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Start date with new employer after mat leave

(7 Posts)
chiron Tue 05-Jan-16 16:25:13

I interviewed successfully for a new job and am heavily pregnant. I am far enough along that giving notice to my current employer would fall into my maternity leave after the baby's birth. I appreciate all the issues about potentially repaying enhanced mat pay if not returning to the same employer. However my query is about the new employer and the start date.

In the offer letter they asked me to give a start date when I'd be available and that they 'understood my circumstances'. I'd said at the end of the interview that since I was obviously heavily pregnant then I would need to take some maternity leave before starting with them if they offered me the post. I strongly suspect they will be keen for me to start sooner and may ask me to consider an earlier start than I've offered. However I offered 6 months after the birth and don't want to go much below that. Can they legally withdraw the offer if we can't agree since I haven't signed a contract yet? Am I still entitled to up to a year's statutory mat leave even if I'm starting for a new employer afterwards?

The other thing that concerns me is that if I do need longer and want to extend the leave then can I give 8 weeks notice of a new start date to the new employer or am I stuck with the agreed start date? I don't want to lose the job offer but neither do I want to place myself under immense stress by starting a new job too early. This isn't my first pregnancy so I'm very aware of how difficult it is to predict what the birth and aftermath will be like so I'm trying to balance fairness to myself and the employer. I'm just not sure of the legalities of the situation before I potentially enter into negotiations. Thanks

flowery Tue 05-Jan-16 17:36:33

You can't take maternity leave from an employer you don't work for yet. Take your maternity leave out of the question, that relates to your current employer.

If you and potential new employer cannot agree on a start date, then yes they can withdraw the offer, which will of course be conditional on an agreed start date. Once a start date has been agreed, if you want to change it you can ask them, but if they don't want to change the terms (ie start date), they can say the offer stands based on the initial agreed terms.

Sounds like they have been very flexible and accommodating.

KP86 Tue 05-Jan-16 17:44:56

Don't resign from your current job. Tell new people your planned start date based on 6 months post-birth, and all going well, if you are able to start with them at the time give the required notice to employer 1 and start with employer 2.

If it doesn't work out, you've still got current job to return to post mat leave.

Assuming job 1 is replacing you, it's probably no skin off their nose if you resign during leave as they can extend your replacement.

chiron Tue 05-Jan-16 22:05:01

Thanks both. I agree they are being accommodating and I would like to work for them. Obviously not agreeing to a start date is a reason to withdraw an offer. I just wasn't sure whether they could withdraw the offer based on me taking maternity leave and that being the reason for a delayed start date. I don't want to mess people around and if it's infeasible then so be it. I'll hope that they agree on that date and I'll resign later from my current role in case things don't work out.

Shutthatdoor Tue 05-Jan-16 22:07:48

it's probably no skin off their nose if you resign during leave as they can extend your replacement.

Apart from the fact they could be paying enhanced maternity pay.

Nottodaythankyouorever Tue 05-Jan-16 22:10:02

Tell new people your planned start date based on 6 months post-birth

You can 'tell' them what you like. They don't have to agree. wink

6 months is a long time for them have to wait.

KP86 Wed 06-Jan-16 08:12:45

If OP is receiving enhanced pay and knows it will need to be returned then she can keep it aside and return at the right point in time.

A mum returning from mat leave can be difficult enough, let alone if you have to find a brand new job because the one you were hoping for has fallen through. I would definitely not let myself be without a safety net in this situation.

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