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Employer just made things really awkward

(31 Posts)
Sillysausage2 Thu 23-Jul-15 00:01:44

I started a new job last October, found out 2 months later that I was pregnant. Complete surprise and not planned at all, I felt a bit cheeky telling them as I was there such a short time but was all ok.
They're a small enough place and don't pay maternity which is fine.
I haven't taken any holidays yet this year as I wanted to carry them forward and do a 3 day then a 4 day week for the first while when I come back next year. I am also entitled to accrue holidays and bank holidays while I'm off.
To try and be as fair as possible to them, I'm working up to 39 weeks and have regularly been doing extra hours when needed.
Was talking to the boss today and he basically said that yes it was fine to carry over my holidays already accrued but he'd talk to me tomorrow about the other holidays that would accrue seen as I wasn't there that long anyway. Obviously I'm going to have to say no you can't do that as its against the law but I don't really want to have a row 2 days before I finish for 6 months.
I was looking forward to going back to the job, I really enjoy it but this has just made things really awkward now sad
Didn't mean that to go on as long so apologies! Any advice on what I can say to keep it friendly but get my point across straight away?

LaurieFairyCake Thu 23-Jul-15 00:04:12

Maybe he just meant so you could use them in the same way you're using the others.

It needn't be difficult if he's got the wrong end of the stick about holidays - you can just say that they're definitely accrued while you're off as you've checked.

Sillysausage2 Thu 23-Jul-15 00:11:28

No he definitely meant it that I wouldn't be accruing them while I was off, but then before I could get a word in said he'd talk to me about it tomorrow. It's just leaving a sour taste really sad

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 23-Jul-15 07:03:53

I assume when you say they don't pay maternity you mean there is no enhanced package, but you will get SMP.

HeyDuggee Thu 23-Jul-15 07:11:06

I'm not a solicitor but it sounds like you decided to do part time upon your return, using your accrued annual leave to make up the rest of the week? Is that right? And you were aiming to use the accrued maternity holidays in the same way?

He is legally allowed to say no to that - you take annual leave with approval, not when you decide. So if going part time initially wont work for the business and he'd rather you take your (for example) 3 weeks off as a whole between x and y dates rather than 2 days a week stretched out for months- he is entitled to say so. Maybe this is what he meant?

eurochick Thu 23-Jul-15 07:16:16

I thought he meant something like Dugee has suggested.

FishWithABicycle Thu 23-Jul-15 07:21:30

You are basically entitled to smp if you were employed when you got pg (I think the rule is that you had been employed at the company for 25 weeks at the point when you are 15 weeks before edd) guessing your edd is around Fri 31 July that would put your LMP date around 24 October. If you started your new job before your LMP date you are entitled to 6 weeks at 90% of full pay and standard smp after that. The government refunds the company so they won't lose out. If your LMP happened before your first day of work, even if just the day before, you miss out on the 90% but maternity allowance is paid by the government at a very similar rate to smp.

All other maternity rights are yours including accruing annual leave - it needn't be awkward, your boss is just misinformed.

Bubblesinthesummer Thu 23-Jul-15 07:24:56

I agree with Duggee in that my understanding is he is saying that you can't use your AL like that nit that you won't get it.

flowery Thu 23-Jul-15 07:25:38

I agree it doesn't need to be awkward. Many small business owners are surprised to find out that women continue to accrue holiday throughout maternity leave. He's going to check it out, and when he does, he'll find out that you are right.

aliciagardner Thu 23-Jul-15 08:06:29

Obviously depends on the holiday policy but carrying over all holiday from this year to next year seems a bit unreasonable to me. The usual would be that you can only carry over 5 days maximum, and must use them within the first 3 months of the next holiday year or lose them (so for example, if holiday year runs Jan to Jan, you can only carry a max of 5 days over to the new holiday year (you would lose all other days if not taken by end of Dec) and then must use the 5 carried over days by end of March, or lose them.

I think it is a bit unreasonable to expect that you can carry all 25 holiday days (or whatever you get) over to the next year with no issues. This may be impacting your boss's thoughts a little...

In any case, it's the law that your holiday days whilst on maternity leave accrue - this is not up for discussion of course but it sounds like he's not aware of this so make sure that you are clear about that. Once he's aware, you can discuss properly but as mentioned above, I think that you should not expect to be able to carry your 2015 holiday over automatically. IMHO your boss is being extremely kind if he agrees to this.

