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Introduction to this document

Letter triggering maternity leave due to absence for pregnancy-related reasons

If a pregnant employee is absent from work wholly or partly because of a pregnancy-related illness after the beginning of the fourth week before her expected week of childbirth, her maternity leave will be automatically triggered.

Pregnancy-related illness

As a general rule, employees can choose when they want their maternity leave to start but this is subject to two important restrictions:

 maternity leave can’t begin prior to the eleventh week before the expected week of childbirth (EWC) (unless the baby is born prematurely, in which case maternity leave will begin on the day after the date of childbirth)

 if the employee is absent from work wholly or partly because of a pregnancy-related condition after the beginning of the fourth week before the expected week of childbirth (EWC). In these circumstances, the maternity leave will begin on the day following the first one after the beginning of the fourth week before the EWC on which she is absent for a pregnancy-related reason.

Use our letter to confirm to an employee who has been absent from work during the final four weeks of her pregnancy for a pregnancy-related reason that her maternity leave has been triggered by this absence. Note that it only applies to pregnancy-related absences, so if the employee is off sick, say, with flu, her maternity leave won’t be triggered. Also, at your discretion, you can disregard odd days of pregnancy-related illness if you and your employee wish to defer the start of her maternity leave.