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Enhanced maternity pay - very woolly policy - can they make me pay it back if I don't return?

(10 Posts)
dirtmonkey Thu 21-Aug-08 10:39:17

This is the para "You do not have a contractual right to receive the above discretionary maternity pay, and the company reserves the right to amend or modify the scheme (including the level of pay and eligibility requirements) or to suspend or terminate the scheme if future conditions, in the opinion of the company, so require." So does this mean that if at the end of my AML I decide not to return they can say "oh by the way, we changed the policy last week and you have to pay back that 6 weeks discretionary maternity pay we gave you"...

Don't want to mention this to HR as I don't want them to think that I am already planning not to return.


LazyLinePainterJane Thu 21-Aug-08 10:45:21

I don't know, but I do know that they cannot just say "we changed the policy last week", all contract and policy changes would have to be notified to you in advance in writing. As to whether they can change it, someone knows better than i....

flowerybeanbag Thu 21-Aug-08 12:03:40

No, you must be notified in advance if you will be required to pay it back.

dirtmonkey Thu 21-Aug-08 12:36:14

Thank you both for replying. I feel more relaxed now. I need to have everything straight in my head before I can be happy. One more thing to tick off on my list of things to worry about...

lou031205 Thu 21-Aug-08 12:50:28

No, the way I read that, is that just because they have provided you a written summary of the package they offer, does not mean that it forms part of your contract, and that they can withdraw their generosity at some point in the future. I believe that if you are already pregnant, then they have to honour the package they have offered. They could only change it if they notified you before you fell pregnant.

ilovemydog Thu 21-Aug-08 12:55:32

Wow - that's worded very badly. Does discretionary maternity pay mean statutory maternity pay?

But they cannot retrospectively enforce a contractual term.

bit ambiguous though? hmm

priceyp Thu 21-Aug-08 18:37:11

It doesn't refer to the statutory maternity pay, it is refering to the discretionary additional salary paid to the employee. Employers are not obliged to give their employees enhanced packages and they are entitled to withdraw them in the future. The second part just means that if the balance sheet couldn't allow it, I would imagine that they probably confer annual bonuses with the same proviso. But as already said here they would have to notify all employees in writing of any change of T&C.

ilovemydog Thu 21-Aug-08 19:16:13

but the term used was, 'not entitled to above discretionary maternity pay' which means above statutory maternity pay?

what happened to the 'Clear English' campaign?

priceyp Thu 21-Aug-08 20:15:40

I know, I sometimes think that contracts are deliberately difficult to understand so that employees don't feel that they can question it. Without seeing the whole thing it's hard to comment. Any luck with the CV?

ilovemydog Thu 21-Aug-08 21:12:58

pricep - am overwhelmed at doing it from scratch and have tried in vain to retrieve it from old computer.... And am somewhat annoyed that it's been sprung on me. Am being interviewed *by panel* on Tuesday and they want my CV for Monday...

Thanks for the headings - gives me a bit of a head start...

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