Maternity leave checklist

Prepare for maternity leave with our checklist of what you need to do and who you need to contact at work, outside work, and after your baby arrives.

Location: UK
Audience: All doctors
Updated: Wednesday 1 May 2024
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At work

  • Checked my employer’s maternity leave policy.
  • Ensured I am working for the NHS during the period when maternity pay is calculated.
  • Worked out my maternity pay.
  • Checked the terms of any childcare vouchers I am using in case they impact on my maternity pay.
  • Told my employer when I plan to start my maternity leave (within the proper time limits).
  • Sent in Form Mat B1 (before the end of the 15th week of my due date).
  • Set up my antenatal care and notified employer of time off required.
  • Seen my Occupational Health advisor at work.
  • Made sure my employer has given me details of my maternity entitlement in writing before I start maternity leave (very important if I am changing employer).
  • Checked my and my partners’ entitlement to shared parental leave and pay and ensure both our employers are notified of our intention to take SPL if we wish to take it.
  • Before commencing maternity leave discuss keeping in touch days with employer and agree arrangements for them.


Outside work

  • Checked the GMC guidance on discounts to see if eligible to apply for an income discount.
  • Contacted my defence body about my subs as special beneficial arrangements may apply.
  • Partner applied for paternity leave.
  • Discussed SPL entitlements with partner and how we might wish to share some leave.
  • Told the BMA I am on maternity leave.
  • Contacted BMA membership as I can get a concessionary rate while on maternity leave.
  • Checked when maternity leave can start.


Before returning to work

  • Given at adequate notice of return to work date if taking less than a year’s maternity leave
  • Ensure any requested flexible work arrangements or applications to train less than full time are confirmed in good time so childcare can be set up
  • Liaised with my employer to set up a risk assessment before I return to work, including notifying them if I am still breastfeeding
  • ​Discuss return to work and return to practice support
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