MNHQ here: Sign in for yet another FREE legal advice clinic about pregnancy, maternity or parental issues at work from Maternity Action

(52 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

AnnaCMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 31-Jan-20 11:36:48

You may remember Mumsnet and Maternity Action teamed up to provide an online legal clinic, offering free advice. We got such positive feedback we’re doing it again.

From Monday Mumsnet and Maternity Action are providing an online legal clinic, offering free advice on pregnancy, maternity and parental rights at work from volunteer employment solicitors and barristers who are members of the Employment Lawyers Association.
Maternity Action reports huge demand for its advice line, especially topics such as redundancy during maternity leave, return to work, maternity pay and rights during pregnancy, and on Mumsnet's Talk forums, the topic of employment rights is a hardy perennial. The clinic will respond to this demand in a hopefully innovative way, providing free, accurate, public advice online and raising awareness of parents' rights at work. It will also enable Maternity Action and Mumsnet to identify trends and produce permanent content to address areas in which employers and workers could benefit from clear, upfront guidance.

The clinic will take the form of a 'Q&A' session on this thread. You can post questions about your employment rights dilemmas relating to pregnancy, maternity and parental rights at work. Specialist solicitors and barristers will take necessary additional detail via private messaging before posting up answers and advice.

The clinic will run for a week from Monday 3rd to Friday 7th February and will be held on a quarterly basis. We will do our best to provide all answers during the week but, at the latest, by the Monday of the following week. You can find information on where to go for more help once the clinic has ended here.

What to do if you’d like to post a question
1) If you have a question about your rights at work during pregnancy, maternity or parental leave please post it below. Please give as much information as possible but remember that this is an online forum and can be viewed by the public – including your colleagues and employer. You can use the private message facility to disclose any information you would prefer to keep off the public forums.

2) Please send your name and the name of your employer by private message to MaternityAction so that it can be passed on to the volunteers to do a conflict of interest check. We cannot post a reply until you have sent this information by private message.

Once your advice has been posted online, you will have an opportunity to provide feedback. This helps us to find out whether you found the advice helpful, whether it helped you to resolve your situation at work and some information about you. All survey responses are anonymous and confidential. Providing feedback will help us to see what improvements can be made in developing this type of online free legal advice clinic. You can fill out the survey here.

Ts and Cs – please read
The advice provided to an individual poster is based only on the information provided by that poster. Advice on this thread is also particular to the individual who has asked for it and is likely to be specific to that person’s situation. A poster may have provided further relevant information by private message which will not appear on this thread. So please take care if you choose to apply that advice to your own situation - it is recommended that you first take legal advice from one of the sources we have suggested here.

Mumsnet, Maternity Action and Maternity Action's volunteers accept no liability for any loss suffered as a result of an individual choosing to follow advice provided to another poster's question on the thread.

The lawyers, all of whom are specialists in employment law, will be working as volunteers for Maternity Action in respect of the clinic. Any personal information collected as a result of the clinic will be held by Maternity Action and will be deleted after 18 months. If you wish to make a complaint about the service you received, you can use Maternity Action’s complaints policy here.

OP edited to change Maternity Action's username.

OP’s posts: |
Kay1233 Sun 02-Feb-20 07:04:23

Hello, I’m a social worker employed by the Local Authority. I’m currently in receipt of maternity allowance and due to return in the summer which will mean I’ve been off for 1 year. I would like to register with another local authority to be put on their list of bank workers for ad hoc work (0 hour contract). My questions are; will I need to resign from my main job, will I continue to receive maternity allowance, will the extra work mean I will be on an emergency tax code.

I await your reply
Kay

ItIsAllChange Sun 02-Feb-20 20:29:04

I have to return to work for a certain amount of time after maternity leave. If I have parental leave, sickness, or holiday in that time, do I need to add that onto the end of the certain amount of time or is that included in it? So if for example I need to return to work for a year and was absent for two months would that mean I have to return for 14 months?

Griffer Sun 02-Feb-20 20:56:11

I'm due to return to work in May and am working out my annual leave accrued whilst on 1 year's maternity leave. The company gave employees 3 days additional leave for a Christmas closure. Am I entitled to add these days to my accrued leave too? Many thanks

Griffer Sun 02-Feb-20 21:12:59

I have worked for my employer for 11 years and received a performance related bonus every year, except this year where I have been on maternity leave for 75% of the year. I had expected a pro-rata bonus for the 25% I had worked and had evidenced performing above expectations. Should I have been given this bonus and what can I do about it?

