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Two maternity leaves back to back with holiday in the middle- very long but please help!

(22 Posts)
annatha Tue 14-Jul-15 12:54:00

My current maternity leave finishes on 30th July (I've not taken any unpaid leave so I think I've just taken OML?) and my 2nd baby is due 16th November. According to my calculations I get 6 weeks annual leave per tax year, so including what I had to take before my first lot of mat leave I've got I'm due back around 8th September (I say around because my work jump between counting leave in days or hours and they may make me take some of next year's like they did the first time so it may change by a couple of days). Earliest I can take 2nd mat leave is 1st September so my plan is to "return" to take my holiday entitlement and then go straight back onto maternity. HR have been ignoring my emails and calls but the last I heard from them they told me that my remaining annual leave lasted until 14th August. I'm guessing that means that's how much holiday I've accrued so far, but surely I'll continue to accrue holiday while on holiday and mat leave, therefore I'm entitled to the same as if I was working the whole time? If they don't let me take the rest of the leave I'll lose it as I'll still be off on mat leave by April 16. I gave them my dates months ago but they keep fobbing me off.

Am I on the right track with this?

YonicScrewdriver Tue 14-Jul-15 13:09:00

I don't think you lose the leave if the reason for not taking it is maternity leave.

You presumably aren't going to accrue two weeks leave in two weeks - are you assuming you can take all the holiday from your "year to come" before maternity leave?

If you've only taken nine months of paid maternity, can you take two weeks unpaid to bridge this small difference?

YonicScrewdriver Tue 14-Jul-15 13:11:31

So I think your HR would be ok to tell you you need to take the holiday you will accrue on your forthcoming maternity leave period at the end of that period (once it has actually accrued). It would be wrong of them to take that away though.

(Not an hr professional)

fairgroundsnack Tue 14-Jul-15 13:15:35

They can refuse to let you take holiday which you haven't yet accrued - so you shouldn't assume you can take the holiday which will be accrued during your second mat leave before it starts. They can't force you to 'lose' your holiday if you haven't taken it before a certain time because you are on mat leave. They should let you add the holiday you accrue during mat leave no. 2 at the end of mat leave no. 2.

jammietart Tue 14-Jul-15 13:20:35

I think if in your contract it states your leave cannot be carried forward to the next year then during maternity leave you are subject to the same conditions as if you were actually at work so you can lose it. And if you can only take leave as you accrue it then what HR are saying is correct. But if you are allowed to take all your leave in one go then you should bs able to tack your whole leave entitlement onto your matetnity leave and go back later with no annual leave entitlement for the rest of the year. This is how I would apply it anyway.

Artandco Tue 14-Jul-15 13:23:42

Do you not want to return to work in between? Personally I would work August, September and October so that you keep I much with work. 18-24months off in one is a huge amount, and I think you will struggle to return as everything will have changed and developed so much in that time

IssyStark Tue 14-Jul-15 13:35:15

Jammie I believe that if the sole reason for not taking accrued annual leave within the defined period is due to maternity leave, then legally the company has to allow you to carry it over to the next leave period or to pay you recompense. Otherwise they would be discriminating due to maternity.

ARandomFridayIn2012 Tue 14-Jul-15 13:39:26

I too faced a similar situation with a 13 month gap between my two children. I went back to work for 2.5 months in between Mat leaves, is that not a possibility for you?

annatha Tue 14-Jul-15 13:47:41

Thanks for all your responses, they're really helpful.

Sorry I wasn't very clear- I'm talking about annual leave from April 15-April 16. As I'm already on maternity I've only taken a day or so because I had to take it before going on maternity, so between April-April I should have just short of 6 weeks to take it that time. My contract states that annual leave cannot be carried over to the next financial year (though it doesn't mention in the instance of maternity leave) so I'd think that although it's not yet accrued, there would be no other time to take it and my work don't pay you for leave that hasn't been taken. I hadn't thought of them possibly sticking it on the end of my 2nd maternity leave though so thanks for letting me know about that.

I think that if this is the case I'll take the unpaid to bridge the gap. I've got SPD this time around and my job is quite active so I don't think I'd be able to cope, and we don't have any childcare in place as we anticipated my leaves running back to back. I'd rather return to work earlier after the 2nd baby and arrange childcare for the two, at least then I won't be pregnant and will be able to do my job properly.

jammietart Tue 14-Jul-15 14:56:11

I think Issy is right and matetnity trumps everything otherwise they are discriminating against you for being on matetnity leave . So yes suggest to them you take annual leave to bridge the gap between matetnity leave. If you haven't yet accrued it take it as unpaid if you can or argue you will become entitled to it during matenity leave so they are as well to let you just take it.

