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Consecutive Maternity Leave

(15 Posts)
Annbag Sat 31-Jan-15 11:58:25

Hi all, this is theoretical at the moment (currently TTC) but if all goes well I could be pregnant whilst on maternity leave as I'm taking a year.

I know its better to be paid for the qualifying weeks where possible. However, I'm monthly paid and I read on another thread this makes the qualifying weeks different? Does anyone know when they are if monthly paid?

Also, I have heaps of holiday to take, if I take this does it count as returning to work even though I'm not actually there?

The maternity policy says that I have to return for 6 months or pay back any maternity pay above SMP. It's not clear on what happens if I go on mat leave again before working the full 6 months, would they reclaim the money?

Sorry a bit long! Thanks in advance

Pr1mr0se Sat 31-Jan-15 16:56:29

Hi Annbag, congratulations! My advice would be wait until you are obliged to tell them you are pregnant again according to the rules of your company's HR policy. However, if it is really important to get the financial details clear in your head sooner than just phone them and ask your questions. Taking your holiday accrued as time off does not count as returning to work. You can take this as either pay or actual time off. Good luck.

Mumtotherescueagain Sat 31-Jan-15 17:09:54

No Primrose is not right. All return to work means is that you don't ceased to be employed by them until after 6 months after your mat leave ends. Your accrued holiday must be taken usually in the same way it was accrued but it very much counts as part of your 'return'. So to work this through as an example - you go on leave on 1st October 2014 and take 52 weeks leave. You have used up all your leave due up to 1st Oct before going on mat leave. Your return to work date is 1st Oct 2015 and you have by then 6 months worth of leave from 2014-15 and 6 months worth from 2015-14 to take. So say your leave entitlement was 35 days you would actually come in to the office again on 4th November 2015 and would need to stay in employment until 1st April 2016. BUT remember when you're on Mat leave you ARE STILL IN say you were 12 weeks pregnant by 1st October 2015. That will put your due date around 1st April 2016 and you can take another year's leave and then return with the same condition as before. Regarding qualifying weeks - if you're monthly paid then the pay is the same regardless of which week it is so you don't need to worry about that. Not sure what happens if you're on mat leave during the qualifying weeks though but you'd have to be very quick off the mark for that to be the case anyway.

I would advise not saying anything until you are pregnant btw and not even then till it's obvious. Plenty of people run two mat leaves close together. Your employer will need to put on their big pants and just deal the heck with it. You don't lose your right to one leave because you've just had another.

LIG1979 Sat 31-Jan-15 17:46:03

It is also worth adding that if the employer offers enhanced maternity pay then they can make up their own rules about when they pay it. This may impact the earliest date you want to get pregnant on from a financial point of view. However, if your work only offer statutory then I don't think you even need to return to work between maternity leaves.

LIG1979 Sat 31-Jan-15 17:47:02

But you would need to be working through your qualifying weeks if the 90% of pay weeks would be higher than £138.

Mumtotherescueagain Sat 31-Jan-15 17:55:21

No that's a good point but if the policy doesn't explicitly say what happens with two leaves then I think it's reasonable for the OP to assume the same provisions and enhancements apply for the second leave as for the first. And anyway it's really cracking on to run two leaves together without a day in the office in between. How old is your baby OP?

Annbag Sat 31-Jan-15 18:34:12

Thanks all. I didn't use my annual leave before going on maternity leave so I've got over 2 months of holiday / bank holidays owed to me, so I was thinking of using that to cover the qualifying weeks if needed if I was on SMP / no pay.

My work offer 12 weeks pay then SMP, so I wouldn't have to pay back heaps, but obviously it would be nice not to!

My baby is nearly 5 months, but it took us a while to TTC last time, and have friends that waited for #2 then couldn't so want to crack on. Also would ideally like a small age gap. It might take ages in which case none of this will matter but wanted to be sure of my rights first just in case.

I realise work will probably find this annoying but they could keep the same cover on rather than having to hire again etc, so in some ways might be easier for them than say coming back for a year. They are a massive employer though, they'll cope!

BikeRunSki Sat 31-Jan-15 18:40:16

I realise work will probably find this annoying but they could keep the same cover on rather than having to hire again etc, so in some ways might be easier for them than say coming back for a year. They are a massive employer though, they'll cope!^

When I was a line manager, one of my team ran 2 ML together. I forget the details of how mat pay etc worked, but from a managerial PoV it was very easy, as I just extended her maternity cover.

BikeRunSki Sat 31-Jan-15 18:41:23

Grr, that first para was meant to be in italics.

Annbag Sat 31-Jan-15 18:45:52

That's good to know Bike. When I was a manager I had someone return for a short while (can't really remember how long, maybe 6 months) and it meant her cover had gone and by that point were employed by somewhere else, so we had all the hireing costs / induction again. Of course that was fine and we dealt with it, but good to see that someone else thinks its not too bad to run leaves together from a manager point of view.

Mumtotherescueagain Sat 31-Jan-15 18:49:02

Don't worry about how they'll cover you. That's their problem NOT yours smile

SunbathingCat Sat 31-Jan-15 18:54:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SunbathingCat Sat 31-Jan-15 19:01:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mandy214 Sun 01-Feb-15 22:43:59

All of the companies I've worked for incorporate a requirement for there to be a "period" in between maternity leaves for entitlement to enhanced maternity pay the 2nd time (one year in one company, 2 years in the other). I'd read your company's policy very carefully.

Annbag Mon 02-Feb-15 12:50:25

The policy says I have to pay it back if I don't return to work, or if I leave within 6 months of returning. It's a bit unclear but I don't think going on another mat leave would count as I wouldn't have left, I'd still be employed. There's no mention of consecutive leaves at all.

Thanks for your help everyone.

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