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Bringing maternity leave forward with less than 28 days to go

(3 Posts)
ash1977 Tue 29-Jul-14 19:19:27

Will also post this over on employment thread but wondered if any of you have any experience too.

I'll be 34wks tomorrow and have been off sick from work since yesterday as just absolutely exhausted, also suffering a little with SPD and carpal tunnel and returning nausea (but not sickness thank goodness - had 3 weeks off with that between 12-15wks). The heat is really getting to me but equally I'm hopeful that I won't actually be unwell for more than another day or so. That said I do commute into London and it's totally gruelling, but I do have scope to work from home if I need to (although have meetings etc and projects to oversee).

My maternity leave proper is booked to start at 38+4, but actual last day at work is due to be at 37+1. Using 3 annual leave days to work four day weeks between then and now, then a further 5 days annual leave in a block before mat leave kicks in.

Assuming I'm back at work by next week (which is a handover week with my cover and it would be a bad idea to miss it) given how much of a struggle I'm finding it I'm seriously considering asking for my actual mat leave to be brought forward to 37wks, with my remaining annual leave days in front of that i.e. to physically finish work at 35+5.

I have three questions really:
a) given that I don't actually have 28 days left before the earlier date, does my employer have to consider this? (no provision in maternity policy for anything other than 28 days unless 'not reasonably practical', with only example of this being if I've actually given birth
b) if I end up being signed off 'until mat leave', I understand that employers can make mat leave can kick in from 36wks - however can I request that my remaining annual leave days are used up first of all? I'd be on full pay for sick leave until then, and obviously leave days would be full pay too - just would make it a little better financially
c) if I am signed off from now until the end of my pregnancy, are there any obligations for me to provide a handover? (the added fun is that my manager is currently on 2 weeks holiday until I'm almost 36wks, having made no contingency plans - I feel like it's all resting on me) Whilst I don't want to be the person that disappears and leaves everyone in the lurch, I've always believed that if someone's sick or on mat leave you shouldn't be getting them to do any work.

All advice very welcome and thanks in advance! Don't really want to ask HR hypothetical questions at this stage and flag myself as a risk when I haven't got any clear way forward...

MrsCK Tue 29-Jul-14 22:53:32

I'd book your annual leave for when you want it and then get signed off prompting mat leave to kick in.

If you are signed off presumably you are getting full pay so wouldn't matter if it was annual leave or sick leave?

In reference to handover I think I would try but be realistic. If you're not in work they can't expect you to do anything!

ash1977 Wed 30-Jul-14 09:42:44

Thanks for that. Sorry I wasn't clear - I would want to request that, if I am signed off from 36 weeks, to use my few remaining annual leave days first (100% pay) rather than my mat leave kicking in immediately (90% pay) and rolling my leave days to the end.

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