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Maternity pay - will I have to pay it back?

(13 Posts)
lemureyes Wed 26-Apr-17 10:37:00

I have just started my maternity leave and my pay will be coming through at the end of the month.

I am off until January next year, when my pay ends, but I am worried that if circumstances change and I do not return to work I will have to pay it back. The website says nothing about it and I can't get through on the Citizens Advice Web chat 😠

I asked my employer for a copy of their maternity policy and all it says is that it 'complies with current regulations' no details whatsoever!

Anybody able to help?
I want to be covered for if I can't return.

dementedpixie Wed 26-Apr-17 10:40:00

It only needs paying back if you got enhanced pay over and above statutory maternity pay. It would then specify how long you would need to return for to enable the money not to be repaid.

Trenzalor Wed 26-Apr-17 10:40:39

It depends what you receive. When you filled in a form for your place of work did you accept 'enhanced' pay? This is (I think) 40% of your wage for a few months instead of SMP. Also if you did and you don't want to go back for long just find out how long you need to return for. I'm a teacher so I would need to return to work for thirteen weeks. I'm sure someone who remembers all the details properly will be along in a moment!

dementedpixie Wed 26-Apr-17 10:40:50

Are you getting more than SMP? If not then nothing needs paid back

SorrelSoup Wed 26-Apr-17 10:41:10

Any enhanced maternity pay may have to be paid back if you don't return. Smp is all yours. It will say in the policy. Contact payroll.

mashpot Wed 26-Apr-17 10:42:44

I got an enhanced package but wouldn't have had to repay any as it was not stated in my contract.,

LIZS Wed 26-Apr-17 10:47:54

Unless they are paying over and above smp ( Enhanced Maternity Pay) and the employer has made it clear in writing before you started ml that there were conditions to the enhanced payments attached, such as a return for a minimum period. You would only have to repay any enhanced amount. If you are getting smp ( 90% for 6 weeks plus 33 weeks at around £140 pw) that is yours regardless.

Blueroses99 Wed 26-Apr-17 10:49:20

The repayment of enhanced maternity pay is purely down to company policy so your HR would probably be the best people to ask. Gov/CAB will only be able to give high level advice as it varies from one company to another.

What I would say however is that if your maternity policy does not state that you have to return to work for a certain period or repay EMP, it would be very difficult for them to actually reclaim any money as they didn't make you aware of the possibility in advance.

lemureyes Wed 26-Apr-17 11:21:05

I'm only getting SMP. To be honest they have been crap about the whole thing and just sort of left me to it. I feel that I cannot go to them with any questions because they just don't care and the HR woman is a bitch (sorry I'm not sorry).

Blueroses99 Wed 26-Apr-17 19:51:06

SMP does not need to be repaid.

DontBuyANewMumCashmere Wed 26-Apr-17 19:54:49

In any case I should add that I received enhanced mat pay and was only required to return to payroll for 28 days.
I used my AL and RDIL and BH etc and including my shift pattern meant I didn't actually go back to work and kept the money.
I am on career break but think rules applied to leaving too.

lemureyes Thu 27-Apr-17 12:29:15

A huge thank you to all of you! This has really put my mind at ease!

Sprogletsmuvva Thu 27-Apr-17 20:23:21

What DontBuy said.
I didn't use much AL during my pregnancy as in the past I'd tended to 'spend' it all on multi-week adventure trips, which were obviously now not an option, and was fortunately allowed to carry it over.
Accrued AL & PHs while on mat leave: about another 39 days.
All in all, it meant I extended my time off by over 2 months beyond the 52 wks mat leave (and could've taken longer: I still have about 14 days of leave but only a month of leave yr left!).
So had I decided to not go back, I could simply have handed my notice in to coincide once I'd been on AL 'on the payroll' long enough not to have to pay back my enhanced mat pay (IIRC, something like 4 wks).

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