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Signed off work and maternity leave

(4 Posts)
Harper67 Fri 24-Feb-17 11:39:46


I'm new here, I'm wondering if anyone can help me, sorry for the long post.

Has anyone been signed off for large amounts of their pregnancy and encouraged to start maternity leave early by their employer?

I am coming up to 28 weeks pregnant and I am signed off for another 2 weeks and have been signed off for maybe 8 weeks of my pregnancy so far at various points. Most of the previous absences were through extreme morning sickness (hospitilisations) and bleeding. I am now signed off due to a heart condition that causes irregular heartbeat, placenta previa (bleeding) and PGP, although I get the impression the GP has signed me off more due to my anxiety/stress related to these conditions and the safety of the baby, than the actual conditions themselves.

My employer is mostly great, but I have had a call this week from them suggesting I consider starting my maternity leave at the end of my medical note (30 weeks). My intention was to start my maternity leave at 36 weeks with 2 weeks leave in advance, so finishing work at 34 weeks. I understand if I am off work at 36 weeks through sickness that they can start my maternity leave, but my understanding is they cannot force me to start it any earlier than that?

I am due to see my GP again at the end of my current medical certificate at which point they will either extend it or say I am fit to go back to work.

Has anyone had any experience of this? I don't want to look like I am 'playing the system' and getting signed off instead of starting my maternity leave, but I can't afford to take more than 6 months maternity leave and I don't want 2.5 months of it to be before the baby even arrives!

I'd just be grateful for any comments from people who have gone through anthing similar and how it worked out for them.

Thanks, Elli xx

mistermagpie Fri 24-Feb-17 11:53:31

I've not done this myself but you are correct that prior to 36 weeks the cannot force you to take your maternity leave early, even if you are signed off sick with things related to the pregnancy. It's not 'playing the system', these are just the rules.

If I was you I would thank them for their concern but say that you are intending to return to work before your maternity leave (if you are), which you will take as planned. There is not much they can say to that.

McBaby Fri 24-Feb-17 11:59:35

I was signed off from 26-36 weeks in my first pregnancy a couple of weeks at a time. I then started maternity leave. This was due to premature contractions and spd.

What is your sickness pay policy as presumably they could move you on to statutory sick pay if its in their policy.

They can't force you to go on mat leave early and as it's a couple of weeks at a time you could feel well enough to go back some time between 30-34 weeks?

RainbowStreet Fri 24-Feb-17 21:05:39

I was signed off sick from 32wks.
I had planned to finish work at 36wks, 2wks holiday and mat leave at 38wks.

As it worked out I was signed off until 36wks. my sick note finished at 35wks6days, technically I could return to work (but not IYSWIM) for my holiday as planned and then mat leave at 38wks as planned.
Not sure if that's right, but I got away with it!! And as I went 2wks overdue I'm glad it saved my mat leave.

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