Returning to work early from maternity leave...what happens?

(4 Posts)
LadySnapcase Sun 24-Nov-13 16:34:15

I'm in the NHS and have opted to have my maternity pay paid in equal installments throughout my maternity leave, rather than having a few months at full pay and the rest on just SMP, iyswim. Anyway, I'm thinking of returning to work early for various reasons, and was wondering if anyone knows what will happen regarding the money if I do? I'm presuming I will have been 'underpaid' if I return early enough (e.g. I was entitled to £2000 a month for the first few months but only received £1000) but would I be entitled to get any of it back or is that not how it works? My HR department was less than helpful previously, hence why I'm asking strangers on the internet...

ACS1980 Mon 25-Nov-13 20:47:43

From memory it's only the occupational maternity pay that can be paid in equal instalments, so depending on when you return to work you would be entitled to the occupational pay element that you are effectively owed.

The NHS occupational maternity pay entitlement is 8 weeks full pay, 18weeks half pay plus SMP, 13 weeks SMP and then 13 weeks unpaid so it is only the 8 weeks of full pay and 18 weeks of half pay that will have been averaged out to pay in instalments. I would expect the payroll system to calculate and pay any monies due to you if you return sooner then you originally planned.

TheDoctrineOfWho Mon 25-Nov-13 20:50:20

OP, have you taken/will you take at least 26weeks ie the full period when the pay is better than statutory?

Also, you normally have to give 8 weeks' notice of your return date if it's early, though I think the employer can waive this if you both want it to be less.

LadySnapcase Tue 26-Nov-13 15:54:54

Thanks for the replies. I will have taken more than 26 weeks, yes. I would likely be returning with 13 weeks of leave remaining, if I go for it. I'm fairly sure they would be willing to waive the notice period, staffing being what it is at the moment, though once I knew I was going back I would need some time to get organised with childcare anyway.

So if I am currently getting, say, £1200 p/m before tax etc, but probably half of that is SMP, I would get back £600ish less tax for each month that I was no longer on leave? Have I got that right or am I barking up the wrong tree?

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