Your Maternity Rights
If you are planning a baby (and sometimes if you’re not!) finding out that you are pregnant is one of the most exciting (and daunting!) events in your and your partner’s life. So many things to think about – how soon should you tell your friends? When to go to the GP? How long to wait until you tell those at work who need to know? How to fit in antenatal classes when you work full time? What are your rights concerning maternity and paternity leave further down the line?
You are allowed time off work for antenatal classes and full details can be found here, https://www.gov.uk/working-when-pregnant-your-rights but your HR department will know all about it too, so make sure you ask. Of course, this doesn’t help if you are self-employed or do contract work but there are some great courses out there (Bundle London, for example) who do a combination of daytime and evening classes and these are hugely important in helping you build that support network post birth, and learning evidence-based information to help you make the right decisions for your labour and beyond. So, do factor in a few of days of leave if this is your situation.
Antenatal classes tend to get booked up very quickly and therefore it is worth putting your name down just after you have had your 12 week scan. Some people do wait until 20 weeks but you may find that spaces are already thin on the ground.
On the question of maternity/paternity leave you can find all you need to know on the government website https://www.gov.uk/maternity-pay-leaveand there are moves afoot to extend the current time to include time your baby spends in neonatal care (for example if your baby is premature or has other health issues), so that it doesn’t eat into your and your partner’s time with your little one at home.
Bundle Team - 1 May 2019