Annual Leave Refused to Extend Maternity Leave

(21 Posts)
Sproutycakes18 Thu 04-Oct-18 08:37:27

Just wondering if anyone can offer any advice...

I'm currently on maternity leave and due to go back on 3rd Dec. I've 3 weeks annual leave still to take and asked my boss whether it would be possible to use those 3 weeks to extend my leave until the beginning of next year.

I do only work for a small business (in the 34 years the business has been going, I'm the first person to go on mat leave) and my thinking is by doing this, it's used up because I am aware I can legally carry it over to next year but given that I'll only be working two days a week, I'll then have 35 days holiday which would be a whole lot of time off.

However my request has been refused on the grounds that others may want time off... This is the difficult bit. We aren't usually allowed time off in Dec because one boss always claims we're busy but we aren't. They have someone covering me on maternity leave so I presumed that given they've got the same number of staff as they would as if I wasn't on maternity leave and it was usual for holidays to not be allowed within Dec, I wouldn't have a problem with being able to get my holiday allowance used to extend my maternity leave (although I am aware those 3 weeks would be considered annual leave and not maternity leave.)

I know I am heavily relied upon where I work (despite only being paid min wage) and I feel the 'others may want holidays' is the only reason my boss can give to get me back in because like I said it's never been usually allowed to take holidays in Dec.

So that's my pickle... Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

OP’s posts: |
EmmaC78 Thu 04-Oct-18 08:46:41

Looking at it from the other side if other staff have been covering for you during mat leave then they may have had limited opportunity to use their own holidays so maybe they need you back so the rest of the office can take their time off.

Rednaxela Thu 04-Oct-18 08:50:14

Because it's AL the normal rules would apply about getting it approved.

If they do refuse, remind them it will be carried over and set out how you plan to take it. As they might give you a hard time next year in getting it approved.

BlackAmericanoNoSugar Thu 04-Oct-18 08:52:48

I agree with Rednaxela that you should point out to them that if you carry it over you will be taking a lot of holiday next year and so it might be easier for them to keep your maternity cover a few weeks longer and then you would have a more normal amount of time off next year. 35 days at two days a week is over 17 weeks off, which is a hell of a lot for them to schedule for.

RicStar Thu 04-Oct-18 08:54:06

The thing is they have to pay your maternity cover and you for the holidays if they keep the cover on ¤if they let you take them gradually they can spread the cost. I expect they may also be worried about other staff thinking it is unfair. Presumably they have allowed a flexible working request - as you are going back part time. Can you have a chat with your line manager and see if a compromise can be reached explain you are worried about using up all the leave now you will be part time.

StealthPolarBear Thu 04-Oct-18 08:55:05

When does the person covering your mat leave finish?
What is the usual process for arranging Christmas leave and cover?

Sproutycakes18 Thu 04-Oct-18 09:00:30

As they've had someone that previously worked for us to come in and cover me, it's essentially been the same staff levels as if I was working there still.

The staff member they've got in to cover me will actually be staying on when I go back because I am unable to do full time anymore with having baby.

I think part of the problem is that my boss doesn't realise that I can cerry the holidays over which would leave me with a whole lot of time to take off.

OP’s posts: |


RagamuffinCat Thu 04-Oct-18 09:18:46

Does your contract say that you can carry over all the annual leave?

Sproutycakes18 Thu 04-Oct-18 09:41:25

I believe legally I can given that I've been on maternity leave.

My contract is pretty basic so all it says is what holidays I'm entitled too.

OP’s posts: |
grumpy4squash Thu 04-Oct-18 09:46:37

Not the point I know, but if you carry over 15 days, surely you wouldn't have 35 in total for 2019? If you're working 2 days a week, wouldn't you be getting 2/5 of the holiday allowance?

ADastardlyThing Thu 04-Oct-18 09:47:33

Have you taken the full 12 months? Just thinking if not you could inform them you now intend to take the full amount so either way you wont be there, so as it benefits both parties for you to use annual leave up you might as well do that?

RagamuffinCat Thu 04-Oct-18 10:00:44

I thought that an employer had to let an employee carry over up to 20 of their 28 days legal leave entitlement if the worker couldn’t take annual leave, unless the contract stated otherwise, but I may be wrong?

PartAnd Thu 04-Oct-18 10:13:40


ShotsFired Thu 04-Oct-18 10:22:58

Does your employer have issues around staff cover/allowing leave over Christmas? Or is there a policy around leave for events like Christmas time/school hols/block booking?

If so, there's your answer. Giving one person a blanket December off, while others have to take the dregs of what availability is left/ensure there is cover is not on.

MaverickSnoopy Fri 05-Oct-18 08:13:06

Don't forget as well as anything carried over your also have annual leave to take from your new holiday entitlement. I would definitely email about agreeing how this will be used up.

SnuggyBuggy Fri 05-Oct-18 08:19:43

Is the issue cover around the Christmas period? A good employer will try to be fair to all their staff when it comes to December leave.

Janefx40 Fri 05-Oct-18 09:35:41

A compromise, if you're happy with it, is for your employer to pay you for your unused annual leave instead. We can choose to do this at my workplace.

@grumpy4squash I think you accrue annual leave at the rate of when you left for mat leave. So I will get 30 days leave even tho I will go back part time and would then be entitled to less the following year. That's what I've been told at my work anyway

Lazypuppy Fri 05-Oct-18 11:48:55

Are you sure about the 35 days? Won't it be pro rata as you're only working 2 days. If not thwt means a full time member of staff would have over 70 days AL a year which doesn't seem right...

StealthPolarBear Fri 05-Oct-18 12:44:03

I raised this on a previous thread as I'd been told in the past that if someone returned part time that their accrued leave would be pro rata ed. I was told on here that was rubbish, so potentially if someone who used to be full time was carrying over 35 days and was only returning one day a week, they could be on leave for over six months before the actually stepped back into the office.

katsucurry Fri 05-Oct-18 12:55:03

Have you used all the 52 weeks maternity leave? If not you could say ok in that case I would like to extend my maternity leave by a further three weeks and use that as the unpaid portion? If you could afford to, but hopefully as they couldn't prevent you from taking the extra three weeks as unpaid maternity leave they'll realise you'll be off anyway and approve the annual leave?

Ksjourney Fri 05-Oct-18 14:14:01

Or ask if your company will pay you for the 2018 accrued holiday?

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