Returning to work after time off with your baby

Last updated: 03/02/2021

Your employer will assume that you will take all 52 weeks of your statutory maternity leave. If you decide not to take all your leave you must give your employer at least eight weeks’ notice that you’re returning to work early.

Your employer can insist that you don’t return until you’ve had eight weeks leave.

If you decide not to return to work, after your maternity leave your statutory maternity pay/maternity allowance does not have to be paid back.

Related information

For more information on your income when you are pregnant and time off work visit:

Maternity Action

Helpline: 0808 802 0029

Working Families

Helpline: 0300 012 0312

Health and safety

Your employer should offer you an alternative job or suspend you on full pay if there is a health and safety risk because you are pregnant. You are entitled to paid time off to attend antenatal appointments and classes. If your employer dismisses you because you are pregnant, this is automatically an unfair dismissal and you should seek legal advice.