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I'm ttc at present (not literally as I type...) but also plan on leaving my current school at the end of this academic year. I work in London, so as far as I am aware, as long as I stay within London borough then my maternity allowance continues if I move job.
However, I was just attempting to dissect the information I found online and am getting a bit about it all. Hopefully someone here can help me out! Can people please clarify if the following is correct, or if I've missed some major information?
If I were to fall pregnant now, I would be due late September/ October. If I were to stay with my current school until September 1st then take my maternity, then I would be entitled to full pay until mid-October, then 12 weeks at half pay? So my paid maternity would end in mid-January. If, however, I didn't return in January then I would have to pay back the 12 weeks' half pay allowance or else not accept it at the time.
Is that right?
If I don't fall pregnant soon, then I'll apply for new jobs in May/ June and swap jobs starting in September, but I don't know if it's worth looking for a new job regardless of how pregnant I am come September, or if I should take my maternity through my current school.
You don't have to return in January to keep the additional pay.
Minimum statutory maternity pay is 6 weeks at 90% of your salary, then 33 weeks at a standard rate of £135.45 per week, then 12 weeks unpaid. No employer is allowed to give less than this, and it is not tied to you returning to work. you do not have to return to work before 12 months if you don't want to.
Some employers give more than this, and the extra is often tied to you returning to work after the leave - but that is after the end of the full year of leave, not the end of the paid time. If you don't return to work then they can only reclaim from you the extra, not the whole amount.
If, for example, your normal salary is £24,000 then your minimum amount of pay for the 12 months of maternity leave you are entitled to is £6,962.16 (6wks@90% and email@example.com). Your employers would give you £10,339.44 (6wks@100%,12wks@50%, firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are going to return to work for them. If you don't return to work then you would have to repay £3,377.28 which is the difference.
If you change employers between getting pregnant and going on ML, then you are not entitled to as much - you would have to check whether moving jobs within the same borough counts as changing employers or not. I suggest a phone call to their HR dept.
Apologies I did my sums wrong earlier - the amount your employers would offer if your normal salary is only £8,382.91 not the £10k ish I said before - so the amount to repay would only be circa £1,420. If you don't work full time or earn less then the difference will become significantly less worth worrying about.
yy, keep to the same borough (not an academy or free school) and you should be ok, as the borough is the employer.
The part about paying back the half pay part of maternity pay only applies if you do not return from maternity leave at all. As long as you return to your job for at least 15 weeks (IIRC) at the end of your ML, you can keep the half pay.