ColdCottage Mon 03-Feb-20 09:24:07

I used this before and it was helpful.

Found out that as self employed you can now do admin work to keep your business ticking over without it counting as a KIT day. As well as paperwork this included keeping in touch with clients too.

This was from calls with the Maternity allowance team who checked with senior team as it had recently changed.

I tried to reduce my maternity days to 6 a week so I could work one day a week if needed and reduce my pay as advised here but when I said what I was going to do I was told it wouldn't count as work.

MaternityAction Mon 03-Feb-20 11:14:30

Dear ColdCottage

I'm very pleased to hear that worked out for you.

You are right that the DWP introduced new guidance for self-employed women to say that the following types of unpaid admin tasks do not count towards the ten Keeping In Touch days.
The DWP guidance on self-employed work during the Maternity Allowance period is as follows:

These do not count towards the ten days
Minimal maintenance and admin tasks carried out which, if they were neglected would seriously impact the individual's ability to continue the work they do once they return to normal working pattern. There should be no direct payment for the work done. These are tasks that employed people would generally not need to take on during their period of maternity leave as the business they work for would be expected to cover them.
Minimal Maintenance and Admin Tasks:
Carrying out necessary administration.
Accepting work which is due to start after the woman’s return to work and after her MA ends.
Carrying out essential maintenance to the woman’s website or equipment. Responding to correspondence requesting information as long as it does not relate to work to be carried out before the woman’s return to work and before her MA ends.
Keeping essential formal qualifications and licenses up-to-date.
Keeping skills at an acceptable level. This should not include formal paid-for training.
Preparing for work arranged before the woman’s Maternity Allowance Period starts but to be carried out after her return to work and after her MA ends.

It's important to bear in mind that any paid work beyond the ten keeping in touch days should also only lead to a reasonable deduction of Maternity Allowance e.g. if you work for one day a week and you used to work full time before maternity leave, you should only lose 1/7th of your weekly Maternity Allowance payment. If DWP disqualify you from an unreasonable amount of Maternity Allowance or ends your MA completely, you have 28 days to ask for a mandatory reconsideration and you can appeal if necessary.

Thank you for highlighting this important change!

MaternityAction Mon 03-Feb-20 11:30:42

Dear Kay1233

Many thanks for your query. If you are thinking of taking on a second job during maternity leave there are a few things to consider.

Firstly, does your current employment contract restrict you from working for another employer or do you need permission before taking on a second job? It's important to check your contract and/or staff handbook on your terms and conditions in relation to taking on other work. If your current job restricts you from working for another employer, you will obviously need to decide whether to leave your current job.

Secondly, you need to consider the impact on your maternity pay. You have stated that you are on Maternity Allowance (which lasts for 39 weeks) and that you are taking the full year of maternity leave from your current employer. You can in fact work for your current employer for up to ten 'keeping-in-touch' (KIT) days during your maternity leave without bringing your maternity leave or Maternity Allowance to an end. If you are considering working for your current employer, you should check carefully with your employer how much you will be paid for any KIT days.

If you are working for a new employer during your Maternity Allowance period, any days of work will also count towards your ten KIT days. You will need to notify the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) once you have completed ten KIT days and they will make a decision about how much Maternity Allowance you will receive once you work for more than ten days. DWP will disqualify you from a reasonable amount of Maternity Allowance depending on how many days a week you work. If you worked full time before your maternity leave, but you are only working for one or two days a week during your maternity leave, DWP should only disqualify you for 1/7th or 2/7th of your weekly Maternity Allowance. If DWP consider that you have returned to your normal working pattern, your Maternity Allowance will end. If you disagree with any decisions in relation to your Maternity Allowance, you have 28 days to ask for a mandatory reconsideration.
There is more information on KIT days on the Maternity Action website here: maternityaction.org.uk/advice/keeping-in-touch-days/

Once your Maternity Allowance period has ended and you are on unpaid maternity leave, any KIT days you work will no longer affect your maternity pay.

You will need to speak to your new employer and HMRC about your tax code if you are starting a new job. There is more information here: www.gov.uk/tax-codes/updating-tax-code

I hope that helps.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 04-Feb-20 09:30:38

Hello

A reminder to everyone to please send your name and the name of your employer by private message to MaternityAction so that it can be passed on to the volunteers to do a conflict of interest check. Maternity Action cannot post a reply until you have sent this information by private message.

