First trimester (weeks 1 to 12)
- She may tell you about her pregnancy at this stage, although it is very common for women to wait until after the first trimester.
Reminders for you
- If your employee has told you about her pregnancy at this stage, carry out a risk assessment once she’s notified you in writing
- Implement any necessary actions following the risk assessment
- Book a date to review the risk assessment
- Inform the first-aid nominee, if there is one, with your employee’s permission
- Start to consider how your employee’s work will be covered while she’s away
Second trimester (weeks 13 to 26)
Weeks 13 to 20 Your employee
- She is more likely to tell you about her pregnancy during this trimester as many women choose to tell their employer after the 12th week
- She will probably be having antenatal appointments monthly or six-weekly
Weeks 13 to 20 Reminders for you
- Carry out a risk assessment if you have not already done so
- Review the risk assessment if there is already one in place
Weeks 21 to 25 Your employee
- She could start maternity leave from week 29 so, if she hasn’t already done so, she should confirm the baby’s due date and when she wants her leave to begin
Weeks 21 to 25 Reminders for you
- Make sure you have regular updates on your employee’s work and details of all her work contacts
- Consider whether you think KIT days are feasible and if they are, talk this through with your employee
- Within 28 days of receiving your employee’s notice to start maternity leave, write to her confirming the start and latest end dates of her leave. You’ll also need to inform her of the procedure if she wishes to return to work before then. Maternity Leave and returning to work
- If your employee doesn’t qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), give her form SMP1, outlining why she’s not eligible. She will need this to apply for Maternity Allowance.
Third trimester (weeks 27 to 40)
Weeks 27 to 31 Your employee
Her antenatal checks will probably be monthly from now until week 36.
Weeks 27 to 31 Reminders for you
- Week 29 – 11 weeks before the baby’s due date – is the earliest your employee can start maternity leave.
- Make sure you or a colleague has a list of emergency contact numbers.
Weeks 32 to 36 Your employee
- Antenatal classes usually start around now.
Weeks 32 to 36 Reminders for you
- Review your employee’s workload and any changes that are necessary.
- Discuss any plans that need to be made for her return to work – for example, facilities for expressing and storing breast milk.
- If your employee is off sick for a pregnancy-related reason after the fourth week before her due date, you can automatically start her maternity leave from this time.
Weeks 37 to 40 Your employee
- Her antenatal checks may be weekly or fortnightly at this stage.
After the birth
When your employee returns to work, review the risk assessment in terms of a new mother and breastfeeding.