Sick leave whilst in Maternity leave

(15 Posts)
emmabrown123 Thu 22-Jun-17 18:17:41

Sorry this is a long one but I need some advice before I contact HR tomorrow...

I'm on Mat leave which is due to end on 5th August (I will have had 52 weeks off). I have just been listed for a small op I really need on the 19th July. I'll need 4-6 week off post op.

Initially my work said I could return early July, use annual leave to take me to my op date, then go on sick leave. This sounded fab as it meant I'd start getting paid again!!

Today they have changed their minds because I need to give 28 days notice of a change to my return date so returning early July wouldn't give me enough time to do that.

They are now suggesting I return to work on my original date and use annual leave until I'm ready to come back to work.

They are very keen for me to use up my annual leave as I have lots accrued.

Where do I stand with this? Can they make me take annual leave even though I'll be recovering from an op?

I've been told to ring HR tomorrow and work it out with them.

OP’s posts: |
emmabrown123 Thu 22-Jun-17 18:18:10

Pa I work for the NHS if that makes any difference

OP’s posts: |
welshweasel Thu 22-Jun-17 18:21:59

You can't be paid sick leave whilst on maternity leave in the NHS. If they won't agree to you changing your dates then you'll have to go back as planned but then go straight on to sick leave. To be honest though, they usually want you to use up annual leave from the preceding year before you go back to work so I'd probably just tag all the annual leave I had to take on to the end of it like they are suggesting. You may need to call on their goodwill when you inevitably have to take time off at short notice due to child illness.

Rockandrollwithit Thu 22-Jun-17 18:26:48

You can't be paid sick leave whilst on mat leave. My sister had a serious medical condition where she would have been signed off for 6 months if she wasn't on mat leave but she was so just got mat pay.

CotswoldStrife Thu 22-Jun-17 18:32:50

Could you change the date of the procedure?

emmabrown123 Thu 22-Jun-17 18:36:55

Can't really change the date. It's a bladder op and without it I'd struggle to do my job anyway!!

Would I be able to go back as soon as the 28 notice period lets me (I think that's the 22nd July) and go straight on sick leave?

OP’s posts: |
emmabrown123 Thu 22-Jun-17 18:38:10

Annual leave wise I have 2 days from last year and this years full entitlement, although I had previously agreed coming back part time and taking one days annual leave a week till Xmas, so I did already have plans for using it!

OP’s posts: |
madwomanacrosstheroad Thu 22-Jun-17 18:38:11

You can't be paid sick and maternity leave at the same time but you can give them notice to return at the closest possible day and be off sick from that day. They can't force you to take annual leave while off sick. You can take sick leave immediately after maternity leave.

madwomanacrosstheroad Thu 22-Jun-17 18:39:20

Phone your union rep and if you are not in a union join.

GahBuggerit Thu 22-Jun-17 18:40:45

Your get a fit note from the hospital surely? That should cover you for the recovery period. They can't make you take a/l if signednoff and not able to work

StealthPolarBear Thu 22-Jun-17 18:40:49

Does the operation result from pregnancy and childbirth?
Completely separate issue but wonder if it would be eligible to be discounted from your sickness record

emmabrown123 Thu 22-Jun-17 18:46:31

Stealth - yes it's resulting from my last birth, good point I'll keep that in mind!

I assume the hospital give me a short term fit note then I have to go to the GP if I need longer. It's basically a repair to my pelvic floor so I've got to not lift anything heavy for 4-6 weeks. My job basically involves heavy lifting all day long so I need to make sure I'm fully healed so as not to mess up the op!!

OP’s posts: |
CotswoldStrife Thu 22-Jun-17 19:09:56

If you only need to give 28 days notice (not 8 weeks) then give it now! As PP have said, you can be signed off directly after maternity leave without being in work. Sometimes things don't go to plan so you may need longer off (obviously, I'm hoping that is not the case but given the nature of the procedure then please don't go back too soon!).

Have you reminded them that you have already booked your AL? They could be concerned that you are going to take a large block at once.

Metalgoddess Fri 23-Jun-17 07:17:46

You return after maternity leave as planned but on the return date phone in sick. I'm pretty sure that can't make you take annual leave when you have a genuine reason to be off sick.

MaverickSnoopy Mon 26-Jun-17 09:26:40

Take your mat leave until 5th August as planned and tell your dr you need a fit note from then onwards until they say you are fit to return to work. Remind work that you have already booked your annual leave.

As a side note if anyone had a period of annual leave booked and were then signed off during that period, they would be entitled to their annual leave back (where they were also signed off) - there are details of it on the government website.

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