If a baby is born early then Maternity Leave starts the day after a child's birth. This is the case if you are on "Annual Leave" prior to taking maternity leave, any annual leave days not taken could be potentially carried to the end of your maternity leave the following year. It is your responsibility to subsequently supply HR and secondments with either child’s birth certificate or a document signed by a doctor or midwife (for example, hospital discharge letter) that confirms the actual date of birth. Employers should then write to you confirming the new end date for their leave. For very premature births where the child is born 15 weeks or more before the due date, HR will need to calculate SMP in a separate way so just email firstname.lastname@example.org in these special cases.
Stillbirth and miscarriage
In these extremely sad and tragic circumstances, employees still qualify for full maternity leave and pay if a baby was to be stillborn after the start of the 24th week of pregnancy or if the baby dies after being born.
Any baby lost before 24 weeks is viewed as a miscarriage and sick leave can be taken.
In either of these situations it is critical that doctors involved are facilitated in taking as much time as they need to heal and recover, and you should feel empowered to seek support from your manager to do so.
Losing a pregnancy at any stage is an extremely hard thing to go through and the demands of the workplace are very much the bottom of any priority list in such an event.