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Treatment of Bank Holidays whilst on maternity leave

(58 Posts)
Mon7 Wed 29-Apr-09 22:16:34

How should an employer treat bank holidays for an employee who is on maternity leave?

Donnakr76 Sat 24-Jan-15 21:14:50

Please help my maternity ran out on 9 January 15 after 39 weeks paid leave smp my employer has told me I have to take all my holidays also and that I am due back on 9 February 15 that's only 20 days when my job states my holiday entitlement is 28 day 8 are bank holidays I have stated this to my boss who said no it's 20 days I work 5 days a week and have asked for hr to explain why I not getting the 8 bh days then and I am waiting for a reply my question is am I right in expecting 28 days thank you

jodi3007 Mon 14-Apr-14 16:09:45

If I am currently on maternity leave will I receive my maternity pay plus Easter bank holidays paid on top

Yearofthecat Mon 21-Oct-13 13:57:46

However, under employment law, no employee has the automatic right to carry over holiday from one "holiday year" to the next. So, on the face of it, employees who takes a full year's maternity leave, will only have limited carrying over rights when they return because they will certainly return in a different "holiday year" from the one in which they started maternity leave. The amount of carry over will depend upon how the "holiday year" falls compared with maternity leave period.

But there's another twist regarding carrying over holiday. Every employee is meant to have actually taken 20 days in any one year (irrespective of their entitlement). He law requires this. This means that it can be argued that being on maternity leave has deprived the employee of the right to take this 20 days and therefore maternity leave law will kick in and give the person the right to those 20 after she returns.

But this may not help with bank holidays, I am afraid, unless the employee starts and returns within one "holiday year". Once the "holiday year" is up - it's too late.

Cazm2 Tue 07-Feb-12 14:50:20

hi all i am having terrible trouble with my HR at public sector i work in. i asked about bank holidays and was told that they were looking into rectifying the situation as they understood that people with less thatn 28 days holiday are entitled to them, they then replied with this from our maternity policy.

""Annual leave will continue to accrue during maternity leave. Outstanding annual leave can be taken after maternity leave, even if a new leave year has started. Entitlement to statutory and concessionary days is dependent upon being at work at the appropriate times i.e. if the police officer or police staff member is on maternity leave when statutory and concessionary days fall she is not entitled to additional days off instead. If the police officer or police staff member does not return to work following maternity leave, she will be paid any accrued annual leave for the current year"""

my understanding is that they are not allowed to do this and i have returned my comments stating so. i am usually entitled to 24 days plus bank holidays according to my contract.

am i right? i am so fed up with fighting everything with my HR dept!

sheepydonna Tue 17-Jan-12 15:21:23

Hi am about to go on mat leave just to add my experience you are entitled to continuation of all contractual t&cs whilst on mat leave - ie if you usually get BHs off and paid then you get them added to your AL!!!! My HR just confirmed the same also I am allowed to take them in advance of mat leave to so I am off early yipee! Seems ike some employers cant understand the information on the .gov website and are interpreting it to their own gain ;-(

RootGinger Sun 29-May-11 03:20:26

I thought I'd answer one of the questions here that you seem to have. As a shift worker I'm often scheduled off on bank holidays. I get these holidays credited to my leave. The reason for this is because I cannot be off shift and on bank holiday too. I'm already off so I can't be off work twice. The same applies to maternity leave. You can't be on maternity leave and on bank holiday at the same time (the same as you can't be on maternity leave and on annual leave) but you are still legally entitled to your bank holidays off. Therefore they have to be credited or paid. Hope that clears one part of this up.

EdwardorEricCantDecide Wed 18-May-11 07:34:39

my understanding is that because everyone else in your company will have got the day off paid, and you would have had that day off paid regardless of wether it was BH or not u should still get it.

Sorry don't think that reads well.

I was off on mat leave with DS from march 09 to jan 10 and got 8bank hols plus full annual holiday when I returned.


looloo1313 Tue 17-May-11 22:19:40

I started maternity leave in Dec 10 and will be returning to work in June 11. I work in local government and my HR department have told me that I'm not to add any bank holidays (that have taken place since Dec 10) on to my annual leave allowance. Their reasoning was that I've been paid for the bank holidays and to add them to my annual leave would effectively be receiving the benefit twice - is this correct? Any advice would be much appreciated, Thanks

Mibby Tue 10-May-11 22:15:26

Just marking my place on this very useful thread as Im debating this with my HR at the min

Plc19 Thu 05-May-11 12:55:16

I am currently on mat leave, since end of Sept last year and have handed in my notice. Two things I am unclear on:

My company say that they aren't paying me smp for the notice month as I have 'exceeded my allowance' due to a tax rebate I had in Jan. Is this possible?

Also my employment contract says I get 25 days holiday entitlement plus additional bank/public holidays. In terms of my final hol pay my company says they will pay accrued days Jan-May this year but not the bank hold that have fallen in this period.

Advice appreciated. Thanks.

