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Holiday Accrual and Maternity Leave

(10 Posts)
QforCucumber Thu 25-Jun-15 15:23:16

Looking for some assistance or knowledge if possible.

DP and I are TTC, so looking into all the maternity rules and regulations in my workplace - very male dominated construction industry - and because of this no-one has ever taken maternity leave from the company, contracts are very generic.

I notice there is nothing to confirm how annual leave works with maternity. The HR/Payroll team are very strict on accrual, and you cannot take what you haven't accrued yet in the year. The holiday year runs 1st January to 31st December and the accrual is 29 days.

My example is if I were to fall pregnant this month (for example purposes) I would be due end of March, by that point I'd have only accrued 8.7 days holiday for 2016 - returning after 9 months mat leave would be the start of the new holiday year.

Does anyone have any experience of requesting their full annual accrual before going on maternity leave, and has your workplace allowed this? or do you think I may have to wait until the end of the leave and have the holiday allowance carried over?

I would want to take it at the start, before having the baby but I don't know if they'd allow this (don't want to speak to people at work about it yet as they don't need to know we are TTC really)

Ellypoo Thu 25-Jun-15 16:19:06

I don't think they have to let you take the full years before your maternity leave starts, but they do have to let you have it at some point, and it might be preferable for them to let you take 1 years entitlement before your mat leave starts, as you would have loads to take after otherwise, particularly if your mat leave straddles 2 leave years.
Really, overall it doesn't make any difference to them as they have to give it to you so when it becomes an issue (ie when you are pregnant and speaking to your line manager about your pregnancy & mat leave) then address it then and see what they say.
Good luck with TTC!

HelenF350 Thu 25-Jun-15 16:29:03

I don't believe they have to allow it but some companies will. The one I work for actually insist that you take it before if your maternity leave straddles 2 holiday years.

avocadotoast Thu 25-Jun-15 16:31:13

It's worth asking them. My work had a very conflicting policy where one bit of documentation said "all annual leave must be taken by end of year, can't be carried over etc", but then another bit said that annual leave would be accrued as normal when on maternity.

After I did a bit of digging and asking they amended the policy to say that if you're off on maternity and not able to take all leave, they may be able to pay you it as a lump sum instead.

I think companies don't always like you to take all your leave before you go, and a lot will advise that you only take what you've accrued. But they'll have to pay you it at some point, whether before you go off or after, so worth asking them!

QforCucumber Thu 25-Jun-15 18:09:58

Looks like I'm going to become best friends with the hr department (made up of 1 late 50's man) over the coming few months and sweet talk them when it finally happens haha.
Thanks all for the advice, and thanks elly for the luck grin

flowery Thu 25-Jun-15 19:38:29

It makes sense for them to let you take as much as possible before you go, otherwise you'll come back with tons to take.

I imagine your manager will be the one to sweet talk!

QforCucumber Thu 25-Jun-15 19:44:58

flowery I know my manager would sign it off and allow me to, it would be whether hr would agree to allow me to take holidays not yet accrued. They have been known to refuse to pay a full day if only half a day has bee accrued so far and stuff. Suppose when the time comes only then will tell - so much for trying to have everything planned out ready for that bfp

Iizzyb Fri 26-Jun-15 19:43:39

It's rather odd to only allow you to take what you've already accrued. Surely this means nobody takes holiday at the beginning of the year & everyone wants time off in the last 6 months?! Strictly that's not consistent with uk law but you need to pick your battles here so put that to one side! Once this becomes reality & you tell them you're pg you need to agree how to take your holidays. Technically you shouldn't carry the first 28 days (inclusive of bank hols) over from one year to the next so you should take it in the annual leave year it accrues (working time regulations). When you come back to work you should make sure that you take all of that year's leave in that holiday year too.

The only thing to watch out for is if your baby comes early while you are still taking holiday. I asked my employer by email what would happen & they confirmed I could carry it forward. I had it in writing then in case of any difficulties later (in fact ds was late so it was fine!)

I would say if the company are in any doubt & don't have proper advisers that you could download a fact sheet or guidance booklet from the ACAS website and take it in & show the hr chap. That way, if he's in any doubt it will push him towards ringing the Acas employer helpline which will explain it all to him & won't make you look pushy. Good luck smile

AbbeyRoadCrossing Fri 26-Jun-15 19:52:41

As others have said they'll have to agree to let you take it at some point, and its kind of the same if it's at the end or start of your leave.
Do be careful if they have a 'use it or lose it' policy though. I had a preemie so nearly didn't get mine - it ended up being a bit of a battle. I'd get whatever is agreed in writing / email when the time comes, especially as it sounds they are quite strict on holiday

QforCucumber Fri 26-Jun-15 20:08:18

lizzy that's pretty much exactly how it works, 8 days bank holiday so they're usually accrued by the time the come around. Everyone keeps 2 weeks holiday for Xmas time (as it's construction we close for Xmas on December 19th is and back 1st Monday after new year) its award as hell but there are only 3 office staff and the rest site staff so taking holiday at the same time as someone else isn't usually an issue. Thanks for the acas advice too.
Thank you for that too abbey dreading to think if things don'tgo as planned, then again had mmc a couple of years ago so know they don't always follow planning really. Will make sure all contact is confirmed via email as you're right, won't want those arguments afterwards.

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