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Resigning after maternity leave. What happens to my holiday pay?

(10 Posts)
twigsblankets Thu 23-Jul-09 12:25:35

I was due to return to work on 13th July but I have been informed by employer that I have accumulated holiday during my maternity leave, which is holiday accumulated until 31st December 2008. Employer asked if I would consider taking this holiday immediately after my maternity leave ends (11days), bringing my return to work date to 3rd August (employer has reduced days to 3/4 per week for everyone, so I assume that's how they have worked this out hmm)
I agreed with this.

Employer then said that from January 2009, I have accumulated a further 12 and half days holiday, which they prefer all staff to take before Sept 30th. I don't know how much of this holiday will be based on my new part time hours since I am now working 16 hrs a week instead of 37.5, and they would prefer me to take that holiday to run concurrently from 3rd August. I have agreed to that too.
HR are now considering my flexible working hours request and should be writing to me in the near future to let me know if I can have the flexible hrs, and what my new return to work date is. Since August, I will only be working 4 days a week at 4 hours a day, rather than 7.5hrs per day for 4 days. No one is working 5 days a week until further notice.)

If I resign, what happens?
Do I just get my holiday pay (the 12.5 days pro rata) in the next months payroll, or do I have to remain 'employed' until my holiday is finished, or do I lose the holiday.
I am also not sure if this extra 12.5 days holiday is holiday accrued up to and including 30th September, but they are letting me have it early. hmm
Obviously their holiday runs from January to Dec. My previous entitlement, up to 13th July would have been calculated at 37.5hrs per week, but the rest of the year (this year) at 16 hrs per week.
Can anyone unravel and make any sense of this. I am clueless grin

flowerybeanbag Thu 23-Jul-09 15:07:45

This is all a bit confusing! It's not clear what your hours currently are. You say you are now doing 16 hours a week, but also say that you are not back at work yet and have not had your flexible working request agreed yet either.

So assuming that's correct, unless and until you have 16 hours agreed, with a start date for those new hours, then all holiday should be based on your pre-maternity leave hours.

You don't have to remain employed until your holiday is used up, you will remain employed for the duration of your notice period. Your employer may or may not require you to take outstanding holiday during your notice period, but they can't extend your termination date. If you aren't able to use up all your holiday during your notice period, you will be paid for any outstanding holiday accrued but not taken in your final pay packet.

If you want to resign, I suggest you hand in your notice in writing as you normally would, giving a specific date as being your last date of employment, but also specifically asking for confirmation of how much holiday you will have accrued up to and including that date, and whether they are happy for you to use that holiday during your notice period and pay you for any outstanding holiday in your final salary payment.

namedchangedtwice Thu 23-Jul-09 15:10:55

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twigsblankets Thu 23-Jul-09 15:56:50

Sorry if I have confused anyone. I am rather confused myself.

I worked fulltime 37.5 hrs per week until I went on mat leave in July 08.
During my mat leave, employer has asked every employee, including me, to sign a new contract where we work 4 days a week instead of 5, so most hours that could be done would be 30 per week now.

Just before my maternity leave was finished, I went for a meeting, and it was in the meeting that I asked if I could return to work part time, doing 16hrs a week, rather than full time, and I also agreed verbally that I was happy to agree to the new working hours of a 4 day week instead of a 5 day week. (Apparently, alot of employees were told that if they didnt agree, they would be given 30 days notice)
I asked employer if I could work 9.30am to 1.30pm for the 4 days, to make up 16 hrs.

Manager said that my new contract would be sent to me via post, in writing. I have not received anything yet.

I don't think I am taking leave to reduce my working week. Everyone's days have been reduced due to the company's financial difficulties at the moment. None of the employees know if this is going to be a permanent 4 day week or not, but there was talk of reducing it to a 3 day week at one point, although I haven't heard anymore about that.
I assumed that from the moment I told them that my intention was to return only working 16 hrs a week, that employer would calculate my holiday as if I was working 16 hrs a week from that point, which would have been at the meeting, just before my maternity leave ended hmm

flowerybeanbag Thu 23-Jul-09 19:28:47

If you've only verbally agreed to 4 days a week and at the same time as giving that agreement requested a further change which has not been agreed yet, then as far as I can tell until such time as you are told when your new hours start from you are still on part time hours.

