Holiday pay and maternity leave

(9 Posts)
Auntybella Thu 27-Feb-14 05:49:12

Apologies if this has been done already.

I started a new job last year and found out I was pregnant almost immediately, the timing was shit. I unfortunately had a few complications as well as HG so was signed off work at 18w (after being at this job for only 3 months) till 26w when I was advised to take maternity leave early. This started in September. My baby was born in November.

I obviously didn't get anything from the co, just maternity allowance from the govt which is fine. I'm not keen on the idea of going back there; it's a small company and I get the feeling that they were abit miffed about how I left (which is perfectly understandable seeing as I worked for three months then left)

My question is assuming I don't want to go back, do I just give my notice as usual? Or do I have to give the 8w notice to return to work THEN give my notice?

Also, how does holiday pay work? To cover the gap between when my signing off ended and when my ML started, I was paid 3 weeks holiday pay (my entitlement till December 2013). If I decide not to go back will I have to pay this back?

Also, do I get paid my holiday pay I've been accumulating since January this year if I decide not to return to work? I know when you're on maternity leave, you still continue to accumulate holiday entitlement but how does it work you don't return to work?

Hope this all makes sense.

Thanks!

LIZS Thu 27-Feb-14 08:14:18

You shouldn't have to pay anything back as technically you are still employed during ml. Not sure about the leave accrued since January though.

You accrue holiday during the time you're employed by them. So up till December you were employed though on sick leave and then on mat leave so you 'earned' the three weeks you were paid for. You are still employed and will be till your notice runs out so you accrue holiday in that time and as you can't take it (because you're on leave) they will need to pay it. When is your return date?

Tbh I think what I would do is have an informal conversation with your boss and say that ^at this poin^t you are not planning to return but you will confirm in due course with your notice, then give four weeks notice before your return date. (assuming your notice period is 4 weeks). That way you protect your right to change your mind and you will accrue holiday throughout your maternity leave - assuming you're taking maternity leave and not any additional agreed time away. They should then pay your for this holiday owed in your final pay packet.

I don't expect they are thrilled but it wasn't very nice for you to be so ill either so I think they just have to get over it!

The 8 weeks applies to the amount of notice with a small n you need to give if you're varying your return date from the 52 weeks you're entitled to I think. Not if you're giving in your Notice with a large N smile

Sorry - keep thinking of other bits! I mean that I think you don't have to tell them ANYTHING about not coming back but often people are more comfortable giving their employer an idea of their thinking. Just don't commit yourself to anything or you'll end up losing out on holiday pay you were otherwise entitled to - for example if you were due back in May and gave them notice now then they can finish your employment in April and you'll lose out on that bit of the holiday entitlement.

Auntybella Thu 27-Feb-14 09:32:57

Ahh ok, I see!

The pack that was sent to me when I had the baby said they're expecting me back in August and to give them 8 weeks notice to either come back before then or to not return.

I feel bad but at the same time like you said, it wasn't nice that I was ill either. My little boys heart rate kept dropping and I was advised to stay in bed.

I think tbh too much has happened, i could tell they thought I was trying it on, and would have let me go if they could. I would much rather go and start afresh somewhere else.

Yes I think they're trying it on slightly with that - or possibly they've misinterpreted this matter. The CAB link here is very clear. The employer should expect you to take a year. If you want to return sooner (or I guess have given them an earlier date that you want to put off) then you give them 8 weeks notice of that change. In your case though your return date remains a year and you will simply be giving them Notice that you intend to leave your job four weeks before that date - which will mean in practice that you don't return to the office but are due any holiday you haven't been able to take as pay because you remain employed whilst on leave. If you think they are going to be irritating about this don't bother informally telling them this is your plan. Your rights are protected by law but a depressingly large amount of employers maintain the right to feel hard done by when it comes to maternity leave.

Sorry to keep posting but i'm not having very organised thoughts today - for anybody reading this in the same situation as the OP but who has received occupational maternity pay - ie MORE then SMP or Mat allowance then your situation WILL be different because most if not all employers require you to actually return to work or have to pay back the extra.

Auntybella Thu 27-Feb-14 20:49:42

Thanks Northernlurker the link and your advice has been really helpful.

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