Anyone else had to return to work over Christmas after Mat Leave?

(23 Posts)
YWurri Mon 06-Oct-14 13:06:10

I have had two January babies 3 years apart, and work are not impressed.

My 12 months maternity leave expires on 22 December, and I'm pretty sure my manager is not going to approve any annual leave requests from me because I had last Christmas off (started my maternity leave early - 36 weeks pg - as they refused my annual leave request). My line manager has emailed asking which days I want to cover over Christmas/New Year, and stating she is expecting to see me on Monday 22nd December.

My team comprises me and three managers. We are office-based public sector workers (back office function).

I have accrued 20 days annual leave whilst being off, and only work three days per week, so really wanted to tack most of this onto the end of my mat leave before physically returning to work at the end of Jan/beginning of Feb.

What would you do? Try and push for annual leave over Christmas, or just suck it up and go in on the 22nd? I know they're not going to make this easy sad

OP’s posts: |
Discobugsacha Mon 06-Oct-14 13:10:21

Most places they let you take your annual leave tacked onto the end of maternity leave. I dont know anyone whose workplace hasn't allowed this. Otherwise you'll have nearly a whole years leave to take in 3 months? I would email back saying you will be back when maternity+ annual leave is expired.

WipsGlitter Mon 06-Oct-14 13:12:11

Agree, just write back saying you are going to take accrued annual leave and will be back on XX date.

fanjobiscuits Mon 06-Oct-14 13:13:45

Also check company policy regarding the leave it may say you have to tack it on anyway

YWurri Mon 06-Oct-14 13:18:49

I spoke to my HR dept last year when I was upset over having Christmas leave refused/being forced to move my maternity leave start date forward (was going to use a/l over Xmas, and start mat leave in Jan when baby was due). They said they recommend women use up as much accrued a/l before physically returning to the office, but I'm pretty sure it'll be a case of "Manager's discretion".

You'd think they'd be more sympathetic, given I spent a week in a coma 17hrs after ds2's delivery, and completely missed the first two weeks of his life sad

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ConcreteElephant Mon 06-Oct-14 13:50:36

Does your leave year run April-March? Do you have any leave outstanding from 2013/14, given that you left for maternity leave with at least 3 months left of that leave year? Most companies would require you to at least clear that before returning.

And as a pp says, you'll only have a few months to take your 2014/15 entitlement - surely it would be better for your employers if you were off for longer (presumably they have a cover in place for you who could work the extra time if necessary?), rather than you coming back for a few weeks then disappearing again.

I sympathise. I have 2 January DC (two years apart), both born while I've been in this post, but my returns were well managed both times. This must be unsettling for you.

YWurri Mon 06-Oct-14 17:18:14

Yes my leave year runs April - March, so will have 20 days (or nearly 7 weeks, as only work 3 days per week) to take between 22 Dec 2014 - 31 March 2015. Although HR have said I am entitled to carry days forward as I've been on mat leave.

I've never had anyone cover my position either time I've taken 12 months maternity leave, due to budget cut backs and restraints. It's a nightmare.

Thanks concrete, flippin' January babies causing havoc! wink I'm sure if they'd been born any other time of year, ie I wouldn't need Christmas off, it wouldn't be an issue to tack my leave on the end.

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YWurri Thu 09-Oct-14 07:20:49

I've emailed my manager and asked to book 15 days, meaning my first day back will be 2nd Feb. Just waiting for a reply. If she declines it, I don't know what I'll do.

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Norfolkandchance1234 Mon 13-Oct-14 12:23:03

I can't believe she's making you come in on the 22nd that's just ridiculous. If she makes you come in, agree to it, then phone in sick. And go back in the new year.

Chunderella Wed 15-Oct-14 18:12:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tinkerbellvspredator Wed 15-Oct-14 18:20:39

Have a look at the unpaid Parental leave policy I have a feeling that might be harder for them to turn down as its statutory entitlement.

YWurri Sat 18-Oct-14 06:55:53

Thanks for your replies.

Norfolk I think it's ridiculous too, as do my friends and family. Your idea of phoning in sick has been mooted; but it will look very dodgy if I've applied for a/l and had it rejected.

The reply from my manager said she'd have to wait for the head of dept to come back from leave before she can come back to me with a decision. I believe this is next week.

Chunderella Basically, I fell out with them last November after trying to book Christmas week off as a/l, before starting official mat leave in Jan. I was having a planned c-section on 14th. They turned it down, saying "we're a team here, we all work one day at least, every Christmas". Never mind none of them were 36 weeks pg, and none have kids (not that this is relevant I know, but I've been working in offices for 17yrs and I've been happy to work Christmas for colleagues with kids in the past).

They said they didn't want me having two Christmases off, as it wasn't fair on them. At the time, I called a meeting with HR and Unison as was off with stress (felt bullied for a number of reasons) and the HR rep confirmed that it was in the policy for women to tack accrued a/l on the beginning or end of mat leave. This meant I would have two Christmasses off, regardless.

Leave run is Apr-Mar.

What shall I do if they reject it and make me come back on 22nd out of spite? I'm thinking of involving HR and/or Unison again, but don't want the stress and upset.

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YWurri Fri 24-Oct-14 18:17:00

Good news! I had an email from line manager yesterday saying they are approving my annual leave request smile

Something about it causing the least amount of disruption to the service in this instance hmm

Thanks for your support.

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Chunderella Fri 24-Oct-14 18:54:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

YWurri Fri 24-Oct-14 22:03:35

Yes, I know that, and they must have known that all along. Which is why I was confused and upset that I had an email saying they wanted me to start back on 22nd Dec.

I guess I shouldn't expect any niceties from them. It's been five years and counting.

OP’s posts: |
Chunderella Fri 24-Oct-14 22:30:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

YWurri Fri 24-Oct-14 22:59:57

I'm just planning on doing the essential 12wks, so that I don't have to pay back any mat pay, then leaving. I'm hoping the six weeks holiday covers half of that period? So I'll only physically be in the office for six weeks before getting the hell out of there!

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Chunderella Sat 25-Oct-14 08:30:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

YWurri Sat 25-Oct-14 09:13:27


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MatildaV Sun 26-Oct-14 20:25:55

Yeah, the 6 weeks leave will count towards the 12 weeks - it starts as soon as your maternity leave ends.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Mon 27-Oct-14 12:41:46

Did they not employ maternity cover? Surely that individual will simply continue to cover until Feb?

YWurri Mon 27-Oct-14 21:46:56

Thanks for that Matilda, big relief. Will only have to work a couple of weeks before giving my four weeks notice. Hurrah.

Tread no maternity cover either time I've had 13 months off. Hence their palpable annoyance when I announced I was pregnant a second time (kids are 3yrs apart, so worked for nearly two years in between them).

OP’s posts: |
MumsforebayXguardianvideo Mon 18-Jun-18 13:50:02

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