YonicScrewdriver Tue 14-Jul-15 18:25:44

An alternative if you wanted to go back but not get childcare is to transfer leave to your DH?

YonicScrewdriver Tue 14-Jul-15 18:27:26

Jammie, if OP quit before the end of her second maternity leave, she would have taken holiday that was then never earned so this may be the issue.

Fizrim Tue 14-Jul-15 18:47:45

OML is the first 26 weeks, AML is the second (if you take a full year off). How long have you been on maternity leave now, if you have only taken OML then did you start your maternity leave Feb?

What does your maternity leave scheme say about holidays? Jammie is right that you can't take holiday that you haven't accrued. Have you formally notified them of the second maternity leave?

If you do take unpaid leave, you may not accrue holidays over that period. Also, as maternity leave is based on your pay during the preceeding period, I'd check if any unpaid leave makes a difference. I think any holidays that you accrue during the second period of mat leave will be added on to the end as already suggested. But no, I don't think you can use it to bridge the gap.

YonicScrewdriver Tue 14-Jul-15 19:23:19

Fiz, by unpaid leave I meant the last 13 weeks of ML which attracv no SMP.

Fizrim Tue 14-Jul-15 19:33:49

Yonic, the OP mentions not taking any AML - I'm just wondering if that's right. I do think you've got a good point in taking some AML if that hasn't been used, that would be the easiest option really.

Fizrim Tue 14-Jul-15 19:35:21

Although just to clarify, you'd need to take any AML before taking any holidays. If you take holidays, then you'd need unpaid time off work/sabbatical before the next period of maternity leave which may affect pay/entitlement which was what I was thinking about.

Clear as mud!

YonicScrewdriver Tue 14-Jul-15 19:35:50

She said "I've not taken any unpaid leave so I think I've just taken OML"

The first 3m of AML is paid so I'm confused!

YonicScrewdriver Tue 14-Jul-15 19:36:45

It also gives a slightly bigger gap between babies my way!

Fizrim Tue 14-Jul-15 21:46:45

It is a bit confusing, and hard to work out without knowing the dates of the maternity leave that you are currently on, OP!

It's a while since I dealt with maternity leave, but it does seem strange that the maternity pay runs for 39 weeks, while the OML runs for 26 and the AML starts after that - that period used to be completely unpaid but as Yonic says, that's not the case now! You are entitled to the same job back if you take OML, if you take AML then you are entitled to return to work but not necessarily to the exact same job - they can give you a similar job. As Yonic says, I think any holidays that you accrue after you 'return to work' will be added on to the end of your (second) maternity leave.

I think it's likely that you have taken some AML OP. I hope you get the dates sorted with HR very soon.

annatha Wed 15-Jul-15 16:42:19

Hi everyone sorry! I'm not sure of the terms but I went on maternity leave on 31st October and am due back 30th July. I got paid 90% of my usual wage for the first 6 weeks, and then SMP until July 30th. I can take a further 3 months off unpaid if I wanted so I've got mixed up thinking that would be AML.

I spoke to HR today finally and apparently they've calculated the 11 days leave purely using my current maternity leave (whatever that means?) and they can't calculate anything for my 2nd lot until they have my matb1. I gave them my due date and my plans to run both back to back due to childcare and my health and they said that would be fine, it works better for them as wouldn't be able to do my usual duties so they'd be having to find and then train me to do some alternative work for 2 weeks or so. I've emailed them my matb1 and will apparently hear back around the beginning of August regarding dates for my 2nd lot of leave. Nowt like leaving it until the last minute!

Again thanks everyone for your help!

YonicScrewdriver Wed 15-Jul-15 18:59:23

Oh that's good!

Fizrim Wed 15-Jul-15 19:30:13

That sounds better!

Yes, if you've had 9 months (paid) leave then you've had three months AML.

That has also answered one of my questions - whether you had formally notified them of the second period of maternity leave. They will have calculated your holidays from the start of the holiday year (April) to your return date, and will deal with the second period of maternity leave when you 'formally' return to work in August and finish the first maternity leave.

Good to hear that it's well on the way to being properly sorted, hope you can relax about the work aspect for the remainder of your pregnancy.

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