Normally maternity leave is automatically triggered if you are off sick within four weeks of your estimated due date. Is this the case if you are off due to covid-19 related illness or self-isolating/social distancing?

A pregnant employee who is off work within four weeks of their estimated due date due to a COVID-19 related illness will not have their maternity leave triggered early as this period of absence would not be classed as pregnancy-related.

Those who are pregnant are advised against unnecessary social contact and are considered to be an ‘at risk’ group. They are advised to avoid contact with anyone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus; avoid non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible; work from home, where possible; avoid large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars, clubs; avoid gatherings with friends and family.

Pregnant colleagues should follow the latest advice from RCOG, local health boards and, importantly, to seek guidance from their midwife/consultant who will be most familiar with their individual pregnancies.