Your maternity leave, pay and other rights

Telling your employer you’re pregnant

If you’re entitled to paid maternity leave, you must tell your employer you’re pregnant no later than the 15th week before your baby is due.

You must tell them:

  • you’re pregnant
  • the date of the week your baby is due (your employer can ask to see a medical certificate or 'MAT B1 form' – you get this from your doctor or midwife once you’re 20 weeks’ pregnant)
  • the date you want to start maternity leave

It’s a good idea to put this in an email or letter, as your employer might want it in writing.

How your employer must respond

After you’ve told your employer, they should reply in writing and must:

  • reply within 28 days
  • confirm the date your maternity leave will run to

If you’re worried about telling your employer

It’s against the law for your employer to sack (‘dismiss’) you or treat you unfairly just because you tell them you’re pregnant.

If you’re pregnant when applying for a job

You do not have to tell the employer you’re pregnant when applying for a job. If you do, by law they cannot treat you unfairly because of it.

For example, they cannot use your pregnancy as a reason for rejecting you for the job.