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To feel like I'll be working for free..?

(37 Posts)
JustWhenIThoughtIWasFree Mon 16-Feb-15 19:05:04

I'm bracing myself for a flaming as it's women like me what make us all look bad but fingers crossed...long story short.
I have gone back to work after mat leave and then got a new job. Problem is because I'm a teacher we work in Terms when moving jobs iyswim so I leave at Easter. This means I will leave after 11 weeks not the required 12 and so will have to pay back all my onset maternity pay. This is well over 2 months wages. So I will be working for 11weeks for no money once childcare is factored in. The payback is at the Head's discretion so I will go in and beg but I feel they want to punish me as originally they said I couldn't leave at all (until my union politely pointed out that I could correct notice period etc) which is when they brought up maternity pay. Would IBU to ask to pay back just 11/12ths?

IAmAShitHotLawyer Mon 16-Feb-15 19:12:59

If your contract of employment says that you have to pay back maternity pay I you leave before 12 weeks then I don't see how you can get out of that to be honest.

notinagreatplace Mon 16-Feb-15 19:15:25

You've got nothing to lose by asking so you should give it a go.

That said, I do think you're being a bit unreasonable here - presumably, you understood when you took the money for mat leave that you'd have to pay it back if you didn't stay with them for 12 weeks. You did have choices here - you could have waited another term to apply for jobs.

boodles Mon 16-Feb-15 19:15:54

Can you not go back for one week after Easter?

AnythingNotEverything Mon 16-Feb-15 19:17:26

I don't see how you can get out of it either. You knew the terms of your extra maternity pay. I think it's standard where there's a payback clause that you can take just statutory pay.

Sorry. They might make an exception but you can't count on it.

KitKat1985 Mon 16-Feb-15 19:18:14

Well if by contract it says you need to return to your job for at last 12 weeks to keep your maternity pay and you're not going to be, then I can't see how you can avoid paying back your mat pay to be honest. Sorry. Your employer is not being unreasonable since you were always aware of this by contract.

LIZS Mon 16-Feb-15 19:19:30

It is shame you decided to take the new position so soon, you must have taken a risk that this would happen. Is there any accrued leave to add on ?

thanksamillion Mon 16-Feb-15 19:21:44

Are you sure that your leaving date is on the 11th week and not at the end of the holiday? In a 'normal' job if you had leave left you could use a week of leave to get you to the end of the 12th week.

Rosieliveson Mon 16-Feb-15 19:24:16

You could try the union again? Point out the 12th week isn't available for you to work. Alternatively, could you appeal to the LEA or board of governors?

IAmAShitHotLawyer Mon 16-Feb-15 19:28:25

I notice on your OP it says its at the heads discretion?

Is it in the contract or not? it's important.

JustWhenIThoughtIWasFree Mon 16-Feb-15 19:32:06

I never signed my contract but in teaching I don't think that matters. I was given the county's maternity guidance and that says the school can ask me to pay it back if I leave before 12 weeks.

SnowWhiteAteTheApple Mon 16-Feb-15 19:34:14

That's the deal with the extra maternity pay, if you don't return or leave straight after you have to pay it back. If you planned to move jobs, you could have elected to take just the SMP.

neolara Mon 16-Feb-15 19:34:45

Are you moving between Lea schools in the same area? If so, isn't your contract with the Lea so you would effectively have continuous service.

IAmAShitHotLawyer Mon 16-Feb-15 19:35:16

It makes no difference that you didn't sign your contract. If you accepted the job and the pay it is presumed that you accept the contract terms and conditions.

Why didn't you sign the contract?

flowery Mon 16-Feb-15 19:37:49

If you knew the deal why didn't you look for jobs starting September instead of after Easter?

JustWhenIThoughtIWasFree Mon 16-Feb-15 19:38:22

I know.
I should say the new job is my dream job, at a school that rarely has vacancies doing exactly what I want to do. I didn't know the vacancy would come up before I went back to work let alone before I accepted my maternity pay... And yes I do realise this doesn't change the legal side of it.

sooperdooper Mon 16-Feb-15 19:39:21

If you knew this was the case why were you even looking at new jobs?

BallroomWithNoBalls Mon 16-Feb-15 19:40:05

You have to suck it up I'm afraid. Me and all the teachers I know who have had children have planned meticulously to maximise maternity benefits around holidays - why did you not consider this before?

I went back to work for 6 weeks when my firstborn was just 5 months old because it meant I got paid over the summer hols rather than a) paying back the non statutory part of my mat pay and b) not being paid anything over the summer if I'd just left at Easter. So I went back for the last halfterm in order to kick my full pay in for the whole summer.

No judgement for wanting the max benefit - just judgement for not planning in advance how to do so.

sooperdooper Mon 16-Feb-15 19:40:36

X posts, so can't you explain the situation to the new school and start a week later - or as said above is it the same LEA?

JustWhenIThoughtIWasFree Mon 16-Feb-15 19:41:26

Neolaura - both state schools but my current one is an academy so not lea.

ShitHot - they couldn't show me the terms and conditions, everything said see staff handbook so I refuses to sign until they could show me one. But as I said they gave me the maternity stuff before I left so don't think there is a get out there!

IAmAShitHotLawyer Mon 16-Feb-15 19:41:26

I think your just going to have to try and reason with the head then if its at their discretion.

And if the head says no, just look on it as the price you've paid for landing yourself a dream job! Every cloud and all that.

BallroomWithNoBalls Mon 16-Feb-15 19:41:43

Well if it's your dream job and you plan to be there a while, just suck it up. Not worth the aggro arguing the toss with your current school, you can ask but they will almost definitely say no - why would they pay you thousands when they don't have to, legally or morally?

Joyfulldeathsquad Mon 16-Feb-15 19:45:23

Hind sight is such a great thing hey? Do you think they would take legal proceedings if you didn't pay it all? Can you afford to live if you do?

JustWhenIThoughtIWasFree Mon 16-Feb-15 19:46:49

You are right ballroom although morally is a bit harsh. If I had done the exact same thing last year I'd have worked 12weeks, Easter is early this year - poor planning indeed but not immoral for feeling upset I think...

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Mon 16-Feb-15 19:46:56

Ballroom you come across as insufferably smug to suggest that everyone can plan exactly when to conceive hmm

OP, if it's a school in the same LEA you shouldn't have to pay it back. Otherwise I would just beg the HT.

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