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The Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1993

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Notice of commencement of leave

17.—(1) An employee shall not have the right conferred by Article 14 unless—

(a)she notifies her employer of the date (within the restriction imposed by paragraph (2)) (“the notified leave date”) on which she intends her period of absence from work in exercise of her right to maternity leave to commence—

(i)not less than twenty-one days before that date; or

(ii)if that is not reasonably practicable, as soon as is reasonably practicable;

(b)where she is first absent from work wholly or partly because of pregnancy or childbirth before the notified leave date or before she has notified such a date and after the beginning of the sixth week before the expected week of childbirth, she notifies her employer as soon as is reasonably practicable that she is absent for that reason; or

(c)where childbirth occurs before the notified leave date or before she has notified such a date, she notifies her employer that she has given birth as soon as is reasonably practicable after the birth,

and any notice she is required to give under sub-paragraphs (a) to (c) shall, if her employer so requests, be given in writing.

(2) No date may be notified under paragraph (1)(a) which occurs before the beginning of the eleventh week before the expected week of childbirth.

(3) Where, in the case of an employee, either sub-paragraph (b) or (c) of paragraph (1) has fallen to be satisfied, and has been so satisfied, nothing in sub-paragraph (a) of that paragraph shall impose any requirement on the employee.

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