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Take it or lose it - Forced to Take all the year's holiday within 6 months or lose it

(15 Posts)
Belindaliu Tue 19-Mar-13 12:09:29

It's a tough one, but I think you ladies can handle it.

I'm in dispute with my company re maternity pay. I am due July 27.
They want me to take all 25 days holiday before my maternity leave or else I will lose them... unless of course I come back before January and take it then. But I don't know if I will be doing that at this point.

So they are saying I can't be paid for or roll my holidays over if I haven't taken them by the time I go on maternity.
Effectively if I don't take all 25 days holiday this year I will lose them.

I don't believe this is the same information that other people on maternity in the company have been given, but I would need to check that and am trying to contact a few female employees for that reason.

ACAS advised me that this is discrimination given that a company can't dictate to any employee when they take their holiday. And the only reason they are doing this is because I'm pregnant and therefore it's discriminatory to me as a female.

Unfortunately the company believe they are giving me my holiday and it's up to me if I use them or not.

I only want to take 5-10 days paid holiday as a boost to the rather minimal maternity supplement of 6 weeks at 90%. But it seems they want to make a stand. And could possibly offer me no alternative but to drop it or go through a grievance procedure.

Obviously it would be great to have the money rather tahn all the holidays before July anyway. Just means I'd be on holiday for the whole time!
Not very condusive to work.

All seems a little pathetic on their part .. we're talking about a few hundred pounds after all.

Anyway. I'm not sure whether I should argue the point or not.

I'm infuriated, but I am pregnant and could do with less stress possible in my life. This opens lots of cans of worms.

Any advice?


Belindaliu Tue 19-Mar-13 12:22:32

Any fast responses much appreciated as I have a pending meeting.
Thanks smile

flowery Tue 19-Mar-13 13:08:21

What is their usual rule about rolling over holiday? I'm assuming that your holiday year runs January to December?

It's fine to apply their usual rule to employees on maternity leave, ie not give them special treatment, as long as the effect of a no rollover policy isn't removing the employee's ability to take the holiday at all.

Not sure what ACAS are on about. It's perfectly legal for a company to dictate all or some holiday. And requiring you to take it before the holiday year ends isn't discriminatory as long as they do the same for all employees. If they allow other employees to roll some of it over, they should do the same for you.

LovesBeingWokenEveryNight Tue 19-Mar-13 13:11:23

What flowery says

Carolra Tue 19-Mar-13 13:12:31

My company tried to make me do this, I said no and they backed down. When I came back from Mat Leave, I couldn't use them up before the end of the year, so I got paid out for the ones I didn't leave. I don't know if I was lucky because my Mat Leave ran Jan - Oct and so I couldn't have used up a whole year's worth in Jan before my mat leave started.... but I am pretty sure they cannot dictate to you when you use them..... though they might have a policy about how many you can carry over at the end of the year...

Tigglette Tue 19-Mar-13 14:47:00

Yep, it depends on the carry over policy and when the leave year runs. For example we have a limit of 5 days carry over and the leave year ends in December so someone going on mat leave in July would be encouraged to use their full leave allocation before mat leave or risk losing some of it when they returned (assuming they weren't returning much before the end of the year). We have a policy of not paying for leave not taken so if they came back from mat leave and had more than 5 days to take/carry forward they would lose it.

flowery Tue 19-Mar-13 15:02:39

You say it's only a few hundred pounds but I don't see what the money has to do with it. You are entitled to 25 days off, the only issue is whether it is reasonable for your employer to say no you can't carry over 15-20 of those days to next holiday year.

If they allow you to carry over 15 you'll have 40 days to take next year, and if you take your full maternity entitlement you'll have to take those in 6 months. Easy to see why they want you to take this years entitlement this year, and next years entitlement next year.

AgentProvocateur Tue 19-Mar-13 15:06:18

Hmm, at my work, you can't carry any over or get paid for any you don't use. They also "dictate" when people can and can't take leave to a certain extent - you have to save three days to take between Xmas and NY when the office closes, and there are certain periods when no leave is allowed.

If your annual leave policy says the same, I don't think you've got much if a case.

ItsAFuckingVase Tue 19-Mar-13 19:03:46

As far as I'm aware (and its certainly the case at my company), you can't be paid SMP and holidays at the same time, so you'd have to either take them before or after your mat leave.

FWIW, I don't think its at all unreasonable of them to expect you to take them this year, so long as you can carry over any remaining as per your holiday policy if it allows for such a thing.

As an alternative, could you not look at something like reduced working weeks supplemented by holiday until your mat leave starts?

Blankiefan Tue 19-Mar-13 19:14:21

The advice you've had from ACAS sounds a bit suss. Employers can dictate timing of leave - they have to give notice of twice the length of the holiday to be taken (so, if they want you to take a week, they should give you 2+ weeks notice). Working Time Regs, I believe.

However, f they're not applying this across the board, that might be arguable. It's probably about parity. Would they let other people "carry over" hols? If yes, you should get to too; if no, there's little argument for you to get special treatment...

SauvignonBlanche Tue 19-Mar-13 19:19:17

Do you have an annual leave policy?
Ours clearly states that the annual leave runs from April to April and that annual leave accrued whilst on Mat leave cannot be caried over.

BranchingOut Tue 19-Mar-13 19:26:21

I think the idea of using this enforced leave to give you some easier weeks in your third trimester is a good one.

Some four and three day weeks might be just what you need at that point.

flowery Tue 19-Mar-13 22:03:24

OP? You wanted fast responses...

flowery Wed 20-Mar-13 19:55:48

I assume the OP is one of those people who only comes back to threads after asking for advice if the advice is what she wanted to hear... hmm

I started both maternity leaves in Jan and had to return on time to use all my annual leave by the end of the year or I would have lost it all except the 5 days I could carry over under normal T&Cs.

I was told that if they varied it for me that would be discriminatory against my other colleagues.

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