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When to start mat leave?

(20 Posts)
ThePartyArtist Mon 08-Aug-16 16:33:55

I'm 9 wks pregnant and holding off telling work until I get my permanent contract (by which time I'll be around 16 - 17 weeks). I am not relishing the prospect of telling my boss so think the best way to go into it is with a clear plan about maternity leave dates etc. I have no idea how close to the due date I should work up to, and if I can be flexible about this (e.g. leave earlier if it turns out to be really tough). My job is mainly desk based so not too strenuous. I just think I will be really exhausted if the first trimester's any indication!

How close to your due date did you work / do you plan to work?

Becciilouisex3 Mon 08-Aug-16 17:58:00

It's completely up to you! I'm starting my maternity leave at just before 38 weeks so I have a couple of weeks before my due date to prepare, relax and in case little one wants to make an earlier appearance of course!

What you can do if you don't want to use your maternity leave before baby is due is to save some of your annual holiday allowance and book some time before your due date if you like so as to maximise your maternity leave.

Generally you also gain holiday whilst on maternity leave too so you can use some on the end of you wish to extend it!

Do whatever is best for you, if you feel you are able and want to work up to your due date then do it! I had a pretty easy pregnancy apart from sickness up until now just into my third trimester but it's now quite physically difficult at times and I only sit down at work most of the time, it's the commute more than anything! So I'm glad for the couple of (hopefully) relaxing weeks I'll have before baby! They can bring it forward if you need to but you have to give dates to sort out pay and whatnot and I'm not sure if that's affected in any way if you amend the dates as it's never happened to me.

CostaAddict Mon 08-Aug-16 18:06:10

I had planned to work up to 36 weeks but have brought it forward by 3 weeks. Just went on maternity last week. I really didn't have any option as I've been quite ill this pregnancy and couldn't manage it anymore

I've managed to use 4 weeks annual leave so technically my mat leave won't start till 2 weeks before my due date. And if baby comes early (most likely in my case) my mat leave will be started automatically and any annual leave will be added to the end.

My advice would be to make a rough plan although be prepared for anything to happen once you reach the 3rd trimester. And if you can accrue annual leave and use that for some rest time before mat leave even better. Good luck & congrats!

Bobbycatz Mon 08-Aug-16 18:39:56

I've chosen to start my official maternity leave on my due date and I have taken 2 weeks annual leave before hand so will be finishing at 38weeks. I'm now 33 weeks and I'm counting down the days until I leave. I feel fine to be at work but to be honest my heads just not really in it.

I believe you can move your maternity leave but you just have to give them 28 days notice although I'm guessing there is some discretion there.

Titchypanda Mon 08-Aug-16 20:01:57

I work a fairly physical job and have been told I have to go on Mat leave at 7 months. So somewhere between 30-32 weeks for me.

I found out about the pregnancy 1 week after starting new job! I told them straight away and they have been great and I've just got my permanent contract and I will be able to return to the same job after however long I take maternity leave for.

Penfold007 Mon 08-Aug-16 20:33:43

Titchy your employer can't make you take maternity leave until four weeks before baby is due. What they do have to do is make adjustments to ensure they make suitable adjustments to your working environment. Personally I wouldn't 'waste' leave before baby arrives but it's your choice.

Titchypanda Mon 08-Aug-16 20:54:00

There are no more adjustments that they can make. It's a physical job that doesn't have any light duties unfortunately. I'm not planning on having too long off. Probably 3 - 4 months after birth.

welshweasel Mon 08-Aug-16 20:57:00

I planned to start mine at 39 weeks but take annual leave from 37. As it turned out I was forced to stop work at 30 weeks (I felt fine but baby not growing well) and delivered at 35 weeks! Stuck with my original date for returning so went back when DS 4 months rather than 3.

BastardBernie Mon 08-Aug-16 21:27:53

I've started my maternity leave at 34 weeks and I found it the perfect time.

April241 Tue 09-Aug-16 11:03:19

You need to give at least 15 weeks notice of your intended start date for maternity where reasonably possible, so you have a wee while yet before you need to make up your mind.

You'll get your mat B1 from your midwife around 20ish weeks, I got mine at 22 but I've seen some people get them later, and you'll need this to apply for your leave. Once you've had your confirmation letter with dates etc you can change it by giving 28 days notice, your employer can only impose the start of your mat leave from 36 weeks onwards if you're off sick due to pregnancy related illness.

I booked in 3 weeks annual leave from 30-33 weeks and my mat leave from 33 weeks due to twin pregnancy so I only gave 10.5 weeks notice, HR were fine as they knew the reasons behind the late notice.

I ended up being signed off work 25 weeks though with severe pelvic/back pain and currently 28+4. All the best plans and all that :-P

Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy!

1frenchfoodie Tue 09-Aug-16 15:49:21

I worked to 38wks, desk job but 2h commute. Definately felt ready by the end but glad I didn't start any sooner as baby came at 40+15

LorelaiVictoriaGilmore Tue 09-Aug-16 21:17:49

I was planning to start my maternity leave at 36 weeks but my baby was born at 35+3 for no reason that anyone could figure out! I am so sad that I didn't get my time at home to prepare for the baby and I felt like I was playing catch up for months. I think if I'd listened to my body I would have known that I should have stopped earlier. Sort out your maternity leave for a convenient time but if it starts physically feeling too much, move it back!

Kpo58 Wed 10-Aug-16 03:44:28

I dithered about when to start maternity leave. I had my baby at 35+6 and had to phone HR from the hospital to start it!

Spottyladybird Wed 10-Aug-16 06:16:09

I think it's good to keep in mind that full gestation is actually anything between 37-42 weeks so saying I want to work to 38 weeks you're actually full term, which is fine if you're happy with that but you might feel you don't want to work by then. I know I couldn't have worked then with DD, I felt huge, walking was hard work and I needed to stop regularly.
This time I'm stopping at 35 weeks. Can't bloody wait!

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Wed 10-Aug-16 06:25:05

I finished for mat leave at 36 weeks with ds, I'd originally planned to work until 38 but I couldn't fit behind the steering wheel comfortably anymore and I was working 12 hour days which just got too much.

I'm 13+6 weeks pregnant and again I'm hoping to get to 38 weeks before taking mat leave, I have a different job with a shorter commute and less hours plus I only work term time which means I'm getting lots of rest time unlike before.

I can honestly say I was nowhere near as tired in the third trimester as I was in the 1st though so don't go by how your feeling now.

Northernlight22 Thu 11-Aug-16 11:31:10

My Mat leave starts at 39+5, but I'm finishing at 36+2 and taking holidays - can't come soon enough! 31 weeks now and I'm starting to get very tired!

Northernlight22 Thu 11-Aug-16 11:34:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Northernlight22 Thu 11-Aug-16 11:35:50

Ooops wrong thread - have reported

BettyOBarley Thu 11-Aug-16 11:41:57

My mat leave starts at 39+4 but I'm taking leave from 35+6 otherwise I'll lose it.
If I didn't have leave I think I would be fine to work up to about 37/38 weeks but that's only going on last time and every pregnancy is different, you just never know how you'll feel.

I'd think about the length of your commute, how much time you want off after baby is born (I started mat leave at 35 weeks last time but went overdue by 10 days so had nearly 7 weeks at home which felt long and ate into my mat leave with no baby!)

35 weeks I will do next time. I seemed to hit a wall at this point with work and really should have left. I am a manager though (desk job) so I couldn't just leave even though I probably needed to.
I left at 38 weeks. My waters broke 3 days later so I had no rest before DC was born!

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