Maternity leave

Choosing a date to start maternity leave

Maternity leave can begin no later than the expected date of childbirth and no earlier than 11 weeks before the expected date of childbirth. If the baby is born before the member of staff has commenced maternity leave maternity leave and pay will commence the day after the actual birth.

The leave and pay form which must be completed and returned to the HR Department.

A member of staff may change the date on which she starts her maternity leave by giving 28 dyas written notice,  if that is not reasonably practicable because the baby has been born early, for example, as soon as is reasonably practicable.

Absence due to childbirth before the intended start date

If the baby is born before the notified maternity leave date the maternity leave period automatically commences on the date of birth even if this is before the week beginning the 11th week before the expected week of childbirth.

In order for the member of staff to preserve her rights to maternity leave and statutory maternity pay, she must, as soon as is reasonably practicable, give the University notice in writing of the date of the childbirth and if it has not already been given, evidence of the date the baby was expected. The notification of birth letter should be completed and sent to the HR Department.

Maternity pay is paid per week and where the baby has been born before maternity leave has commenced, the maternity pay will commence on the day after the birth.

Compulsory maternity leave

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 prohibits employees from working or being permitted to work by the University during the 2 week period commencing with the actual day of childbirth - after 24 weeks of pregnancy, this includes not having any KIT days (Keeping In Touch days).

The length of maternity leave

All staff are entitled to a maximum of 63 weeks maternity leave, however length of service will affect the entitlement to maternity pay.

Ordinary maternity leave is the first 39 weeks of maternity leave.

Additional maternity leave is the leave taken from week 29 to week 52

The University also offers further additional leave from weeks 52 to 63.

Unless the University is informed in writing of a different return to work date, it is assumed that staff will take 52 weeks maternity leave.  Staff wishing to take more or less maternity leave must give at least 8 weeks notice of the revised return to work date.