The start of Maternity Leave must be no earlier than the 11th week before your expected week of childbirth. Your GP or midwife will confirm your expected week of childbirth by issuing a MAT B1 certificate which is normally issued no earlier than 20 weeks before your expected week of childbirth. This certificate must be sent to your Senior HR Administrator, as soon as you of staff receives it, so that Maternity Leave and Pay entitlements can be confirmed.
If you are absent from work during the 4 weeks before your expected week of childbirth due to pregnancy-related illness, your maternity leave period starts automatically, even if the birth takes place before the start of the 11th week before the birth was originally expected. Information on sickness absence prior to maternity leave can be found in the Maternity Leave FAQs.