[(1) An employee may, provided that she satisfies any conditions which may be prescribed, be absent from work at any time during an ordinary maternity leave period.
(2) An ordinary maternity leave period is a period calculated in accordance with regulations made by the Secretary of State.
[(3) Regulations under subsection (2)—
(a) shall secure that, where an employee has a right to leave under this section, she is entitled to an ordinary maternity leave period of at least 26 weeks;
(b) may allow an employee to choose, subject to prescribed restrictions, the date on which an ordinary maternity leave period starts;
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