How soon can I start Maternity Leave?

So had a 24 week scan and not much movement with my placenta preavia. I also started to have pain at front and sides of my pelvis so Dr is referring me to physio to avoid becoming worse as I also broke my pelvis at the age of 19 so guess it's only natural to have pain at this stage wth a multiple pregnancy. Sitting even for 10mins and getting up causes my pelvic pain to magnify each time. Lying sideways is the only thing that helps. Also been quite stressed πŸ’­ thinking about making it to 24 weeks due to miscarriage at 23 weeks 8 years ago so it's all been building up and now have cold sores (big sign of stress and Dr confirmed it)

So a few things going at the minute lingering in my head so Dr immediately told me I need to stop working and gave me the Maternity form to take to HR at work.

So my question is, can I put any date on Maternity form, for say next week Monday or is there a specific time in which each individual company allows you to start Maternity Leave?

My partner and I have decided i am to stop work as Our first and only priority is our babies and know if we start sooner Maternity Leave is cut short but we don't care.

I am just stressed as I just want time to concentrate on staying stress free and keeping my Twins inside / let placenta do its thing and not think about work which is having a big affect on me.

My boss on the other hand is asking if I've been signed off but I've enough going on already and enough reason to stop work. Why am I feeling like I can't leave work now....Its time and Dr said I should stop. Annoyed πŸ˜’

Any advice welcome.... sat here with a huge top lip full of cold sores.... 😫 stressed πŸ˜•πŸ™πŸΌπŸ™πŸΌπŸ™πŸΌπŸ™πŸΌπŸ™πŸΌπŸ™πŸΌ

Sorry ladies & gents!


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  • Hi I think you can start maternity leave 11 weeks before your due date. If you look on the government website it has all info about mat leave.

  • Thank you x

  • Read your companies maternity policy. Mine says if you have too much time off sick they will insist maternity starts sooner so they have no problem with the start date. All of these rules should be set out by your company

  • Thank you, have taken no sick time I do have 4 weeks holiday still left x need to look ok at info as you say x

  • Hopefully they well be pretty much standard.

    Mine says i have to take all remaining holiday at the beginning or end of the maternity leave. Which is good because i get no pay after 39 weeks.

  • Hiya Paid maternity 11 weeks before you are due but you can go off sick with pregnancy related illness and your employers can start it earlier. Whether you are then paid from statutory sick pay or maternity I'm not sure.

    I found this link which seemed to explain it well:

    Best wishes xx

  • Thank you very much! πŸ™‹πŸ»

  • You could always get you doctor to sign you off with stress, and then start your maternity 11wks before? This way your still off but not losing out xx

  • Thank you 😊

  • I think most companies have a policy that if you're off sick with a pregnancy related illness x weeks before your due date then they start your mat leave from that date. I think it's probably a statutory date. Definitely talk to them about holidays and when you can take them. My firm has a policy that you can't carry more than 25% of holiday into the next holiday year so I took most of it in advance of mat leave (though they did let me take a few days extra over). I would imagine that they would be happy for you to take your holiday allowance at the start of your time off then start mat leave. But like you say, your health is the most important thing so try to focus on you and your babies.

  • I think it's already been mentioned by the other ladies and every company might be different but if I was you I would be signed off by your doctor for a period and then use your holiday as this was you will receive pay. 8 weeks prior to your due date you will automatically be put on maternity leave anyway if you are not well enough to work due to pregnancy issues. You have about 12 weeks to cover so you should be able to juggle it

  • You would need to be signed off at this stage as you can't start mat leave until 29 weeks so you will need a sick note to cover the next 5 weeks and can then go into maternity leave.

  • Noted thank you very much x

  • I was signed off for the majority of my pregnancy. My company automatically put me on maternity leave 4 weeks before my due date. It might be worth getting signed off and contacting HR to see what the company's policy is x

  • Thank you x

  • All settled, working 2 more weeks from home given the circumstances and my babies health comes first. Last day in the office is the 10th August and will take my remaining holiday (4 weeks) and will then start my maternity leave. πŸ™ŒπŸ½πŸ˜Šβœ¨βœ¨βœ¨βœ¨Happy!

    Thank you all for the info. It's crazy how worked up new mums t be get about this especially when expecting multiples.

    Advice to self.... always put your family first!


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