if the GP signed me off? I really don't want to have to use up much mat leave before the baby is born as I can't afford to take much time off as it is - 5 months max.

Anyone know how this works?

FessaEst Fri 31-Dec-10 21:38:27

Any sick leave you take before 36 weeks has to be counted as sick leave, and cannot be treated as a disciplinary issue. However, mat leave has to start on the first day of sickness post 36 weeks.

Good luck.

CrispyTheChristmasCracker Fri 31-Dec-10 21:38:47

From memory they can force the start of your ML if you are sick - can't remember from which week though. However, i had placenta praevia and was signed off from 31 weeks and my employer only started my ML from the date DD1 was born (36 weeks). I think i was quite lucky though, and hadn't told them when i was expecting to start ML and they didn't enforce the early start of ML

TheBibiJesus Fri 31-Dec-10 21:38:54

I think if it happens in the last month before your due date, your maternity leave starts automatically, but hopefully someone can come along and correct me soon if I'm wrong.

ceebeegeebies Fri 31-Dec-10 21:39:13

It can be sick leave until 36 weeks then if you were still sick for maternity-related reasons (which it clearly is), your maternity leave would automatically commence then.

Hth smile

CrispyTheChristmasCracker Fri 31-Dec-10 21:39:37

Aha, thanks Fessa. DD1 was born at exactly 36 weeks so i guess the Q never arose in my case

Bogeyface Fri 31-Dec-10 21:41:37

/What Crispy said.

They dont have to start your ML early but they are entitled to if they choose. I feel for you, my SPD was horrendous especially at the end.

If you are planning on finishing at 37 weeks anyway, you would only be losing 1 week ML if they do force it to start early, and as someone who has suffered SPD too, I would say it is worth it.

KenDoddsDadsDogEatsTinsel Fri 31-Dec-10 21:42:12

If you are sick during your last 4 weeks of expected delivery, then your employer can insist that you go onto maternity leave. Some are very strict about it, some not so.

PenguinFeet1 Fri 31-Dec-10 21:42:28

i don't know if rules are universal irrespective of who you work for but for NHS you will automatically transfer to maternity leave after the 4th day of sickness if you continue to work beyond the 4th week prior to childbirth.

SarahScotChristmasSpirit Fri 31-Dec-10 21:42:33

Thank you everyone. 36 weeks sounds not too bad, only a week different to what I was planning.

stressheaderic Fri 31-Dec-10 21:43:54

I'm a teacher and I did this last year. Was meant to finish at 36 weeks exactly. Had to go off sick at 33 weeks with various complications - just sent my 3-week sick note in, school were fine about it.

KirstyJC Fri 31-Dec-10 21:47:31

As others have said, they can only put you onto Mat Leave from 36 weeks - but only if the reason for your sickness is pregnancy related, which of course yours is.

Make sure you have put your ML request in with your MATB1 certificate, stating you want to go at 37 weeks. Once that's in, they can't pressure you to go off earlier!

I have just been signed off for the rest of my pregnancy with SPD and vulval varicosities (yup, as bad as it sounds!!) - I am 27 weeks and not going onto Mat Leave until 35 weeks. As I have chosen to go at 35 weeks that's when they'll switch me from sick leave to Mat leave. And they can't use it against you for sick records / disciplinary.

Good luck! smile

SarahScotChristmasSpirit Fri 31-Dec-10 22:15:45

Oh Kirsty, you have my sympathies.

I'm 30 weeks and the pelvic pain has just started to get bad over the last week and a bit while I've been off work. Hopefully this will be it and it won't get any worse, but who knows!?

pregnantb Thu 28-Mar-13 22:07:40

was wondering if anybody knows... i am putting a grievence against my manager, my midwife has adviced me to get in contact with my doctor and get signed off but will me taking time off sick effect my sick pay?

Strikeuptheband Thu 28-Mar-13 22:18:07


I was signed off at 24 weeks for my 3rd pregnancy. It would have been 18 but that was the summer hols and I worked in education. And yes, I was able to have full sick pay until 36 weeks when I started my maternity leave.

Ellypoo Thu 28-Mar-13 22:33:00

Yep, employer can only enforce mat leave starting at 36 weeks if you are off with a pg related illness. Up to this will fall under the normal sick leave policy.

In terms of sickness affecting your mat pay, it might if you are on reduced pay/SSP during the relevant period of weeks that SMP is based on.

pregnantb Thu 28-Mar-13 22:38:00

thank you very much

Bankyamy Mon 31-Oct-16 02:52:37

Hi everyone,
Am due to have my baby on the 2/01/17, I haven't been feeling well and currently on sick leave but have booked off four weeks holiday from the 2/12/16 (four weeks before my due date), my fear is this: will my sick leave override this annual leave. can my employer cancel my annual leave and ask me to start my maternity leave instead?
I have checked over my contract and there is nothing there mentioning sick/holiday during pregnancy

Lovewatchingrainfall Mon 31-Oct-16 07:04:49

I took sick leave with my last pregnancy at 27weeks and I continued to get sick pay right up until my daughter was born. Then my ML took over so it is possible.

scaredofthecity Mon 31-Oct-16 07:13:59

I did something like this bankyamy I had a sick note up until I had holiday booked and then went on mat leave after that. I did still go on mat leave at 36 weeks though, but my sick pay had nearly run out.

Kitch82 Mon 31-Oct-16 09:59:05

bank it depends on your employer. I've been on sick leave since 30 weeks with spd and have a note until 36 weeks when my mat leave kicks in. This overrides the annual leave I was planning to take between 36-38 weeks. I work in the NHS and I can carry over the additional leave into next year as it's unforseen circumstances. Check with hr.

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