If an employee on maternity leave has given notice that she will not take the full 52 weeks, can she change her mind and take her full entitlement?

Employees are entitled to a total of 52 weeks' statutory maternity leave. If an employee intends to return to work earlier than the end of additional maternity leave, she must inform her employer of this by giving not less than eight weeks' notice (reg.11 of the Maternity and Parental Leave etc Regulations 1999 (SI 1999/3312)).

If the employee subsequently changes her mind and wishes to take the full 52 weeks, she must give no less than eight weeks' notice, ending with the earlier return date of which she had previously given notice, that she wishes to return later than that date.