Last updated: 03/02/2021
When you become pregnant
Claim Best Start Foods
23rd–15th week before baby is due
Your average earnings in these weeks are used to work out your statutory maternity pay.
15 weeks before baby is due
You must give your employer notice of when you intend to start maternity leave and pay before this.
11th week before baby is due
Qualifying week for entitlement to statutory maternity pay and maternity allowance.
From 11 weeks before baby is due
You can claim universal credit from this week.
You may be able to claim 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 baby is due
If you are ill in these weeks, it could trigger your maternity leave automatically.
When baby is born
Claim child benefit and universal credit (if not already done so) for the new baby.
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.