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Re: Career Break - what do I need to know

(3 Posts)
p2b Fri 14-Aug-09 20:23:18


My employer has issued early retirement, voluntary redundancy, incentives to go part-time and the opportunity to take up to a two year career break, in an attempt to reduce the number of redundancies it will have to make. I do not know if my department will be affected.

I am currently on annual leave after one year on maternity leave and due to go back in September. I have put in an application to take a two year career break to start on the 1st September. I have been given approval to take the break from the 31st October (which is the generic start date for the career break scheme)and am awaiting sign off from my manager to start the break earlier.

I write this post because I thought it might be useful for others who might be in the same boat to see the kind of thought processes that need to take place when planning such a break and of course to pick the brains of wise mumsnetters.

What sort of things should I be checking with my employer (any contract advice)? to try and ensure I go back to my job (or a suitable alternative) in two years time and what else do I need to know or do regarding finances? We will be taking a dramatic drop in income to afford for me to stay home and look after my son.

Here are a list of the things I am already trying to establish;

That I will not need to make back enhanced maternity pay because I will not have returned to work for 13 weeks before the start of the career break;

Whether I will be able to work for another employer (e.g. an evening job at Christmas)whilst I am on the break;

If there are any guarantees of a certain length of employment once I have returned to work after the career break;

To double check that should I need to return to work early I only need to give one months notice (as stated in the initial letter where the career break was offered).

In addition I have established that I will receive 'Home Responsibilities' through my receipt of child benefit so my national insurance contributions are covered whilst I am off.

I and my employer are not able to pay into my pension scheme whilst I am on a break and death benefits will not be paid out. The (much smaller) lump sum payment would be paid. I am looking to take out life insurance to cover paying the mortgage should something happen to me. Any advice?

I have made arrangements to fix my mortgage so we know how much we will be paying each month.

I look forward to your comments and hope this post helps someone else too.

LIZS Fri 14-Aug-09 20:30:08

Check out the pension in more detail - would your existing service to date count if/when you resume contributions , likewise for accruing holiday entitlement etc. Are they guaranteeing a job if you return before 2 years are up, would that be on same t and c's as currently (mine didn't btw). Do they require any keeping in touch days.

morleylass Sun 16-Aug-09 15:19:36

When I was on a career break there was no guarantee of a job to return to. In fact I didn't return because I moved, however it would have been unlikely that there was a job there to go to as there had been many redundancies. If there was no job to go back to there would have been no redundancy payout either because in taking the break it was almost as if you were resigning. I would check this out as it could be a sneaky way of getting rid of people without paying out.

good luck
ML x

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