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Taking a leave of absense - anyone done it before? Advice needed for Popsy

(15 Posts)
popsycal Tue 04-May-04 09:20:45

Hi all.

I have a 21 month old son and have never been happy since I returned to work in January 2003. I work as a teacher. I have started many threads about it before but after much arguing, high blood pressure (again!) and finally a long, draining discussion last night, we think there may be a way for me to take a year long leave of absense. This would involve remortgaging the house and releasing a small amount of equity....

1. advice on whether remortgaging in sensible - we were going to do it anyway but not release and equity as we can get a better rate of interest. The house has at least doubled in value since we bought it in August 2000
2. how do I stand applying for a leave of absense? I looked into the new flexible working rights laws when we were considering part-time - what is the position with applications and employers?
3. what would happen *if* (very big if) I got pregnant while on my leave of absense in terms of maternity pay? Is it just as though you are not working at all?

I plan to ring human resources/personnel for more advice once DH and i have discussed this further tonight. Just wondered if anyone else had done this - and also wondered if we are being silly about remortgaging

popsycal Tue 04-May-04 09:20:58

forgot to say thanks in advance
pops xx

WSM Tue 04-May-04 09:28:39

Sorry popsy, I have no *practical* advice but it does sound like a leave of absence is a good idea.

In theory the remortgaging thing is a good idea so long as you can still comfortably afford the repayments on one salary.House prices are still rising, particularly in the NE (you are there, aren't you?!), so you shouldn't end up in a financial mire. Of course you are right to be cautious about such a big financial decision, but the risk seems fairly calculated to me. I wouldn't hesitate to speak to an IFA about it, if I were having real concerns about it.


P.S Did you get my email reply ?

roisin Tue 04-May-04 09:32:25

No experience/advice to share Popsy ... just wanted to say it sounds like a positive development. I was concerned about you last night when you said you'd been arguing with dh.

I hope it still seems a good idea to you both this evening when you've had a day to mull it over and look into the implications.

Do you think dh is coming round to the idea, and is going to be generally supportive? I'm sure in the longrun you both (and your ds) will recognise it as being the right thing to do for all of you, but it could be very stressful at times if it's not a decision which is wholly owned and supported by both of you.

Is there anything else you can do to lessen the financial impact of a year out? I don't know your circumstances, but would it be possible to cope for the year with just one car? (This is assuming you have two now.)

popsycal Tue 04-May-04 09:32:44

Thanks WSM - yes, I did get you email and am about to reply back!

I was thinking about a IFA before last nights' discussions....a friend of mine has a really good one and we were considering making an appointment to see him.

I think I will have to act fairly quickly though as I am unsure abotu where the cut off point will be for applications - sept to sept with it being a school????

Am going to have a look on the Local Authority website now I think.

Thanks again!

popsycal Tue 04-May-04 09:56:35

anyone else...?

lazyeye Tue 04-May-04 10:02:57

Hi Popsy, don't know if this is any use to you as probably slightly different, but I asked for a years break/leave of absence to tag onto the end of my mat leave and was turned down. I work for a Uni.

Different to you as already pg and this is my 3rd so they are probably sick of me!!! But it all came down to terms & conditions in my contract which they said didn't really allow it. I think it all boils down to how much they want to give it to you/want to keep you.

I think like the p/t working, they have to give you a reasoned answer - can't just say no.

Sounds like a good idea - good luck!!

popsycal Tue 04-May-04 10:04:24

thanks lazyeye
I am trying to hunt out my maternity information as I remember reading about 'career breaks' being valid for the first 3 years....
but I can't find it

Caribbeanqueen Tue 04-May-04 10:09:36

Hi Popsy, my situation is slightly different from yours but just in case it's useful. I took a year's career break from my job a couple of years ago and got pregnant half way through it. I extended the break for another year - not because of the pregnancy, as if I had gone back to work I would have got the maternity pay etc. As I wasn't working I got no pay or benefits at all. I wasn't living in this country while I was off work, butI was told I wouldn't have got anything anyway.

I have decided not to go back to work - 2 years off and a baby later and I don't want to!

Hope this helps a little bit. xx

moodyzebra Tue 04-May-04 10:21:59

Sorry I've no practical advice... but Good luck, Popsy. I think you have your priorities inthe right place.

LadyMuck Tue 04-May-04 10:22:23

Quickie, as dealing with battery crisis.
2. No guarentees that you would get your job I'm afraid, but employer can consider it.
3. Depends on your exact dates of falling pg, but I suspect that may be entitled to maternity alowance (ie SMP rates paid by the state) if you don't get SMP. Not necassarily as good as teachers rates, but still worth £2,600. I got during my 2 year break from work.

Freddiecat Tue 04-May-04 11:25:45

Popsy - talk to your union about this NOW. They are there to support you in cases such as this. No idea about getting your specific job back but you've been at your school for years now and your head thinks you're amazing anyway. He knows you have been considering this for ages and you have got health issues so I would suggest to him that you can either take a sabatical in a planned and controlled manner - allowing him to recruit someone in your absense. Or you can struggle on a little longer and probably end up going off on long term sick which leaves him with far more problems to deal with.

As you know my mum has been having a hard time in her teaching job and after sitting down and discussing with her boss she is getting her job description altered (she can't actually stop work for pension reasons). But talk to your union before you do any of this as they can probably give you advice.

If you did get pregnant on your sabatical then you and DH would deal with it. Things would work themselves out.

No idea about the mortgage thing - but wouldn't releasing equity increase mortgage payments and hence monthly outgoings?

Caribbeanqueen Tue 04-May-04 11:29:14

Popsy, forgot to mention, I was told that ifI only took 6 months off then they would have to give me my job back, but any longer and they didn't.

popsycal Tue 04-May-04 11:31:27

Freddie - thanks honey!
You are right - will ring union now!

Mortgage - doing a bit of research, I have found out that if i remortgage without releasing equity I can pay about 150 if we did release a bit of equity at the same time as remortgaging, then they subsequent payment should be about the same...
need to look into it further though
I am at home today btw.....

popsycal Tue 04-May-04 11:49:35

just bee i touch with union and they are doing a bit of checking and getting back to me

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