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Want to start maternity leave early - what are my rights?

(8 Posts)
emoo777 Sun 03-Jul-11 12:39:40

I do a very physically active job 5 days a week (work in a lab) that involves running around most of the day. I am 32 weeks and am totally physically exhausted. I had a cold the week before last and had to take 4 days off (and was ill both weekends). I have bad back pain most days and last week slipped on some water in the lab and had to get checked out in hospital. A resultant twisted ankle meant that I had another day off work. I have eczema all over my legs (never had that before) awful haemarrhoids probably from too much standing (bleed constantly) and just generally feel like my body is falling apart. I also have a 16 mo to take care of.

I have officially said I will start leave at 35 1/2 weeks. I have a visitor coming from Spain tomorrow who will work with me in the lab for the week. Can I go on maternity leave early after this? my work's official line is that I have to give 28 day notice to change the start date.

JoleneJoleneJoleneJoleeene Sun 03-Jul-11 12:45:33

If they wont let you take maternity leave early just get signed off sick.

RickGhastley Sun 03-Jul-11 12:50:48

You do officially need to give the requited notice to change your MAT leave start date. However, i would have a word with your boss and explain how you are feeling and ask if they can let you start MAT leave early. Explain to him/her that if you are going to see your GP for a view on your continued fitness to attend work.

Then if they won't let you change your dates I would get signed off by the Dr as it does not sound like you are fit enough to work. If you are signed off sick at 36 weeks your boss has the right to start your MAT leave then.

RickGhastley Sun 03-Jul-11 12:51:04

requited????Required I meant!

Mum2be79 Sun 03-Jul-11 15:10:35

Those who have suffered just before going on ML have always gone to the doctors and got signed off on sick. They said it was easy.

nannyl Sun 03-Jul-11 15:14:40

Agree with others.... ask to start mat leave early and if they refuse go to GP who will just you off anyway.

It does not sound like you are in a fit state to work your job, and you need to put you (and baby smile) first!

PinkFondantFancy Sun 03-Jul-11 17:12:00

It doesn't sound like it would be a problem for your GP to sign you off - it doesn't sound like you should be at work at all at the moment!

emoo777 Sun 03-Jul-11 19:57:00

Thanks for the replies. My boss gets back from 2 weeks holiday tomorrow and I need to confront him with all of my abscence forms (for cold / fall) so hopefully I can chat to him and ask for early leave. I think getting signed off for sickness will be my backup option. He is a very clever man and I am sure he will realise he has no choice, but I am nervous as I feel he is hostile towards me whenever we talk about maternity leave as we have had two children close together. Wish me luck!

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