Whether you are an employer on an employee, it is good practice to know what is expected of you during pregnancy, the details of which we explained in our recent guide. It is also important that both parties are given adequate notice when an employee decides to take their maternity leave as this can help prepare for their absence from work and pave the way for a smooth transition.
An employee may have reservations about telling others of their pregnancy, especially during early stages, however they must tell their employer by the 15th week before their due date. Of course, in some cases this might not be possible. If an employee does not discover they are pregnant until a later date for example then they should simply aim to inform their employer as soon as they can.
If an employee fails to inform their employer of their required maternity leave in the necessary time then an employer may be able to delay the start date of their maternity leave or their maternity pay. They would do this by providing the employee with a written statement of their intentions within 28 days of the employees leave request.
Ideally, an employee should inform their employer by the 15th week before their baby is due. They must tell them they are pregnant and also provide them with their due date and the date they wish to start their maternity leave. An employer may request a medical certificate, which can be requested from a midwife or GP from 21 weeks onwards.
You can find more information on maternity leave including maternity payments and returning to work here.