Was intending to go back to work part-time but my employer and I can't agree on working hours etc. This isn't really a question about that as I am still negotiating, more a theoretical...
If I handed in my notice (am due to return in the next few weeks), would I receive pay for the annual leave that I accrued whilst on maternity leave, which obviously has not been used? Or not? Because it may end up like that and you know, the money would come in handy.
Yes you should do because the annual leave was accrued whilst you were employed by them so they owe it to you just as they would if you had been at work and was now leaving without having taken any holiday. Did you get an enhanced maternity package though? They can't ask you to repay SMP but anything above that they could ask for back if you don't return. However depending on how much you got it could be covered by the amount of the annual leave payment anyway. You annual leave should be accrued at the rate of your working hours when you went on maternity lave btw - not whatever you go back on. So if you worked 37.5 hours per week before you will have accrued leave at that rate even if you go back at 18 hours say. Good luck
Firstly check that you don't have to work so many months after maternity leave (in my company I have to come back for 3 mths otherwise id have repay my maternity pay). I would write to them with your start date stating you would then like to take x days leave you have accurred and give your notice and a finish date. Depending on how much leave you have accurred you might be able to work it so you don't actually have to go back to work. Does that make sense? But yes you should get paid for your accurred leave and I would make it clear in your notice letter how many days you are expecting.