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redundancy whilst on maternity leave - Would this work?

(3 Posts)
Ginger4justice Wed 10-Aug-11 21:17:14

Hi there, just need some advice as I can't seem to find the answers elsewhere and my brain is a bit fried (not to mentioned baby-brainy).

I told my work that I would be taking 33 weeks maternity leave, which would mean I would be starting back in January. 10 days after my dd was born they announced that they were closing the office I work in at the end of November so there won't be a job for me to go back to. They said they will pay me the rest of maternity leave pay as a lump sum when they pay my redundancy amount.

Does anyone know if I have the right to change my mind about the length of my maternity leave and whether it would have any effect? In my head if I said that actually I wanted the full 52 weeks I was allowed, although there's no more paid leave, I would be entitled to benefits for those extra weeks, e.g. pension payments, and also it would increase my length of service so I would get another years worth of redundancy pay.

But as it's all a bit theoretical due to the office closing before I was due back anyway, I'm not sure it works like that.

Anyone got any experience or wisdom that might help?

RibenaBerry Wed 10-Aug-11 21:37:28

Unfortunately not. If you are redundant during maternity leave, they are entitled to give you the termination date of their choosing. You can't change your return date to artificially extend benefits I'm afraid.

However, as you say, you do get the full SMP you would otherwise have received regardless of date of termination. So if you said you would have gone back at 39 weeks, you would have got 6 weeks extra basic rate SMP. Might be worth doing that? You've got time.

Ginger4justice Wed 10-Aug-11 21:54:35

I definitely planned to take the whole paid time, so I must have meant 39 weeks so I can't get any more.
Thanks so much for the help, it's so good to have one less thing to think about.

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