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Pregnancy money timeline

Here we provide an overview of all money-related dates to do with your pregnancy.

When you find out you're pregnant, there will be lots to think about and plan for. Many parents-to-be will start thinking about their finances, what impact a new baby will have on them and the implications of maternity/paternity leave and pay. Here we look at how to plan ahead and make sure you have key dates in your diary.

This baby money timeline from the Money Advice Service lists of all the money-related dates to do with your pregnancy and new baby.

Early in pregnancy

Notify your employer of your pregnancy when you feel ready. Notify your employer of your pregnancy in writing if you need health and safety adjustments to your working conditions or hours of work. Notify your employer of your antenatal appointments e.g. appointment card (apart from the first appointment).

Weeks 18 – 26 approximately

These weeks are used for calculating your average earnings for Statutory Maternity Pay.

Week 24

If your baby is stillborn after the end of week 24, or is born alive at any time but dies afterwards, you are entitled to maternity leave and pay (if you meet the normal qualifying conditions).

15th week before EWC

This is the latest week for giving your employer notice of the date you want to start your maternity leave and pay. You must give your employer your MATB1 maternity certificate. If you don’t qualify for SMP, you can claim Maternity Allowance.

Before maternity leave

Meet with your employer to discuss plans for covering your maternity leave, plan your annual leave and talk about contact during maternity leave. If you or your spouse/partner wish to take shared parental leave you must give at least eight weeks’ notice.

11th week before EWC

This is the earliest you can start your maternity leave and pay. It is up to you to decide when you want to start your maternity leave.

11th week before EWC to three months after the date your baby is born

You can claim the Sure Start Maternity Grant if you are receiving a qualifying benefit or Child Tax Credit above the family element.

4 weeks before EWC

This is the earliest your employer can trigger the start of your maternity leave if you are off work for a pregnancy-related reason.

EWC starts on a Sunday

This is the week your baby is due. The exact date will be on your MATB1 maternity certificate that you can get from your midwife or GP from week 16.

Date of birth

If your baby is born early and you are at work your maternity leave and pay will start on the day after the birth.

Two weeks after the birth/four weeks for factory workers

Compulsory maternity leave

You must stay off work for this period.

Four months before your maternity leave ends

Make a request for flexible work if you want to return to work part-time or to change your hours, days or place of work.

39 weeks from the start of your maternity leave and pay

This is the week your Statutory Maternity Pay or Maternity Allowance will end.

52 weeks from the start of your maternity leave and pay

This is the week your maternity leave will end. You are due back to work at the end of maternity leave.  If you want to return to work earlier you must give your employer at least eight weeks’ notice. If you decide not to return to work you should resign in the usual way giving your employer notice.

Updated April 2016

Further information

Directgov, a UK government website, has information on pregnancy and maternity rights and flexible working in the workplace.

Maternity Action, a national charity promoting the health and well-being of all pregnant women, their partners and children, has further information on maternity rights.

See also the benefits calculator, posted by Turn2us, a national charity which helps people to access the benefits which are available to them.