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Extending Mat Leave

(7 Posts)
TheStorySoFar Mon 03-Nov-14 08:26:34

Hi, just wondering if anyone knows the ins & outs of this. I've just started back onto Annual Leave entitlement accrued whilst on Mat Leave. So OML ended 31/10. I'm due back to work on 15/12. So I'm on AL for the next 6 weeks & back on the payroll-I was on Stat Mat pay for the previous 8/12. I'd like to extend my Mat Leave as personal circumstances are going to make returning to work very difficult just now. Have I left it too late now that I'm on AL? If so, what are my options?

HappyAsASandboy Mon 03-Nov-14 08:39:06

Yes, I think that now you're back at work (albeit on annual leave), your maternity leave has finished and can't be restarted.

Your options probably include

a) husband taking some additional paternity leave (but I don't know what the rules are about setting this up before or after you go back, just that your baby must be 6 months plus and you must be back at work)
b) asking your work for a career break/unpaid leave
c) either your or your husband applying for some parental leave. You can each take up to 4 weeks per year, per child under 5 years. Must be taken in full week blocks, should be applied for with 21 days notice (but your employer might waive that?) and is unpaid. Your employer can ask you to delay the leave to a more convenient date within six months if they have a good business reason why you can't take it when you've applied for.

Would any of those work?

TheStorySoFar Mon 03-Nov-14 09:08:06

Thk you for replying Sand. I guess the least disruptive & most relevant of all of those is asking for some unpaid leave. My issues with going back in December are that we're about to move house to a self build, which has been very stressful & difficult. We then have our current home & another to get ready for letting. We have 3 children under 9 & a baby, so it's been tough on everyone & will be a big adjustment for the kids not having me around. I'm a Practice Nurse. It was v difficult to replace me, they only managed to get someone who could carry out the most basic of my roles, so we're very behind (have a deadline for 31/03 to have achieved Govt targets which secure funding for the GPs). She has since handed her Notice in & is only staying until I return. Another member of staff has been on sick leave for 4mths (her mother died). They'll probably refuse unpaid leave on the grounds that we are too far behind at work…I thought that they possibly legally couldn't have refused the extension to Mat Leave. Only thought of this last night! AAArrrgh. Wish it had occurred to me two weeks ago.

HappyAsASandboy Wed 05-Nov-14 12:32:39

I think you would have needed to give them 8 weeks notice of a change to your planned return date. If you don't have a planned return date then the employer ha to assume a year and you have to give 8 weeks notice if you want to go back earlier; and if you do decide a return date in advance, then you need to give 8 weeks notice to change it.

I don't know if it helps, but making this decision 2 weeks ago wouldn't have changed things as you'd have still been committed to returning (unless they decided I be nice and let you off!). If you needed certainty over things, then you'd need to have written to them 10 weeks ago, when you maybe didn't have all the information you have now?

You might as well ask for a further period of leave. Parental leave would probably be your best bet as it makes the employer give a reason for refusing the leave, and they must allow it within 6 months anyway. You could request 4 weeks per child under 5 years. The surgery may decide it is less disruptive to have you off again now (while they're disrupted anyway) rather than have you back and then lose you again for 1/2 months within the next 6 months?

Look at gov.uk for details about parental leave and how your employer have to deal with requests. Knowledge is power in this situation as plenty of employers try to fob people off with misinformation about parental leave being for emergency care of sick children hmm

HappyAsASandboy Wed 05-Nov-14 12:35:24

Just to add, an employer isn't allowed to postpone parental leave if doing so would mean you would no longer be entitled to it. So if your middle child just happens to be nearly 5 years old, that could work in your favour!

TheStorySoFar Thu 06-Nov-14 08:17:13

Thk you Sand, that's very informative.

TheStorySoFar Thu 06-Nov-14 12:22:59

Update; S/W Practice Manager this morning & they're going to allow me to use up all this year's AL + use some of next year's! Glad I will be getting my salary & therefore baby can go to CM to free me up a little. Just need to speak to my colleague...

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