Bixie Fri 03-Dec-10 21:38:47

Pregnatron, IF you were full time before you went off on maternity leave then you were entitled to the full years annual leave worth... Your annual leave entitlement will only go down when you apply for the part time position.
Also, some companies do entitle you paid leave to look after a sick child; there should be policies for this regardless of how new a company it is... You are also entitled to accrue bank holidays for the entirety of your maternity leave too... This is a relatively new section of law (think it was passed in 2008 or 2009?) I'd speak to CAB if i were you, if you have no personnel or anything?
I really would try and see if i could get some form of contract in writing tho as they'll just take the piss otherwise...
I work in a male dominated environment and my employer has over 30000 employees... (Have a guess!) yet females are still treated badly when it comes to maternity and flexible working issues; even though they are constantly winning 'family friendly employer awards' Hmmmmmmmmm...

lal123 Tue 02-Nov-10 19:31:52

No - you are not entitled to paid leave to look after a sick child - you are entitled to unpaid leave though - and you may have more rights contractually.

Re annual leave - you're entitled to 3/5 of full time, so 15 days

Back to the public hol question - I've just returned to work after a year off and have been told that I am not entitled to public hols as I am only entitled to take them as they fall. I'm not arguing as it doesn't look as though I'll be able to use all the AL I've accrued.

Pregnatron Tue 02-Nov-10 16:03:18

Need some advice please - I'll set the scene first:

Have been back a work a month now and have quite a hectic job. I work with all men, there's only 7 of us & they weren't very welcoming when I returned, my baby didn't even get mentioned (didn't even get a card... not loosing sleep over it but you get the gist). Perhaps they're not keen on me you might think but we were all friends before i left for ML in Dec. Anyway, my baby's at nursery part time & has been poorly twice, so I had a day off, of which I came in on my day off that week (thanks to Gran offering to take the little one). And I had yesterday off (we were both struck with a sickness bug), so I called my boss Bob (I have 2 bosses, the other (Dick) was also off sick with the same bug yesterday) & informed Bob that I would come in on my day off (Fri) as my mum was available to babysit again. The other boss (Dick) just pulled me to one side (after he returned to work 3 hours late as he was still feeling dodgy after his day off sick!) & said that I had to make the time up from yesterday. I told him I had already made arrangements & had told Bob. He knows I'm not work shy, I have a director position but like I said to him, my mums not going to be able to babysit all the time, if I have to take time off I'm entitled as a parent aren't I?!

So, to get to my question (sorry-writing this whilst fuming is taking me right off point - apologies for the v longwinded rant folks) but am I entitled to paid leave for looking after my baby if sick? (We don't have any policies as the business is young - I don't even have a contract).

The next topic that arose from my "chat" with the boss was holidays & he said it was unlikely I'll have much time due as I'm now part time. Can anyone advise on what I should be entitled to if I work 3 days a week & I normally (full time) would be allowed 25 days paid leave? (I had 8 months ML)

Not expecting a mass of responses as I doubt anyone will have had time to read my post but just in case you do.... THANK YOU!

carrielou2007 Thu 19-Nov-09 15:28:14

They are still saying I will not get childcare vouchers and need to contact BusyBees to cancel them whilst I am off. Busybees of course have nothing to do with this and as my dd starts playgroup whilst I am off and they take the vouchers I want to pay with them and then build up the rest as a 'store' to help pay for 2 dc when I return to work.

They are also disputing the BH, I get 30 days due to extra from length of service (pro-rata for part time) and I have said I know I will only get the stat min whilst I am off 28 days and they are saying no you get 20 and no BH.

I have sent them all the links but still I am getting no I am the one who has gotten it wrong sad

mamayaya Wed 18-Nov-09 22:02:34

What, they are disputing childcare vouchers?? Childcare vouchers actually present a saving opportunity for the employer as the cost of entering the scheme is less than the NI saving they make.

Carrielou you need to maybe do a formal letter to them ?? How are they disputing it / why?

carrielou2007 Tue 17-Nov-09 12:01:56

I know flowery is off just having had her gorgous baby grin my employers are still saying I will not get the BH despite me sending them all the info from above link, same with childcare vouchers. I have printed everything off for them including the hmrc direct links which state this is the law but still they are disputing this sad. I only have 3 weeks before I go on mat leave any other sugestions for how I can make myself understood to them??

america Thu 05-Nov-09 06:10:50

Thank you for this. My company just agreed to pay me those five bankholiday days occured during maternity leave.

carrielou2007 Tue 27-Oct-09 21:56:28

I've just read through the whole of this thread and can I ask a few things??

When I go on mat leave this time I am taking 2 months AML - does this mean that I will acrue holiday during all of this time now rather than just OML??

I work 3 days per week now so get BH I think it is 6 per year, nothing was ever said about them when I took ML last time, so should I be expecting to have my 6 weeks of holiday plus Easter x 2, may day, whitsun and aug BH tagged on?? I could take 3 weeks at a time and come back to work 3 weeks later and get paid fot it!!!

