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How can I extend my maternity leave?

All pregnant employees are entitled to 52 weeks of maternity leave. This can start any time after your 29th week. Taking paid holiday immediately before your maternity leave will effectively Increase your leave. 

During ordinary maternity leave, you will qualify for holiday at your usual rate including an allowance for bank holidays. You may be able to take this holiday at the end of your leave, which will effectively extend your leave. Alternatively, some employers, will let you use this holiday to allow you to work less hours for the first few weeks of your return to work.

If you are a worker who has a set holiday time, you may be able to arrange your return to work date to be the start date of your set holiday. For example, a teacher may be able to set their return to work date to coincide with the start of their school’s summer holiday.

In the tax year you return to work, your tax code will probably be adjusted to account for your lower income so you will not be eligible for a tax rebate. For example if your baby is born in the 2019/2020 tax year and your total income is less than your personal allowance you should apply for a tax rebate after April 5th 2020. If you are a higher earner and pay tax at a higher rate you may also qualify for a tax rebate. Here is the link to claim a tax rebate: