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How many weeks before EDD to start maternity leave?

Discussion in 'Pregnancy' started by Hanachan, May 11, 2011.

  1. Hi ladies,

    I'm just wondering when people usually begin their maternity leave or when you are planning to. I'm due 1st October 2011 and I have been asked by my HT to begin my leave from the start of the new term - this year 5th September. This gives me almost 4 weeks before my EDD. While I understand this suits the school, I was hoping to keep going as long as I could so as to spend the maximum amount of my maternity leave with the baby. I teach in a primary school and I wonder how long most pregnant primary teachers keep gong?!

    H x
  2. toeinwater

    toeinwater New commenter

    The way I understand it, your employer can't ask you to start mat leave at any point - you call the shots! Most ladies at our school are/have started mat leave about 2 weeks before edd, but someone else went off much sooner. I think it's down to personal preference, how your pregnancy is, your home circumstances and your workload. I'm pretty sure you're within your right to say work until mid/end of September so long as baby doesn't arrive sooner than expected.
  3. Hi Hanachan. Congrats on your pregnancy [​IMG]
    I finished working on 1st April and baby was due on the 27th- he came on the 21st in the end. I teach Y5 and was definitely ready to finish by then- I was lucky enough to have a really lovely problem free pregnancy too. Just go with what feels right for you. Don't feel pushed into taking leave before you are ready. x
  4. I can't offer first hand advice. However, a colleague of mine was due the start of October and she left on the Monday - her baby was due that Friday! She was a week overdue and was bored stiff!
    The school had no problem with her starting the new school year for only 3 weeks. In fact, it gave them a chance to make sure all resources, etc were ready and in place before she left (but she's a HoD and wanted to make sure all would be well in her absence).
    I was also under the impression they can't ask you when to go, it's your choice.
  5. princessmelody

    princessmelody New commenter

    That's very naughty of your headteacher! The other reply was totally correct, you decide when you go. I gave mine as 2 weeks before as if you feel well enough you keep on going. If you take a sick day which is pregnancy related within the last 4 weeks they can start your leave then. Our hr is done in house and that us what I was advised to do. I realised as the time got nearer that I wouldn't get to two weeks before and was advised to be signed off whenever it got too much so I did end up starting it at 36 weeks. I was due in December but my cover started in September as she is an nqt so needed to do a full year. Your headteacher should know better!
  6. Thanks for the quick replies! :eek:)

    I am aware it is my choice but I don't want to be an awkward so and so! haha

    Also, I understand you have to let the school know when you intend to begin your leave and can only change it with 28 days advanced notice. It will be the summer holidays then, so that will be tricky. Therefore I need to have made up my mind by the end of this summer term. Ideally I would like to see how I feel in September.

    Another option might be to come back part time in Sept, but I don't know if this will affect my maternity pay. Anybody know?
  7. princessmelody

    princessmelody New commenter

    Wait until September- if you don't feel up to it you call in sick. Sickness in pregnancy doesn't count. They would then start your maternity automatically. They won't plan anything that requires you being there unless they are really daft- many ladies don't make it to the end!
  8. Also don't forget, as you would have just had 6 weeks of summer hols (rest?), you may be better prepared and find working up until a week before your EDD easier than if you were to work up until 39 weeks mid term.
    I'm stopping at 36 + 2 (end of summer term). But everyone differs and also it depends where in the year you finish i.e end of a term where work load can be easier for some, beginning of term where work may be harder etc.
  9. joannagb

    joannagb Occasional commenter

    Wow that's outrageous that they've asked you a) for a date this far in advance and b) to make it convenient for them - your union would eat them for breakfast!
    I'm due on June 21st, had planned to stop at half term (27th May) which would mean I got paid up to 8th June as I'm part time and that would have been my next day in school, but am seriously flagging now and considering stopping sooner instead.
    In my last pregnancy my due date was just after the end of the summer term, I had planned to work until the end of June but found that I just couldn't manage it, our HR manager's response was "your choice, the law's on your side" and I stopped on 3 days notice.
    If I were you I'd pick a date about two weeks before your due date, and then as long as you're fit and well, and feeling up to it, then you can stick to it, but if not you can change at the last minute if necessary - you can always get a note from the doctor or midwife if you need to.
    A friend of ours who is a primary teacher worked up until the day before she finally had a c section - which was two weeks after her due date. This was because the person taking over from her was an unemployed NQT who was prepared to wait for as long as necessary before starting. Not a particularly usual situation, nor perfect for the NQT, but it did seem to work in practice!

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