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Maternity Leave Policy (sorry long, trying to be factual)

(12 Posts)
poorbuthappy Tue 23-Sep-08 14:04:33

I have posted on here previously about my company's mat leave policy but now have a different question:

Originally I was going to return to work, that was until I found out that nursery had been under charging me by £100 per month for the last 8 months, so my increased childcare costs for the twins would be £300 extra a month on top of the expected cost. This means childcare costs are only just lower than take home...

In the meantime I have read through my policy again as most people are saying that I should tell them I am returning to work and then change my mind next year which to be honest I am uncomfortable with doing.

But the policy states that you can only have your 8 weeks at full pay if you "wish to return to work" - but never states that you will have to pay it back if you don't return in so many words...

Also we have a profit related pay scheme in this year, in the memo it states: "pay a profit related bonus to its staff employed for the financial year Apr 08 to Mar 09".

Maternity leave is starting in Nov 08 was I was going back to work Sept 09...
If I declare I'm not going back am I still technically employed by them until the end of maternity leave?

Apologies if there was a shorter way to answer this question...pregnancy brain today

EffiePerine Tue 23-Sep-08 14:07:10

I don't think bonuses and pay rises apply during mat leave (they don;t here)

You may find you have to pay back any additional maternity leave (AML) if you don't return

BUT I would say leave it for now. You don't have to make a decision yet and your financial position may be different in 6 or 8 months time.

2cats2many Tue 23-Sep-08 14:19:35

Pay rises should apply during maternity leave- you are still an employee while you are on leave and you should get any increments. Not sure about bonuses...

You don't have to pay back any statutory maternity leave if you don't return, but you may have to pay back any additional maternity pay that your compamy gives you.

poorbuthappy Tue 23-Sep-08 14:32:49

So am I still technically employed whilst on maternity leave if I am not returning to work?

flowerybeanbag Tue 23-Sep-08 14:37:38

Unless and until you resign you are still employed. Unless and until you inform them in writing, they must assume you are returning to work one year after you started maternity leave. So they should be expecting you back in November 2009. If you don't want to return to work you will need to resign giving your normal notice period. If you want to come back earlier than that you will need to notify them in writing.

Don't resign earlier than you have to. You are now entitled to benefits including holiday for the duration of your maternity leave. So you will continue to accrue holiday at normal rate for the year you are off, then, as you will be leaving employment, they will be able to (have to) pay you in lieu of holiday pay. That's quite a chunk of money potentially, and not worth risking over giving them extra notice of your intentions.

In terms of bonus, this sounds like a contractual bonus, which counts as 'pay' which you are not entitled to receive during maternity leave. However they must pay you a proportionate amount relating to the part of the year in question you were working and must also include compulsory maternity leave in that calculation (2 weeks unless a factory, in which case 4 weeks). They would normally have things like part time workers, people only employed part of the year etc covered in the terms and conditions of the bonus scheme so do check.

It is fine for an employer to claim back enhanced maternity pay from women who decide not to come back to work but they must make that absolutely clear beforehand. Normally the conditions would be that you must return to work for something like 3 months otherwise the enhanced part will be claimed back. If it doesn't say that, they can't suddenly decide after the event to claim it back.
It sounds like whoever drafted their maternity policy is a bit dappy tbh if the intention is to claim it back, which it sounds as though it might be. Even if they maintained that it was clear they intended to claim it back if you didn't return to work, they certainly haven't specified how long you have to return to work, so if it came to it you could just go back for a day which would be more hassle than it's worth for them.

So you can assume as long as you maintain that you are planning to go back, which you should anyway, they will not later be able to claim back the extra pay.

poorbuthappy Tue 23-Sep-08 14:51:44

Flowery - thank you for that...grin

They have already confirmed that I will get paid the bonus in April ...and there is nothing to say that they can claim that back...

And again since the enhanced maternity pay isn't actually that much I think I will run the risk and fight them if/when it happens...

Dappy is such a good word for the person concerned... wink

flowerybeanbag Tue 23-Sep-08 14:54:04


I have outstanding dappiness radar...grin

poorbuthappy Tue 23-Sep-08 15:09:24

Yes you the way do you have openings for admin support working from home a few hours a week starting next September!!!!!!! wink

flowerybeanbag Tue 23-Sep-08 15:12:28

Depends. Not for dappy people, no. grin

For non-dappy people, it's always possible...

lou031205 Tue 23-Sep-08 15:32:21

poor, you could always just try and save the extra, you are talking about 2 weeks full pay - smp, and 1 week of 10% of full pay.

poorbuthappy Tue 23-Sep-08 16:00:09

Flowery - been called many things during my working life and dappy is not one of them!!!!!!

Lou - yes, its not a huge amount of money, but as I am now going to be leaving full time work I am trying to stretch the "saved for maternity leave money" further and further...every little helps!

jackoli Fri 24-Oct-08 21:54:43

hello i wonder if someone can help. I have just had twins and agreed with my boss that i would return to work on a part time basis. I have worked for him for 10 years but he has now said because of the credit crunch there is now part time job available. Do I have the right to change my mind and return on a full time basis. He says the area is a grey one?

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