My friend informed me that I may be able to take extra maternity leave. I had originally planned to take 26 weeks, as I can't afford to be off for 52 weeks, but my friend told me that apparantly I can take 9 months off and those extra weeks are still paid, but just at a lower rate. She said it was introduced in April this year. Does anyone know anything about this? Any advice would be much appreciated as my porridge brain can't remember the goverment site that has maternity info on it!