When they asked you about reducing to 4 days and you verbally agreed, was nothing mentioned about when this would take effect?

When requesting a change yourself, as you have done, you would normally be expected to say when you want the change to take effect, and in any case your employer would need to confirm the date it would take effect. It would be unusual for it to take effect before you've actually returned to work.

twigsblankets Thu 23-Jul-09 20:10:30

The employer sent a letter to all employees in June asking us to agree to reducing our week from 5 days to 3 in July, and then to 4 days per week in August, due to the financial constraints on the company and to save as many jobs as possible.
I agreed I was happy to reduce my working week from 5 days to 4 days, working 4 hrs per day. I explained that I had to work a minimum of 16 hrs a week. I explained this in my meeting in July.
I assumed blush the change would take effect from when my maternity leave ended on July 10th.

I asked my employer to consider my request for part time hrs (16hrs a week) at the same meeting, which HR didn't think would be a problem so I also assumed blush this would be from when my maternity leave ended on July 10th.

I have not had my renewed contract through the post as of yet though, (I am slightly changing my role, and working in a different dept)which they said they would send, but they didn't say when they would send it to me.
In fact, I have heard nothing from my employer since the beginning of July.
I phoned them myself last week, and asked them if they had considered my request for part time hours, since I have had nothing in writing yet, and they assured me they were considering it, and would respond to me in writing soon.

In fact, apart from the circulars to all employees, I have had no confirmation of anything in writing yet. hmm

twigsblankets Thu 23-Jul-09 20:15:05

Did you mean I am 'still on full time hrs?'

I have only verbally agreed to part time at the moment and they haven't confirmed in writing, which they said they would. hmm

I'm wondering how long it will take them, since if I do go back, I need more than weeks notice to arrange childcare, because I can't afford to pay a CM a retainer, so I am hoping they give me enough notice to arrange childcare.

TBH, I'm not sure if I want to resign or not at the moment, but since I am officially on holiday right now, I am wondering how much longer it will be before I receive my hours and days in writing, so I know where I stand. hmm

twigsblankets Thu 23-Jul-09 20:16:15

Meant to say more than a day's notice to arrange childcare grin

flowerybeanbag Fri 24-Jul-09 14:18:07

yes, sorry, full time hours.

If the proposal you verbally agreed to was 4 days a week in August, I expect the start date for that will be 1 August, which would normally mean that from then you'd be accruing holiday on that rate rather than full time. But when employees are asked to reduce hours as a cost saving measure, often things like holiday are negotiated and protected so that you continue to accrue it at your normal rate. Is there a union or staff representative body at all? If so they will have been involved in negotiating the terms of the hours reduction for everyone so should be able to advise you about dates and how holiday has been affected.

In terms of your own request to reduce your hours further, you should be telling them when you want it effective from. Normally, yes, you'd obviously want it effective from the first date you are due back after maternity leave, but if you are not going to physically start back in the office until a while later, it makes sense to not start it until you will actually be returning to work.

I think you need to insist on a more definite answer than 'soon' as to when you will find out about your own part time request. The trouble is you made the request very late - if you did it 'just before' your maternity leave ended mid-July, you are asking your employer to make a decision incredibly quickly. There are set timescales that an employer must follow when a formal flexible working request has been made, have a read about them here. You will see that you are asking your employer to speed up the process for you considerably, which they may not be able to do.

What you need to do is get a definite commitment out of them as to whether they will be able to let you know, say, by the end of next week. If they can't commit to letting you know by then (which is perfectly fine of them if they can't), then you will know to plan to return on 4 full days pending their decision.

twigsblankets Sat 25-Jul-09 11:08:34

Thanks so much for that Flowery.

Makes alot more sense now. I'll phone them on Monday, but at least I know I may very well have to start back full time if they haven't reached a decision yet.

At least I know where I am at. Thanks so much. grin

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