And thanks to those of you who have already done so.

MNHQ

Post edited to use the correct username for Maternity Action

Corilee2806 Tue 04-Feb-20 15:00:22

Hi, I work for a large public sector organisation and a while ago went on loan to a different Department, on a temporary promotion for 6 months to a year, which I applied for as part of a fair and open competition. Just after I accepted the role I found out I was pregnant. I told my new line manager and she worked out that I would be due to go on maternity leave about 6 months into my contract, so they made a case for terminating it then and returning me to my home department, which HR did concede was a ‘grey area’ at the time with regards to their reason for ending the contract. I was told the role was no longer needed but know that someone else is now doing it.

I am now back from maternity leave and wish I’d made more of a fuss at the time, but my pregnancy was high risk and stressful so it wasn’t really a priority. I effectively feel like I’ve been demoted and lost my chance of securing a permanent promotion, and I’m not getting much support currently - plus a whole host of other issues which have gone on for over a year with regard to overpaying me and taking the money back. I’ve given 6 years service - what can I do?

Howdidido Tue 04-Feb-20 15:54:25

Ive just found out there are rumours my company will be making significant redundancies this year.
I am on maternity leave which I believe protects me a little in terms of redundancies.
However all 4 people who do the same role as me are also on maternity leave (my poor boss...!). There are 3 maternity covers covering our roles. We expect the number of positions doing this role to decrease but unsure by how many.

I will be ending my SPL at the start of August, but am taking August as Annual leave. I have been with the company 5 years.
A will return at the start of July taking July as annual leave. She has been with the company for 6 years.
B will return next month having taken 1 year Mat leave (plus AL at the end). She has been there 10 years
C will return probably in Feb 2021 having taken 1 year Mat leave. She has been with the company less than 1 year before going on leave.

All of us are under 40.

My questions are:
Do any of us have any more or less protection against redundancies? We expect them to happen in July or August but to be announced in April. but as yet have no idea of scale or exact dates.
We expect the number of roles to decrease. Which if any of us would get priority in those roles?
If there is no priority how will role allocation be decided?
Does SPL afford the same protection as Maternity leave? I will probably be on SPL when the redundancies happen.
If they happen while I am on Annual leave do I have any protection?
Many thanks!

Howdidido Tue 04-Feb-20 15:57:31

And I've sent my name 4 times accidentally! Apologies!

Oakley16 Tue 04-Feb-20 21:20:29

I work from home 2 days a week as I have a long commute to work. I'm starting to struggle now I'm getting further into my pregnancy, if I needed to work from home more where do I stand if they say no?

Nichola1010 Wed 05-Feb-20 01:06:17

I am currently on maternity leave, during this time the company I work for has been sold and has undergone a massive restructure of people and strategy to the point I do not recognise it as the company I left and do not want to return work there. My role would have to be vastly different if I returned because of the changes. I know they will have to offer me a role with like pay and benefits etc upon my return but where do I stand if the role I’m offered isn’t suitable?Resignation is a problem because I am in receipt of enhanced maternity pay for a proportion of my leave. The company policy states that if I do not return to work for ‘x’ weeks I will need to pay back the enhanced element (which I cannot afford). Do I have any grounds to fight this given the changes that have taken place?

I also wondered in the event that I am made to pay back the enhanced maternity pay would I have to pay back the gross figure including any tax that has been deducted? Obviously I am not in receipt of the tax so do not have it to pay back.

Any advice or guidance would be appreciated. Thank you

Nikkinoodle84 Wed 05-Feb-20 07:23:33

Hi, I'm currently 29 weeks pregnant, I have had a tough pregnancy and my sickness at work has been quite high. When last I called in I was told I could be forced to take MAT leave early and would lose accrued holidays, I have checked policies and cant see anything relating to this so was just wondering where I stood?
Thank you.

foxtrotcharliejuliet Wed 05-Feb-20 09:39:56

I have recently become aware that employees at my company are paid different maternity benefits depending on job title, with some receiving 18 weeks full pay and others receiving 16 weeks full pay. While I appreciate these numbers are higher than many people get, I believe the reason for the discrepancy is that the company is headquartered in America, where this is considered normal for the market. I would be surprised if this were also true in the UK, but am finding it hard to get any more information. Are you able to shed any light on this?

