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So... Remind me when I can go on maternity leave?

I don't know about you, but I find that maternity leave entitlements can be so confusing! Which is the 15th week before my EWC? What even is my EWC anyway?! And I've worked in HR for 17 years!

Having helped navigate many mums-to-be through the whys and wherefores of maternity leave, it's become increasingly obvious to me that this stuff is just super confusing. Every time a mum-to-be at work shared her exciting news with me that she was pregnant, I'd sit down with her to talk through her entitlements. Inevitably at some point she'd ask when she could go on maternity leave...

"The earliest you can start your leave is 11 weeks before your EWC," (the Expected Week of Childbirth by the way!). "When's that?" "Let's see *studies calendar*... Your EWC is the week, beginning on a Sunday, in which you're expected to give birth." "Riiiiight..." "So 11 weeks before your EWC is *pause for counting* 23rd of October!"

"OK, I see. When do I need to decide when I'm going off?" "Well you need to tell us when you want to go on leave by the 15th week before your EWC" So count back 15 Sundays before that Sunday and that's when you need to tell us!" *Pause again for calendar counting* "Oh, that was last week..."

Simples! Not.

When I was pregnant myself, I realised that one of the biggest problems with this is that we don't count pregnancies in weeks before the due date, we count in how many weeks pregnant we are. So we're 25 weeks pregnant, not 15 weeks before our due date!

So I've made it simple for you and designed a calendar that, based on your due date, will calculate:

  • Your EWC week,

  • The earliest date you could start your maternity leave

  • The latest date on which you must have started your employment to qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay (another minefield!), and;

  • The date by which your maternity leave will automatically start if you are signed off work for a pregnancy-related illness.

To claim your free personalised calendar, just head over to our Free Maternity Calendar page here, enter your due date and we'll send it directly to your inbox. Now THAT is simples!

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