You could consider asking for flexible working (3 or 4 day weeks) when you restart - sounds like this is what you would like.

Blu Thu 23-Jul-15 08:13:39

Yes, you accrue leave during maternity leave, but as an employer I would not be happy about all holiday for the whole year being carried forwards into a new year (but that should have been managed before now, and you encouraged to take it) or using holiday to, in effect, go p/t. It might be ok if discussed and approved, but you can't just assume you can take your holidays as and when you like without approval.

Blu Thu 23-Jul-15 08:14:48

Our policy is a max of 5 days carried over and only with managers agreement.

petalunicorn Thu 23-Jul-15 08:26:25

I don't think it needs to be awkward. Just be really clear on what you are and aren't allowed to do ready for when you discuss it with him:

Allowed: to accrue the leave whilst on maternity.

Not allowed (happens out as goodwill): to take leave when you choose, to carry over leave from one leave year to the next.

My maternity leave period (a year) coincided almost exactly with the holiday year (ie Jan-Dec). I was told that although I would accrue holiday during mat. leave, the normal rules for carrying it over applied, which were 5 days max, otherwise it discriminated against non-pregnant employees. So I "came back" to work early and had all my holiday during Nov/Dec.

If my mat. leave had been say July-June, I would have been able to use all the first year's AL at the start, then a year's ML, then a whole year's worth of AL in the second 6 months of the 2nd year. More time off work but the same money as the time I lost from my ML was unpaid.

Bakeoffcake Thu 23-Jul-15 08:39:18

Does what you want to do with your holidays mean that although you'll be working part time, the company will have to pay full time as you are using holiday? That doesn't sound very fair at all for the business!

StealthPolarBear Thu 23-Jul-15 08:45:16

Bannofee while I agree the employer can refuse I don't see how it's inherently unfair on them for the op to use her leave like this .

StealthPolarBear Thu 23-Jul-15 08:46:14

Bakeoff sorry

I think generally the normal rules should apply, so say you are thinking of taking every Friday off but there's a rule that no more than two people can be off at the same time and you have pre-booked all the Fridays a year in advance that's a bit unfair on anyone else wanting a long weekend in that time.

Bakeoffcake Thu 23-Jul-15 08:55:24

Well if several people did it, a small business probably wouldn't be able to afford to pay for it as they'd have to pay for people to cover those built up holidays.

Maybe I've understood it worngly- person A takes a year off for maternity leave. They come back and take their holiday entitlement of say 25 days and the company will have to pay for those 25 days as holiday, plus the 25 days of that year, so that's 50 days holiday in total.confused

flowery Thu 23-Jul-15 09:53:16

"Well if several people did it, a small business probably wouldn't be able to afford to pay for it as they'd have to pay for people to cover those built up holidays.

Maybe I've understood it worngly- person A takes a year off for maternity leave. They come back and take their holiday entitlement of say 25 days and the company will have to pay for those 25 days as holiday, plus the 25 days of that year, so that's 50 days holiday in total."

Financially it makes no, or very little difference. Women on maternity leave accrue holiday just as if they were at work. They have to take, and be paid for, all of that holiday at some point, so in your example, person A would have to take those additional 25 days either before or after maternity leave at some point.

Yes, but if it's after and you have gone into a new holiday year period, you will lose any from the first year over and above what you are normally allowed to carry over.

Also, in my last job (where I had my MLs) any AL carried over had to be used by the end of Feb.

chickenfuckingpox Thu 23-Jul-15 10:30:46

i was never allowed to carry over holiday entitlement to the next year we had to use it or lose it in one company the other paid you for it

when i was on mat leave i still got my holiday entitlement which they had to pay me for as they made me redundant while i was on maternity leave

Sillysausage2 Thu 23-Jul-15 11:47:27

No he's fine with the using the holidays to work shorter weeks for a while when I come back.
The policy is you can carry over 5 days hols but he agreed I could carry over more. I have taken a few days here and there this year so I have another 8 worked up so far. These days are still fine, it's what I would accumulate between now and when I come back that he's saying he's not giving.

I'm not in the UK either but it's the same sort of thing as SMP, maternity pay is a state benefit

aliciagardner Thu 23-Jul-15 11:55:43

If you're not in the UK, then what are the rules in your country around accruing holiday in ML? Are you sure you do accrue ML?

Sounds like your boss is being quite fair to me. Obviously the ML holiday accrual depends on the law in your country....

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