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Repayment of maternity pay

(17 Posts)
Redissuereader Tue 14-Nov-17 12:35:19

I have come to the end of my maternity leave and have handed in my resignation as they have refused my part time request.

I have now received a letter asking for a repayment of maternity pay.

I repeatedly asked for the maternity policy both before I left and whilst on maternity leave, before my request for part time hours. I was directed the the government website gov.uk and told they follow the general guidelines set out.

Am I liable to pay back this money?

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Tue 14-Nov-17 12:37:54

What did you get paid when you were off? Was it Statutory Maternity Pay or did you get any extra occupational maternity pay?

Have they provided you with the policy now?

If it's just SMP you owe nothing.

ohlittlepea Tue 14-Nov-17 12:39:18

Usually you have to pay back any enhanced pay over the stat maternity pay. As far as Im aware this is pretty standard across companies.

ohlittlepea Tue 14-Nov-17 12:40:42

The alternative is to return to work for a set period usually around 3 months, then you are no longer liable for the repayments. HR should be able to give you the clear run down of this smile

dementedpixie Tue 14-Nov-17 12:43:59

If you were paid over and above statutory maternity pay then the company can set down conditions (like returning to work for a set period of time) where if they are not met then the extra has to be paid back. Did you get enhanced maternity pay?

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Tue 14-Nov-17 12:49:35

Even if she did get occupational maternity pay they can't claim it back retrospectively without demonstrating a contractual obligation to do so.

Redissuereader Tue 14-Nov-17 13:27:33

I did get paid extra but I never had a copy of the maternity policy, it doesn't mention anything in my contract about the maternity policy.

I emailed them asking for a copy of the maternity policy and they said they didn't have one and referred me to gov.uk.

I've looked for repayment of maternity pay on that site and there doesn't appear to be any guidance on this particular matter.

They outsource the payroll to another company and it is them who have contacted me, so they must believe there is a policy in place, but I am unaware of it.

dementedpixie Tue 14-Nov-17 14:17:38

The .gov website will not help as it deals with statutory maternity pay so will have no idea about your company's policy. Can you contact whoever wrote to you to say you've never seen or been given the maternity policy?

mintich Tue 14-Nov-17 14:22:04

If you asked for policy and were not given it, you wouldn't have to pay at my company at least. We'd be on very dodgy ground if you took it further

LIZS Tue 14-Nov-17 14:25:42

Legally it has to be made clear up front that occupational maternity pay is repayable, and what conditions apply. Did they send you a letter confirming dates, payments etc. Is the policy available online, such as on an intranet.

Redissuereader Tue 14-Nov-17 15:05:55

No none o those things happened, I didn't even get a payslip until I'd already been on maternity leave for 7 months, and then it was one of my colleagues that forwarded it on. Not sure why they didn't send it to my personal email address as they had it?

Redissuereader Tue 14-Nov-17 15:06:26

I've scoured their policies on the website and can't find anything

Primaryteach87 Tue 14-Nov-17 15:10:30

Although it’s standard practice to require employees to come back or repay extra occupational maternity pay, they have to be clear beforehand. You have written evidence that they were anything but clear, they therefore don’t have a leg to stand on. Don’t pay it back. Tell them clearly there were no such written conditions and you won’t be paying any back.

Cakescakescakes Tue 14-Nov-17 15:11:34

I resigned at the end of my maternity leave and had to replay the enhanced element of my maternity pay (I knew this in advance and had saved for it) BUT my employer owed me pay for the annual leave and stat days I had accrued over the year of my mat leave so in the end I only had to relay a couple of hundred pounds.

flowery Tue 14-Nov-17 15:48:17

Don't pay it back. Unless they've clearly notified you in advance of any terms and conditions attached to any extra maternity pay they offer, they can't impose those after the event.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Tue 14-Nov-17 16:31:48

I agree. Now you've clarified I would not be paying them a penny.

I would be checking very carefully to make sure they paid me my accrued holiday and any contractual bonuses.

InMemoryOfSleep Tue 14-Nov-17 16:40:56

You do not have to pay it back unless they specifically stated this in their maternity policy, which should have been provided to you prior to you going on mat leave. I had this argument with my employer and directed them to the Maternity Actuon website - the following quote is taken from there...
^Firstly, you will be entitled to receive any contractual maternity pay up until the end of your notice period. Secondly, you should check your employment contract or maternity policy to see if you are required to repay any contractual maternity pay if you do not return to work for a certain period after maternity leave.
You can only be asked to repay contractual maternity pay if it was agreed in advance with your employer or you were notified before the start of your maternity leave. You can also only be asked to repay any contractual maternity pay over and above the amount of SMP or Maternity Allowance that you were entitled to, as your employer cannot ask you to pay back any SMP and you do not have to pay back any maternity Allowance to the Job Centre Plus. If you have to repay any contractual maternity pay you can ask your employer to repay it in instalments.
If you want to return to work for a short period after maternity leave so that you do not have to repay your contractual maternity pay you can return to work and resign at a later date. You should also bear in mind that you are counted as being back at work if you are off sick or on annual leave.^

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