MaternityAction Wed 05-Feb-20 09:55:58
Hi Corilee2806

I am really sorry to hear about that; it sounds as though you’ve had a bit of a tough time with your employer.

Based on what you have said, you could have a potential complaint of pregnancy discrimination if you can show that you have suffered in your chances of promotion due to your maternity leave. Do be aware though that you will typically only have 3 months from the date that the issue occurred to bring an actual tribunal claim so you will need to persuade a tribunal either that it wasn’t practical to bring a claim before now, or that you continue to be discriminated against as a result of your previous pregnancy/maternity.

The important thing is to think about what you want to achieve. If, as I understand from your post, you feel that you have been badly treated, but are not necessarily looking to leave the organisation, then I suggest that you want to try to have a positive conversation, perhaps with a view to being given a 6 month opportunity now or in the future.

I would suggest that you initally have a further conversation with your line manager and HR or your Union, to understand why your temporary promotion was rescinded based on your pregnancy. You can explain that you feel that you missed out on an opportunity that you had earned to advance your career and whilst you felt unable to push the issue at the time, you now want to talk about how that will be rectified.

You might explain that your understanding is that it is legally unfair to retract an offer of a promotion because you are pregnant so you are looking to HR to try to find a way to support you better in the future.

Before that meeting, it may be helpful to think about what solution would be acceptable (would you for example be happy to be considered the preferred candidate for any future promotion, or are you looking for 6 months’ at the promoted level, or a permanent promotion, or extra training or some mentoring). By thinking about your options and what you’d like to achieve, in advance, this will allow you to have a positive conversation, whilst being clear, in a constructive way, that it is not fair for you to have had the promotion removed based on your pregnancy.

If your manager states that he/she cannot/will not make any concessions for you, then you could perhaps follow up by stating your concerns in writing and asking for a response to your request.

You could, if you prefer, take a more robust route by raising a formal grievance under your employer’s grievance policy, but I would suggest this is a last resort, once you have explored other options. Raising a grievance can tend to mean that your concerns are seen as a complaint rather than a way to find constructive solutions. Finally, you can contact ACAS to register for early conciliation to see whether they can resolve the dispute but bear in mind that this can make it tricky to continue in work. I do hope this helps.

We have put together a guide on where to get more help if you're unable to resolve your concerns with the above: find information on where to go for more help once the clinic has ended here.

Corilee2806

Hi, I work for a large public sector organisation and a while ago went on loan to a different Department, on a temporary promotion for 6 months to a year, which I applied for as part of a fair and open competition. Just after I accepted the role I found out I was pregnant. I told my new line manager and she worked out that I would be due to go on maternity leave about 6 months into my contract, so they made a case for terminating it then and returning me to my home department, which HR did concede was a ‘grey area’ at the time with regards to their reason for ending the contract. I was told the role was no longer needed but know that someone else is now doing it.

I am now back from maternity leave and wish I’d made more of a fuss at the time, but my pregnancy was high risk and stressful so it wasn’t really a priority. I effectively feel like I’ve been demoted and lost my chance of securing a permanent promotion, and I’m not getting much support currently - plus a whole host of other issues which have gone on for over a year with regard to overpaying me and taking the money back. I’ve given 6 years service - what can I do?

Corilee2806 Wed 05-Feb-20 19:23:34

@MaternityAction thank you so much for taking the time to reply. You’re right in your assumption that a tribunal wouldn’t be possible given the time that has passed, it’s more about being given the support that was promised to help ensure that I didn’t suffer any further as a result of my pregnancy. I will try the avenues suggested.

redtornado Wed 05-Feb-20 20:28:01

I am currently pregnant (known by my employer and I had already had risk assessment meetings prior to this) and both my position and myself are in process of being made redundant by my employer. I have a somewhat niche role and work alongside colleagues who can do most of what I do (though not to the same depth), but I only do the work they do at a basic level.The work itself is still there and needs doing, however they are absorbing this work into the responsibilities of my colleagues and looking to hire further members of staff to do this job. They have said that as I am not at the same skill level as my colleagues, there are no reasonable alternative positions within the company.

I had been working part time since I came off maternity leave one year ago. My employer said that it isn't worth paying a part time person to do this when the work can be carried by the rest of the team. Prior to having my previous child, I was a full time employee. I have worked there for more than 2 years.

This seems like a bit of a grey area and I'm not sure if they are toeing the line or if they have crossed it. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you very much!

deendon Wed 05-Feb-20 21:39:36

I've put this on another thread but I'll give it a go on here.

