Question Can mothers whose babies are due on or after 5th April submit their requests/notices of entitlement for SPL (and pay) prior to the baby arriving (or child being placed for adoption) and hence prior to them actually being on maternity/adoption leave? For example as well as confirming start/end/due dates etc, letting the employer know that for instance ‘my maternity leave and pay starts on 1st May, I wish to take 2 weeks of maternity leave and pay to 14th May and following this I intend to avail of the 50 weeks remaining as SPL available to me and my partner’?

Answer Yes mothers can from 1st Dec 2014 start sending in forms and ‘pre-book’ SPL even though baby isn’t due until on or after 5th April. To curtail maternity leave it doesn’t need to have commenced.

Thus you can have a scenario where they put in a form, give you an indication of a particular pattern of leave and start date for swapping from maternity leave to shared parental leave etc and then they have the baby, change their mind and give you 8 weeks notice of the changes.