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Topic: Work and parents

Change of maternity leave request
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Change of maternity leave request

Change of maternity leave request

An employee can vary her chosen maternity leave start date, but she must give at least 28 days’ notice. You can require any notice to change the start date to be in writing, so provide our form for this purpose.

All change

If, having given you notification of her maternity leave plans, a pregnant employee subsequently wants to vary the start date of her maternity leave, whether to a date which is earlier or later than the date originally notified, she must give you a minimum of 28 days’ notice and that notice must be in writing if you so request. If it’s not reasonably practicable for her to give 28 days’ notice, she must give as much notice as is reasonably practicable. Where the employee wishes to bring forward her start date to an earlier date than that she originally chose, she must give you at least 28 days’ notice before the proposed new maternity leave start date. Where she is applying to defer her start date to a later date than that she originally chose, she must give you at least 28 days’ notice before the original notified start date. If the employee fails to give sufficient notice, you can still choose to accept the new start date, but you aren’t obliged to do so (unless it wasn’t reasonably practicable for her to give 28 days’ notice and she gave notice as soon as it was).

Completed form

Our Change of Maternity Leave Request is a simple way of enabling the employee to comply with the statutory requirements. It simply asks her to complete the details of her expected week of childbirth, her original chosen maternity leave start date and her new chosen start date and then to sign and date the form and return it to her line manager. The reason the expected week of childbirth (EWC) is important is that maternity leave can’t begin prior to the eleventh week before the EWC, unless the baby is born prematurely, in which case maternity leave will automatically begin on the day after the day of childbirth.


Once the employee has submitted this form to you, you must then write to her within 28 days to notify her of the new date on which her maternity leave will now end. You can use our Letter Notifying Change to Maternity Leave Dates to do this.



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