This is very exciting!!!

nickyboo Mon 26-Oct-09 14:03:13

Hi all,

Just to let you know that after complaining and asking for confirmation of the legal basis on which they were relying on to deny payment for bank holidays, my company have got in touch and advised that they are changing their maternity policy on this and I will get payment or days in lieu (whichever I want) for all bank holidays that fall during the period of my maternity leave after all !

So it may be worth persuing the fight !


southlundon Wed 14-Oct-09 09:46:47


My office were also not going to pay or accrue the bank holidays (plus an additional company day they give all employees) so I sent them the following:

"I have been told that I was not entitled to accrue bank holidays (and the X Company day?) during maternity leave, but I am not sure why this is the case.
The Direct Gov website states "If your baby was due on or after 5 October 2008, you keep your normal employment rights and benefits (apart from wages) throughout your Ordinary and Additional Maternity Leave". It also specifies "If your baby was due on or after 5 October 2008 you will build up all your entitlements to paid holiday throughout your Ordinary and Additional Maternity leave. This is even if your contract says you are entitled to more than the statutory minimum." maternityrights/DG_175088

As X Company's own Annual Leave policy states "Employees 25 days... All X Company employees are entitled to the above allowance of paid annual leave in addition to the agreed national holidays of their resident country" and "Employees are also entitled to take 1 days’ additional leave known as The X Company Day" so I can't see why the guidance above wouldn't apply."

I also called the Equalities and Human Rights Commission helpline and they advised me that I was a victim of direct sexual discrimination under the 1975 Sex Discrimination Act because I had "suffered a detriment that but for being on maternity leave would not have arisen" (their words). Luckily I didn't have to go down that route but again you may need the information.

After a few days pondering they have given me the days - 9 in total. I'd rather have had the pay but I'm not going to moan about it now!

Hope this helps and good luck.

Snowfalls108 Wed 09-Sep-09 16:19:46

I just raised this with my HR department - who were very unclear and reluctant to agree about the bank holidays. However once I sent them to the direct gov page that was linked to earlier and specifically the part that says:
"If your baby was due on or after 5 October 2008 you will build up all your entitlements to paid holiday throughout your Ordinary and Additional Maternity leave. This is even if your contract says you are entitled to more than the statutory minimum"
they have now agreed that I will get the bank holidays as well.

nickyboo Fri 04-Sep-09 15:53:38

I agree this is very confusing and needs a test case ! My company are not paying or allowing me to accrue any bank holidays that fall while I am on maternity leave.

I'm not sure whether this is correct or not ?

I've had a look at my contract and it states
"Your holiday entitlement is 30 days in each holiday year. In addition, you are entitled to Public Holidays plus 2 extra days nominated by the Company in the Christmas/New Year period. During all holidays you are entitled to your normal rate of pay".

Basically , what they are allowing me to accrue/be paid for is the annual leave entitlement of 30 days plus the 2 days at Xmas, but not the public holidays. However, I don't see how these days differ from public holidays in terms of the wording in the contract ?

Sorry for rambling... don't know whether to push the issue,as I do plan to return to work here- however 8 extra days paid is quite a lot and not to be sniffed at.

Anyone had any joy in fighting their cornor on this ?

Thanks !

Nubbin Wed 08-Jul-09 16:19:00

This is a bit of an unclear area - needs a test case! As an employment lawyer I would advise:

It depends on the right in your contract.

All employees have the right to have 28 days leave a year (statutory minimum).

So if:

Your contract says 28 days a year (including bank holidays) - you will accrue 28 days during 12 months of maternity leave (pro rate for short periods).

Your contract says 35 days leave per year - you will accrue 35 days during 12 months of materinty leave.

Your contract says 28 days leave plus bank/public holidays - you will accrue 28 days. The right in your contract is to take a bank holiday off NOT a day of annual leave.

Your contract says 25 days plus bank holidays - you will accrue 28 days because of the statutory minimum.

There may also be provisions on carry over of holiday from one year to the next. Currently the Working Time Regs say that holiday cannot be carried over (so if your leave spans a holiday year you may lose any accrued holiday). The contractual holiday (over the 28 days will depend on your contract.) There is a ECJ case out there at the moment which suggests this may not be the case but it is not clear under UK law. Equally you may have arguments if your emplyoer allows other people to take a day in lieu of a bank holiday.

Public sector contracts (and employment policies) tend to be more generous on this type of entitlement. If you post the contractual wording I'll let you have my view on whether to take advice but the advie your HR received is largely correct if confusingly phrased.

If you are looking for places to back you up on the internet HR will be able to find comparable sources which state the opposite.

thehairybabysmum Wed 08-Jul-09 15:56:57

True Flowery...hadnt thought of it like that.

Ive no legal idea, it was just a thought that occurred to me.

flowerybeanbag Wed 08-Jul-09 14:36:18

You could apply the same argument to normal annual leave though thehairybabysmum. Maternity leave is something different to paid leave.

If you could say by being on maternity leave and receiving SMP on a day that would normally be taken as a bank holiday the woman has received the benefit of that particular paid day off, you could also argue she's had all her contractual holiday as well. Following that argument the woman was on 'leave' and was receiving some 'pay' for more than 28 days days which she would normally take off during that time as annual leave.

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