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Maternity Leave in the NHS

(5 Posts)
TinyPenguin Thu 07-Jul-11 10:15:22

I don't know if anyone can help me with this - it would be much appreciated if fellow NHS employees could though! ;-)

I know that you accrue annual leave whilst on maternity leave but you don't accrue bank holidays - as a shift worker my total leave entitlement is therefore calculated as annual leave + 8 days bank holiday.

I am due to go on Mat leave in November and intend to take the full 52 weeks. For the remainder of the holiday year ie Nov to 31/01/2012 what total annual leave will I be entitled too?

Do they give me an average of my bank holiday entitlement over the year as I will have worked about 30 weeks of the 52 weeks of this holiday year (01/04/11-31/03/12)

or

do they say - 5 bank holidays have passed and only 3 are left to take in the remainder of the year (ie over Christmas & new year) therefore I've already "taken" 5 days of my bank holiday entitlement (within my working 30 weeks) and 3 remain during Mat Leave - 3 that I would not be allowed to accrue as they fall during my Mat Leave?

or

Can I take all my entitlement before November- both annual leave & bank holiday - before I begin Mat Leave therefore using up all my 8 days of bank holiday leave? (Which if I wasn't taking Mat Leave i would be entitled to do)

Please help - if I haven't confused you!!?

pat123 Thu 07-Jul-11 18:33:54

Hi I work for the NHS and am due to go on Maternity in Nov. Not sure if every NHS trust has to same policy but I'm sure they are similar. I work full time and regular hours, not shift. So here is how my leave works.

The official 'holiday year' runs from 1st April 2011 - 31st March 2012 (not jan to dec).
On maternity leave you are entitled to your full annual leave (if you work full time).
If your maternity leave is over march/april, which mine is, I have to take all my annual leave (-5days)for the year before I go off on maternity. The 5days I am allowed to 'carry over' to the next holiday year ie 1st April 2012- 31st March 2013.
As for accruing bank holidays this depends on when I started working for my NHS trust, unfortunately I do not get this :-(.

Hope this helps. Best advice is to phone your HR department and they will be able to explain all.

twinklytoes Thu 07-Jul-11 23:00:20

you are entitled to your bank holidays as an NHS worker as they are seen as an employment benefit and must be given. The change happened in the last round of changes to maternity leave can't remember which year it was but got it with my last two children born sept 2005 and 2008.

in practice I make sure anyone who I'm managing who is entering maternity leave that crosses two annual leave years (like you are facing) is
a) take all entitlement for the first year (in your case 2010/2011) before starting mat leave
b) then take the leave accrued between the next april till the 12th month in the subsequent month/s
c) then they return to work and are entitled to the annual leave / bank holidays left until the end of the next march. this period is then pro-rata if hours are reduced in line with flexible working.

does that make sense?

if you do tag annual leave on to the end of mat leave then you must make sure that you sign back on as an employee and have it recorded that maternity leave has finished, otherwise payroll don't payout the correct annual leave. for our trust this is using a HR change form.

should also say that I did this too with my last birth but ended up on a sick note from 24weeks. I had already booked my annual leave to fall from weeks 33-40. I had my son at 35wks but still got my annual leave back at the end, even though it crossed over the two years for annual leave. Probably very lucky to have it authorised but did get it agreed at the time rather than waiting till I was ready to return. I did return within the 12mths, just signed back on payroll early around 9mths then took all the annual leave, then returned.

TinyPenguin Fri 08-Jul-11 13:16:44

Thank you twinkly-toes - i've just spoken to HR, they tell me I don't accrue any annual leave during mat leave - so I miss out on the bank holidays to come after I start mat leave i.e. Christmas & new year. Then whilst still on mat leave in 2012 I miss out on Easter, may & august bank holidays as I don't finish mat leave until November.

So , as it stands I'm losing 3 days bank hol (pro rata as I'm part time) for this holiday year. But what I understand from what you're saying is that as long as I take all my leave before mat leave starts I can retain those 3 days?

For 2012-2013 I guess I'll just lose the 5 bank holidays?

Am I understanding you correctly?

Thanks again

twinklytoes Fri 08-Jul-11 21:18:38

you don't loose anything. they have to give you your bank holidays.

so if 2009/2010 was 5 bank hols pro rata then 2010/2011 is 5 bank holidays regardless of the fact you are on maternity leave.

am I correct in what you are saying - that your Hr dept are saying no annual leave accrued during maternity leave? if they are they need to revisit the changes to maternity laws.

let me see if I can hunt around and find when the changes occur. the info is definately in mnet - i'll search but if you also search for "bank holiday" in the employment bit, one of us is bound to find the relevant threads.

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