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Annual leave accrued on mat leave - can't be "carried over"?

(25 Posts)
Hadeda Fri 29-May-09 10:44:16

I wondered if any HR/legal bod could point me in the direction of info on annual leave accrued while on maternity leave?

A friend of mine is on maternity leave and has been told that she cannot take the annual leave accrued during maternity leave at the end of her maternity leave because the company has a policy that leave cannot be carried over from year to year. I'm no expert, but that seems odd to me as you cannot take the annual leave while you are on maternity leave, so effectively she loses the annual leave. She wants to take 12 months maternity leave, and then the accrued annual leave.
My company allowed me to take my accrued annual leave at the end of my maternity leave, but I went back before the 12 months was up - which perhaps makes a difference?

Thanks very much for any help anyone can give.

LeninGrad Fri 29-May-09 10:48:10

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LeninGrad Fri 29-May-09 10:50:11

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mrsjammi Fri 29-May-09 10:52:59

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RustyBear Fri 29-May-09 10:54:27

Is this the link you meant to post there Lenin?

mrsjammi Fri 29-May-09 11:01:39

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LovelyTinOfSpam Fri 29-May-09 11:05:08

It is usual with many employers to lose leave accrued while off on mat leave, if you tick over into the next holiday year.

They ought to let you take it up front though.

mrsjammi Fri 29-May-09 11:09:14

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mrsjammi Fri 29-May-09 11:09:33

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LeninGrad Fri 29-May-09 11:40:31

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LeninGrad Fri 29-May-09 11:44:27

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LeninGrad Fri 29-May-09 11:45:07

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Hadeda Fri 29-May-09 11:50:25

Thanks very much for the link - and the prompt responses!

It looks like the issue is that she will cross the statutory leave year and that's why they've said it can't be carried over. But if she wasn't told to take the holiday up front then, if it was me, I'd argue it with my company because they have effectively snaffled her out of the leave by not giving her the chance to take it at the start of maternity leave.

Am I correct in saying, though, that if the company allows you to carry over contractual leave then she could do that with contractual leave accrued during maternity leave?

lal123 Fri 29-May-09 12:00:23

All this re not being able to carryforward leave might be ablout to change though as a recent european case has stated that people unable to take accrued leave because of sickness absence are entitled to carry forward up to 24 days leave. I'd imagine that although this aplies to folk on sick leave it would have to apply to maty leave as well?

puddock Fri 29-May-09 12:13:29

I think your friend could try arguing that as the within-leave-year restriction was not made clear to her before she went on mat leave, she has lost out simply because of (a) not having this information, and (b) the timing of her pregnancy coinciding with the leave year - whatever the letter of the law, this seems unjust, and they might be prepared to make an exception?
FWIW, I went back to work in April having been off 10 months and was permitted to take the annual leave I'd accrued on my return despite having gone into a new leave year. I'd thought I might lose it and cursed my folly for not taking it at the beginning of my mat leave, but my boss said that it wouldn't be reasonable not to make an exception.

Hadeda Fri 29-May-09 12:18:19

LeninGrad - that's where I've got confused. I gather, from the link, that the stat leave year runs April to March. So you accrue leave for Jan, Feb, March and then lose that at the end of March as you didn't take it during the stat leave year. Then you accrue again from April - December. Or have I got it all muddled?

LeninGrad Fri 29-May-09 12:20:30

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Hadeda Fri 29-May-09 12:21:56

Sorry, am now just taking up everyone's time satisfying my curiosity, but I do love a puzzle and working out how all this links together is such a puzzle!

Puddock - that's what I'd do if it was me, so I'll suggest it to her.

cornflakegirl Fri 29-May-09 13:24:43

The annual leave section here is quite helpful. My understanding is that you're not allowed to carry forward statutory leave - it has to be taken within the year. But obviously you can't do this on mat leave. And if you forfeit it, then you've got a pretty good case for sex discrimination. So the employer is on pretty shaky ground if they don't let you use it at the end of your maternity leave.

LovelyTinOfSpam Fri 29-May-09 13:41:03

I have this at the mo and my employer has told me that if i can't take it all up front, ie I give birth before i have used all the holiday i am expected to accrue over the year, they will pay me for the difference.

They have been very good though, my last employer tried to do me out of a load of cash by claiming that you don't accrue holiday while on AML so you have to watch your step.

As for carrying it forward i think it's rules in companies and contracts which detail what happens rather than laws? A lot of companies do let you carry forward holiday with agreement of manager etc.

Final point is that it is tricky for employer - as if they give you all the holiday up front based on you taking a year off, and then you leave the employment there is no way they are going to get that money back.

So it's all a bit tricky and I think is usually worked out between individuals and HR and their policies rather than there being a standard approach IYSWIM.

cornflakegirl Fri 29-May-09 13:46:47

Lovely - technically, you're not allowed to be paid in lieu of statutory holiday (28 days a year). However, it's the employer's risk rather than the employee's (ie, you could demand the leave as well once you've been paid for it). My company may well end up paying me for my carried forward leave, as that seems to be company policy, and I really don't care enough to argue about it!

LovelyTinOfSpam Fri 29-May-09 14:04:07

Ooooh cornflake don't tell them will you wink

Must admit I thought it was dodgy when they said it, but I'm not complaining grin

lal123 Fri 29-May-09 14:16:34

this is how it will work for me. Our leave year runs from 1st April to 31st March, and I get 33 days per year. My edd is at end of October. I intend to take all of this years allowance before I start maty leave, in effect allowing my maty leave to start early. However, if my manager agreed I could cary forward 5 days into the next leave year. If I stay off til October 2010 then between October and April 2012 I'll have another 33 days to take (or 38 if I carried leave forward) - seems pretty straightforward?

mrsjammi Fri 29-May-09 16:41:48

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MaryBS Wed 03-Jun-09 11:57:56

I ended up starting my maternity one week early, due to an early birth (4 weeks early), I HAD booked holiday for that week. Work told me I would lose my holiday as I couldn't carry it over. I told them that in my eyes that amounted to discrimination, as I had intended to take the holiday, and it was only because I had given birth that I couldn't. I then got a letter entitled "without prejudice", stating they'd pay me for it instead, which is what I wanted!

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