I’m pregnant. What are my rights as a worker?

2. Tell your employer when you’ll start your leave

You must give your employer a letter that says the day you want to start your pregnancy leave. Your employer must get the letter at least 2 weeks before you want your leave to start.

If you’re taking both pregnancy leave and parental leave, make sure your letter gives the start date for each leave, or give your employer 2 letters, one for each leave.

You also have to give your employer a medical note that says when the baby is due, if your employer asks for one.

Changing the start date of your leave

If you change your mind about when you want to start your leave, you must give your employer a new letter telling them this.

If you want to start your leave earlier, you must give your employer the new letter at least 2 weeks before you want your leave to start.

If you want to start your leave later, you must give your employer the new letter at least 2 weeks before the date you originally said your leave was going to start.

If you have to stop work early

Sometimes, a pregnant woman has to stop work early because:

  • she can’t work for medical reasons related to her pregnancy
  • she gives birth earlier than her due date
  • she has a stillbirth or miscarriage earlier than her due date

If this happens, you have the right to start your pregnancy leave early. Within 2 weeks after you stop working, you must give your employer:

  • a letter that says the date you had to stop working, and
  • a medical note, if they ask for one.

The medical note must include your due date and either:

  • the health professional’s opinion that you’re not able to work for medical reasons related to your pregnancy, or
  • the actual date of the birth, stillbirth, or miscarriage, if any of these happened.

Keeping records

Keep photocopies of any letters and notes you give your employer, and a record of the dates you gave them to your employer.

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