I was a consultant (medical) so my employer was the NHS.

In 2009 I went on maternity leave and whilst I was on leave my employer advertised my job and employed someone else. (I applied, was interviewed but didn't get the job)

At that time I had a number of discussions with the BMA (my union I had continuous membership from when I was Dr) and have found an email from 2010 from the BMA that clearly states I don't have to repay my maternity pay

In 2011/12 the trust emailed me asking me to pay back my maternity pay there were a few emails back and forth which ended when I pointed out which paragraphs of the Whitley regs and consultants T&Cs stated just that.

I never received any reply to that email so assumed they were just feeling 'bitter at being wrong' so to speak

Sometime since someone at the trust decided to restart this via snail mail.

I do not have these letters and will not be able to get them, they used a very old physical address they would have had which belongs to a confused elderly family member.

Despite replying to every email, when I didn't reply to these letters (because I never received them) they didn't email me they seem to have just escalated the threats. From discussions I do not think there are a lot of letters ie I think this restarted relatively recently.

The other day elderly family member received a court summons for Wandsworth county court for the maternity pay plus interest at 8% a year

I have contacted the BMA who have said they wont help because I am no longer a member (I am no longer a Dr!!)

What is your advice to me?

I live overseas so dealing with this is difficult

My final thoughts are am I being harrassed? Can I claim compensation for this? Can I claim costs?

I'm fine with flying to the UK & instructing a solicitor to write and tell them what I told them 8 years ago but this is going to cost me thousands.

If the NHS wants to spend its money in such a way who wouldn't like an all expenses paid holiday back home thanks to the taxpayer but it would be incredibly inconvenient. Is this what I need to do?

Please ignore the typos I am absolutely distraught by this and it has reawakened all the old hurt.

Thanks

deendon Wed 05-Feb-20 21:52:15

How do we message our name/employer?

I've PM'd the maternity action poster in orange on this thread but kay and cold cottage and the others must have known where to send their details.

Thanks

Sugarbeaches Thu 06-Feb-20 09:43:31

Hello,

I was looking for some advice as I am struggling to find this online or through my school.

I am about to start maternity leave in early March. I have applied and been accepted to mark for Edexcel for the summer GCSE exams. This is encouraged by my school as professional development. I have checked the contract and in the terms and conditions it states that I am undertaking the work on a contracted basis and I am self employed. Edexcel however will be paying PAYE tax for me on this one off sum I should receive in September.

I have checked in regards to Maternity pay and it does state that self employed work can be undertaken without losing my maternity, however I am unsure as to where I stand because of the PAYE situation.

Would you be able to advise at all?

Thanks

Cchka Thu 06-Feb-20 10:56:01

I'm self-employed and pregnant and entitled to maternity allowance (this has been confirmed in a letter from jobcentre plus). My wife is full-time employed and entitled to shared parental leave, which I plan to create by curtailing my maternity allowance after 31 weeks to return to work. My wife plans to take the shared parental leave in three small chunks of 2-3 weeks.

I have two questions:

1) given that I won't have received all 39 weeks of maternity allowance - having created 8 weeks of shared parental pay for my wife - is she entitled to have all of the discontinuous chunks of shared parental leave paid from that 8 week allowance? Even if the periods of shared parental leave overlap with my time on maternity allowance in some cases or are after I have returned to work as self-employed in other cases?

(The initial period of shared leave will be while I'm still on maternity allowance, but I plan to go back to work in November, say, and my wife would like to take some parental leave in February. All shared parental leave period will be before the child's first birthday)

2) My wife's company seems to want me to curtail my maternity allowance in advance (i.e.before I've sent in the form to start the payments!), in order to create the shared leave for her. Is this even possible?

Many many thanks in advance for your response.

MaternityAction Thu 06-Feb-20 11:01:26
Dear Nichola1010,


Thank you for your question. Based on the information you have provided, this is my response:


Having been on maternity leave you are entitled in law to return after Ordinary Maternity Leave (26 weeks) to the job you are on leave from, with your seniority, pension rights and other rights as they would have been if you had not been on leave and on terms and conditions no less favourable than those which would have applied if you had not been on leave. This doesn’t apply if your role has become redundant during your Ordinary Maternity Leave, in which case you must be offered any suitable alternative role on terms and conditions which are not substantially less favourable to you or if there is none, must be paid your entitlements on redundancy whether contractual or statutory (notice pay, redundancy pay, pay for holiday accrued but not taken).


