Important dates

Last updated: 23/01/2020

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.

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.