You may get Maternity Benefit for a continuous period of 26 weeks whether or not you return to work following your maternity leave. To qualify for the maximum 26 weeks Maternity Benefit, you must take at least 2 weeks and at most 16 weeks leave before the end of the week in which your baby is due. If you fail to take the minimum 2 weeks leave, you may lose out on some benefit.
If you decide to return to work earlier than you had stated on your application form, you will not be entitled to payment from the date you return to work. You must notify Maternity Benefit Section at least 2 weeks before your new return to work date.
Can I be disqualified from receiving Maternity Benefit?
You will be disqualified from receiving Maternity Benefit under the following circumstances:
you engage in any form of insurable employment or insurable self employment during the period for which benefit is payable
you fail, without good cause, to attend for or to submit yourself for any medical examination that may be required
for any period of time spent outside the EU during the period for which benefit is payable
failure to apply for Maternity Benefit within six months of the birth of the child may result in loss of benefit.