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Long term sick and maternity leave

(17 Posts)
sarah00001 Tue 24-Mar-15 18:40:36

Hi, I've been on sick leave since 1 January with depression and it's unlikely I'll be able to return to work before maternity leave. I need to let my employer know when I wish to start maternity leave but have a bit of a dilemma. Before being off sick, my intention was to start maternity leave around week 36, 4 weeks before my due date. My worry though is that if I request it to start on this date and I am off sick until this date, I will have been on sick leave for 5 months in total and that it will look like I'm taking advantage of my employer. The earliest I can start my maternity leave is mid April and I thought that the appropriate thing would be to start it on this date, but that leaves me with less time with my baby who is due 30 June.
Is there anyone else on long term sick? When do you plan to start your maternity leave? Thanks, Sarah.

sparing Tue 24-Mar-15 18:43:37

There are rules about this.

If you're off sick and pregnant, then after a certain point you have to take it as maternity, not sick leave. It's earlier than when maternity usually starts but I'm not sure exactly what the cut off is.

Someone who knows will be along shortly I'm sure...

sparing Tue 24-Mar-15 18:45:50

I've just googled, it's 36 weeks.

dementedpixie Tue 24-Mar-15 18:49:16

they can only do that if the sickness is pregnancy related so unless the depression is due to the pregnancy then that rule would not come into effect.

Being off sick will also affect your maternity pay if you get paid a lower amount of sick pay than your usual wage.

FilthyPout Tue 24-Mar-15 18:51:42

I've been on long term sick during this pregnancy and my employers have told me that maternity leave will kick in at 36 weeks even though my current sick note is until I'm 38 weeks. A quick meeting with my employer was able to clarify this so there was no worries. Maybe it would be wise to ask for a short meeting to discuss so you know where you stand. It takes the pressure off immensely knowing what's what smile

dementedpixie Tue 24-Mar-15 18:59:21

is yours pregnancy related then FilthyPout as they can only start it at 36 weeks if the absence is due to the pregnancy?

FlumptyDumpty Tue 24-Mar-15 19:03:53

Does mat leave always trump sick leave? OP might be better off financially on sick pay rather than mat pay. What happens then?

FilthyPout Tue 24-Mar-15 19:37:00

Its for prenatal anxiety in my case so has been classed as a 'pregnancy related illness'.

shattered77 Tue 24-Mar-15 19:45:53

Your mat leave will kick in 4 weeks before your due date. Do what is best for you. You will need your maternity leave for when the baby is here. Is there a reason why you feel bad for your employer?

BumWad Tue 24-Mar-15 21:35:10

I would just start your nat leave at 36 weeks and be off sick until then if I was you.

sarah00001 Tue 24-Mar-15 21:57:59

Thanks everyone for your help. I suppose I feel bad because of the length of time I've been off sick and I've had previous episodes of sick leave due to having ectopic pregnancies (4 months in total). My anxiety and depression is related to my struggle to have a child and overwhelming fear of losing my baby (I had to have IVF) which has manifested itself in OCD which has made every day life extremely difficult. The depression is largely due to my partner and I splitting up and coping with pregnancy alone. My workplace is not the safest of places (it's a research lab) and doesn't have the best health and safety record. When I was 5 wks pregnant I was exposed to toxic fumes and I'm scared that if I go back, something bad will happen to harm my baby.

I think I may request to start maternity leave at the start of May, when I'll be around 31 weeks, which is 2 months before my due date, then take my accrued annual leave at the end of maternity leave.

Thank you again, sarah

shattered77 Wed 25-Mar-15 06:02:37

Gosh, I really feel for you, you've had an awful time. Your time off work has all been genuine. Use this time to get your head round things, and some workplaces aren't suitable for pregnant women. Personally I would start your mat leave at 36 weeks, and I work in HR! Nobody will remember when you started your mat leave in a few years time, but you will remember if you took it early and put added pressure on yourself as a consequence. Take care of yourself.

Rosebuds79 Mon 13-Mar-17 15:09:42

Hi there, I'd like any advise please. I'm currently 23 weeks and have been put on sick. I understand your earnings are calculated over a specific period before the birth to see if you are eligible for statutory sick pay or maternity allowance. But as agency staff I don't think I've earned enough due to sickness and lack of work in the specific time its calculated.
Can anyone offer me any advice, I'm getting a bit anxious to be honest ;(

arbrighton Mon 13-Mar-17 15:14:44

Rosebud it would be more appropriate to start a fresh thread

Rosebuds79 Mon 13-Mar-17 15:38:40

Ok, new here not sure of the layout etc. Thankyou !

Harper67 Mon 13-Mar-17 20:26:39

I am in a similar situation to you, I have been signed off since before Christmas with pregnancy related problems (bleeding and a heart condition) and will be signed off until 36 weeks when my maternity leave will kick in. I went through exactly what you are and almost started my maternity the earliest I could at 29 weeks because I felt guilty, but I spoke HR and they were very supportive and explained that as it was pregnancy related and genuine reasons to do what was best for me and the baby. I wouldn't take your maternity any earlier than you have to if possible, give yourself maximum time off afterwards.

Rosebuds79 Mon 13-Mar-17 22:01:20

Thank you harper. I'm taking early maternity @ 29 weeks anyways as my previous pregnancy I had pre eclampsia and my son arrived at 31 weeks. So this time I'm taking no chances

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