There’s so much to think about once you find out you’re pregnant – it’s tempting to skip the boring bit and plunge straight into planning babygros and buggies, but you do need to make sure your maternity leave and pay is set up. This involves getting the correct form from your midwife or GP.
Although your midwife should automatically give you a MAT B1 form at the antenatal appointment that takes places after your 20-week scan, you may need to request it - it is available from either your midwife or your doctor.
In order to be eligible for Maternity Allowance, according to Gov UK, you will need to:
Be employed but unable to claim for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)
Be self-employed and pay Class 2 National Insurance
Have stopped working recently
When should I give my Maternity Certificate to my employer?
Once you receive your form, you’ll need to sign it, make a copy and then at some stage before you are 25 weeks pregnant (by the end of the 15th week before the beginning of your expected week of birth), you’ll need to give it to your employer, so either your boss or HR team. If you work two jobs, you'll need to give a copy of the MAT B1 form to both employers.
Once you've given it to your employer, you can start arranging you maternity pay and benefits. Remember you need to give your employer at least 28 days notice before you begin claiming your SMP, so it's a good idea to get this sorted sooner rather than later.
That said, whilst it's tempting to share your exciting news with your colleagues right away, most people wait until after their 12-week-scan, when the risk of miscarriage is reduced. Bear in mind you can’t take time off for antenatal appointments until you’ve told your employer about your pregnancy.
What will my MAT B1 form look like?
It's a pretty standard medical document, but here's what it looks like:
Either in a letter or an email (check with your HR department for your company policy), you need to tell your boss your due date and the date you want to start your statutory maternity leave and pay.
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