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Question about Maternity Leave and Annual Leave - can anyone help? A bit long sorry...

(13 Posts)
RhinestoneCowgirl Tue 16-Sep-08 18:54:59

I'm 6 months pg with DC2, due in December. I had verbally informed HR about my pregnancy at around 16 weeks and they told me to put it in writing to my line manager. I've done this (before the deadline of 24 weeks) and given them my MAT B1 form.

There seems to be a slight sticking point though, as I have asked for 8 days (equiv to 4 weeks for me as part time) of annual leave to be tacked on to the front of maternity leave, so that I will start mat leave at 35 weeks, but actually stop work 4 weeks before that.

My line manager signed off my leave form last week and I had an email from HR saying that they had updated the central record and were dealing with my mat leave request. However, I have today had an email from HR to say that there is a problem as I want to take all my leave before the end of the leave year, and there is an issue of how it is accrued. But as far as I know, annual leave is accrued in exactly the same way when on ML as during normal employment? And I wouldn't be physically able to take my annual leave at any other point during maternity leave, as I will be.... on maternity leave hmm.

Sorry if this is rambly, can anyone shed any light?

EyeballsintheSky Tue 16-Sep-08 18:59:54

I think you only accrue a percentage of your leave but it is the majority of it. How about tacking it onto the end and starting mat leave at 31 weeks if they're being arsey?

Sam100 Tue 16-Sep-08 19:01:04

You are quite right that you accrue annual leave whilst on maternity leave - but whether you can take the leave before it has accrued depends on your company's policies. If you were not pregnant would you be allowed to take the leave before you had "earned" it or can you only take leave that has already accrued? If the answer is that you can take it in advance of accruing then you are right and your company should allow you to take the leave before you go on maternity leave - if other employees would not be allowed to take more holiday than they had accrued to date then your company could technically be right - but as you say you are entitled to your holiday so they would either have to let you tack it onto the end of your maternity leave (at your normal pay) or pay it up.

I will hasten to add that I am not an HR person - just someone who has been on maternity leave a few times with a couple of different companies!!!

Cloudhopper Tue 16-Sep-08 19:01:31

was thinking the same as eyeball. sympathies - it sounds like they are being jobsworthy...

Sam100 Tue 16-Sep-08 19:02:05

You are quite right that you accrue annual leave whilst on maternity leave - but whether you can take the leave before it has accrued depends on your company's policies. If you were not pregnant would you be allowed to take the leave before you had "earned" it or can you only take leave that has already accrued? If the answer is that you can take it in advance of accruing then you are right and your company should allow you to take the leave before you go on maternity leave - if other employees would not be allowed to take more holiday than they had accrued to date then your company could technically be right - but as you say you are entitled to your holiday so they would either have to let you tack it onto the end of your maternity leave (at your normal pay) or pay it up.

I will hasten to add that I am not an HR person - just someone who has been on maternity leave a few times with a couple of different companies!!!

RhinestoneCowgirl Tue 16-Sep-08 19:17:46

Thanks for your replies all - I suppose the thing I'm a bit ticked off about is because I did a similar thing with my last mat leave (different employer tho) and it wasn't even questioned, thought it was a fairly standard thing to do. Also my line manager is happy with it and has already signed off my annual leave.

I tried thinking about it in a 'what if I wasn't pg perspective' and I suppose it would be as if I said that I wanted a chunk of leave to go travelling. I suppose if I left before the end of the year I would then have to pay back the leave if I hadn't accrued enough?

flowerybeanbag Tue 16-Sep-08 19:27:45

When on maternity leave you now accrue leave exactly as if you were still there. SO for most people that means they have an awful lot of holiday to take, and they must be given every opportunity to take it.

I would always encourage people to take as much as possible before they go on maternity leave because you won't be able to carry over much of it to the next holiday year, so should make sure you take as much as possible before you go.

HR are being daft. Work out how many days you will accrue during maternity leave, add to that any you've got outstanding at the moment, and ask this HR person when you should take it if they won't let you take it now.

RhinestoneCowgirl Tue 16-Sep-08 19:50:19

Thanks for clarifying that flowerybeanbag - I thought it was the case. I have a feeling that I can only transfer a limited amount of AL to the next year, so would be in a 'use it or lose it' situation.

I think I will ask my line manager to deal directly with HR lady, as he has already agreed my annual leave. I work for a small charity, and they are not the best at procedure...

flowerybeanbag Tue 16-Sep-08 19:52:10

Definitely do that. Absolutely right and normal to only allow very limited amount to be carried over, which means that a pregnant woman wanting to take a chunk before maternity leave should be encouraged!

Get your manager to sort it out, should be no problem.

naturalblonde Tue 16-Sep-08 20:02:36

I'm pretty sure that AL is accrued during mat leave, but cannot be taken or paid during mat leave, so must be taken before (or after if your company will let you, they don't have to though).

So if you work 2 days per week, you are entitled to take the extra 8 days before you actually start mat leave. (Or if you're in charge of payroll like me, you can fiddle it so you get paid extra for leave you haven't taken.smile )

RibenaBerry Tue 16-Sep-08 20:03:10

What Flowery said!

Unless you have been with your employer less than a year, if they get sticky, it may also be worth pointing out that your employer is not allowed to operate a 'you can't use it until you've accrued it' rule. Regulation 15A of the Working Time Regulations makes it clear that you are only allowed to do this during the first year of employment.

On a more common sense basis, even if you are in your first year they are not meant to prevent you from taking your holiday, which is what they are doing if you aren't allowed to take it at the start and aren't allowed to carry over.

RhinestoneCowgirl Tue 16-Sep-08 20:35:43

Thanks for the reassurance Ribena & flowery

I started on 1 July last year, so well over a year's service with them now. I'm sure my boss will be able to sort this out, just hate having to think about things like this when I'm a bit fat and hormonal. wink

ceebee74 Tue 16-Sep-08 21:13:30

Rhinestone - seems as if you have got an answer now.

If they are still digging their heels in, then tell them you will have to start taking it now to make sure you don't lose it - and go down to 1 day a week until you have used it all up wink.

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