If you are taking Additional Maternity Leave (anything between 26-52 weeks), you are entitled to the same as above UNLESS reinstatement in your old job is “not reasonably practicable” for a reason other than redundancy (in which case you have the same rights as above). In this case the employer must offer you another job which is both suitable for you and appropriate for you in the circumstances. What is suitable and appropriate will depend to a large extent on exactly what you were doing prior to your maternity leave, and is not limited by your job title or job description.


It is not clear to me what, if any, discussions you have had with your employer to date or whether it is saying your job is redundant or has changed. If they are saying you can return to your old job then the fact there have been changes to the business would not be sufficient for you to avoid repaying the enhanced maternity pay if you decide not to go back.


If they are saying you can return to your old job and you do not agree that the job is still the same, you will have to have discussions with them about that which will include them giving you sufficient information to properly assess the changes (which should, in any case, have been communicated to you while you have been off). If they are saying your old job has gone then they will either need to say your old role is redundant and offer you a new one, or if you will be returning from AML that it is not reasonably practicable for you to return to your old job because of the changes, and offer you something suitable and appropriate. If they offer you a suitable alternative it would also be difficult to avoid repaying the enhanced maternity pay.


If they accept there is no suitable job for you to return to, I expect the maternity pay policy would say that you would not need to repay the enhancement.


Therefore whether or not you have any grounds to resist paying back your enhanced maternity pay depends very much on what you are being offered on your return.


I would suggest that you:


Try to get as much information from HR/your line manager about their proposal for the role you will return to;

Either directly contact or ask HR to put you in contact with colleagues who have gone through the restructure to get their perspective on the changes and the job you would be returning to;

Try to negotiate the best role available if you do decide to return even if it’s only for long enough to avoid repaying the enhanced pay;

If you are adamant you do not want to return, try to negotiate a settlement with the Company on the basis that your employment ends by mutual agreement with them paying you notice and holiday pay and agreeing not to recover the enhancement from you, in return for you not bringing any claims against them relating to possible pregnancy discrimination or automatic unfair dismissal resulting from unreasonable changes to your role whilst you were off.


If you end up having to repay the enhancement, a reasonable employer should be prepared to negotiate payment in instalments.


In respect of the amount you would have to repay, I consider this should be the net amount. If there will be any outstanding payments owed to you on termination (such as accrued holiday pay) then it may be possible for the employer to make adjustments for the tax paid on the enhanced amount against that final payment.


I hope that is helpful. If you need any further information there are additional resources here: maternityaction.org.uk/where-to-go-for-more-help/

Nichola1010

I am currently on maternity leave, during this time the company I work for has been sold and has undergone a massive restructure of people and strategy to the point I do not recognise it as the company I left and do not want to return work there. My role would have to be vastly different if I returned because of the changes. I know they will have to offer me a role with like pay and benefits etc upon my return but where do I stand if the role I’m offered isn’t suitable?Resignation is a problem because I am in receipt of enhanced maternity pay for a proportion of my leave. The company policy states that if I do not return to work for ‘x’ weeks I will need to pay back the enhanced element (which I cannot afford). Do I have any grounds to fight this given the changes that have taken place?

I also wondered in the event that I am made to pay back the enhanced maternity pay would I have to pay back the gross figure including any tax that has been deducted? Obviously I am not in receipt of the tax so do not have it to pay back.

Any advice or guidance would be appreciated. Thank you

popsjd24 Thu 06-Feb-20 12:00:27

Hello!

I work for a small business and will be the first person to go on maternity leave in April.

I have a very beneficial maternity leave policy, however I wanted to query the legalities or should I decide not to return after my maternity leave has ended.

I have read on the Maternity Action site that you need to be told how long you must to return to work for before you'd be responsible for repaying any contractual maternity pay.

https://maternityaction.org.uk/advice/resigning-from-your-job-during-pregnancy-and-maternity-leave/

Can I just confirm that if it doesn't state anywhere in my contract or company handbook before I leave for maternity that I would have to return for a set period without needing to repay the difference between my contractual and statutory maternity pay, then I would not be responsible for repaying this amount?
Eg. I could hand in my notice before my maternity leave ends and I would not have to repay anything - unless I am told before my mat leave commences.

Hopefully that makes sense - I just want to be as best prepared for every eventuality before heading off later this month!

Thank you.

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