Last updated: 09/03/2022
When you become pregnant
Apply for Best Start Foods
23rd–15th week before your baby is due
Your average earnings in these weeks are used to work out your Statutory Maternity Pay.
15 weeks before your baby is due
You must give your employer notice of when you intend to start maternity leave and pay before this.
From 11 weeks before your baby is due
You may be able to get Universal Credit.
You may be able to get Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment.
If you are working, this is the earliest you can start your maternity pay and leave.
From four weeks before your baby is due
If you are ill in these weeks, it could trigger your maternity leave automatically.
When your baby is born
Claim Child Benefit
Claim Universal Credit and Best Start Grant if you have not already done so
Claim Scottish Child Payment if you are getting a qualifying benefit
Eight weeks before returning to work
You must give your employer notice of when you wish to return to work otherwise they will assume you are taking the whole 52 weeks.
Six months after your baby is born
Claim Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment before this date.