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Notice of starting maternity leave question

(8 Posts)
GwendolineMaryLacey Wed 31-Aug-11 13:42:07

i was originally planning to start mat leave on 30 November. However, work have backtracked on my flexible working arrangement causing me all manner of childcare issues and the final decision on this will be made at the end of September.

In order to try to minimise the fallout I was strongly considering going on leave at 29 weeks. This would be the 19 October. I know I need to notify them of everything by week 25, which is 20 September (before the meeting). What I can't work out is whether there is a minimum notice period I have to give them of mat leave. By week 25 I potentially only have a month left before I go. Is that too short?

The decision to stop my flexible working will have catastrophic effect on my ability to get to work but I cannot hang around for another month while they faff around. The other side of course is that leaving earlier will cost me 1.5 months pay so it's not a decision I can take lightly.

GwendolineMaryLacey Wed 31-Aug-11 13:43:08

Sorry, pressed post! Thanks for any help. It was all nicely planned before they got difficult.

flowery Wed 31-Aug-11 13:50:58

In terms of your notification that's fine. There's no minimum notice as such, just that you must do so by 15 weeks before your due date. If you want to leave at 29 weeks you can do that. If you want to change a date you've given previously, you need to give 28 days' notice.

When you say they have backtracked on your flexible working arrangement, is that one you've got in place already or one you are hoping to arrange for your return? If it's something you already have in place then those are your terms and conditions and they don't get to just backtrack on it, or 'stop' it, any more than they get to change anyone else's terms and conditions.

GwendolineMaryLacey Wed 31-Aug-11 13:59:07

Thanks a million Flowery. So I can tell them 29 weeks and, if the meeting rules in favour of my current arrangement I can change to 35 weeks? There will be 2 months' notice.

Backtracked was slightly emotive. I have had an informal arrangement for over 2.5 years and my new line manager has insisted on making it formal, hence the meeting, in the knowledge that it will probably be refused (she has told me it'll be refused). it will be a pain, but 6 weeks less of a pain will help a little.

I posted about it last week if it sounds familiar! But I'm away and she is away so all I can do at the moment is brood on it.

Thanks again, very much appreciated smile

hairylights Wed 31-Aug-11 19:20:17

I'm sure I've read that even though it is not written down an "informal" arrangement of this long standing is just as strong as a formal arrangement and that they can't now simply enforce a change.

KatieMiddleton Wed 31-Aug-11 19:50:30

Hairy's right. An employment contract can be verbal or in writing (some employment particulars must be in writing but the actual legal status of the contract of employment can be formed of verbal and/or non-verbal elements). If you've been working to a particular employment contract for the last 2.5yrs your employer can't just change it without your say so.

Grevling Wed 31-Aug-11 19:50:51

2.5 years you could probably argue customs and practice.

GwendolineMaryLacey Wed 31-Aug-11 21:33:50

Thanks everyone. That's very interesting. The email informing me of all this was sent 10 minutes before I left work last week to go on holiday so I've not been able to discuss it with line manager at all yet. I've already had to drop a preschool day for DD because of this as she starts the new term on the day I'm back at work. The nursery obviously couldn't hold on while my work made their minds up.

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