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DOH! Paying back maternity pay. Do I have to????

(20 Posts)
zsooz Wed 15-Dec-04 21:40:34

Hi supposed to be going back in March after my mat leave. I haven't managed to get any kind of childcare that I feel happy with, nurseries with any vacancies where I live are awful. After thinking about it long and hard I have decided to be a SAHM a bit longer, we'll be broke and have to give up alot but I can live with that.

I am confused about the whole maternity pay thing. Do I have to pay back the money given to me during my period of maternity leave. I read in the NHS 0-5 yrs book that it was illegal for my employer to ask for the money back, but a friend of mine says it's standard practise. Anyone know?

paolosgirl Wed 15-Dec-04 21:42:03

I thought there was a period of time that you had to go back for, and if you didn't, then the mat pay had to be paid back? 3 months is ringing a bell.

albosmum Wed 15-Dec-04 21:43:10

I think you are meant to pay back the occupational element of your maternity pay but I know of at least 3 people who have not returned Plus have not repaid money

Gobbledigoose Wed 15-Dec-04 21:43:21

Noone can ask you to pay back the Statutory Maternity Pay that you got as that is provided by the gov.

Your company can ask back anything that they gave you on top of that.

They don't always though - depends on how tight they are! My employer didn't ask for any of my fantastic package back when I left after returning for just one month!

TheHollyAndTheTwiglett Wed 15-Dec-04 21:43:56

depends on your contract

are you getting over and above statutory pay .. if you are then they probably have a pay-back clause in your contract

if you are just getting statutory then no you don't have to pay it back

prufRockingAroundtheXmasTree Wed 15-Dec-04 21:45:54

If there isn't a payback clause in your contartct, oryour companies maternity policy, then they can't have it back.

zsooz Wed 15-Dec-04 22:02:51

Gosh this is dreadful I haven't got a CLUE. What F** wit I am, seems half of my brain disappeared when I fell pregnant and the other half was delivered with my placenta

I was payed for 6 months then not at all, going to have to dig out the paper work from somewhere.

left work 8/9 months ago.

Gobbledigoose Wed 15-Dec-04 22:34:00

Whatever happens they can only take back what they gave you over and above SMP. And then only if it says so in your employment contract.

feastofstevenmom Wed 15-Dec-04 22:48:02

zsooz - did you get 90% of your pay for 6 weeks, then £100 a week for 20 weeks - if you did, all you got was statutory maternity pay, so you won't have to pay anything back. if you got anything more than that, then you might have to pay that back depending on the terms of your contract.

wrapmefestively Wed 15-Dec-04 22:56:41

In the NHS it's pay back anything above statutory mat. pay if you don't return and work for a minimum period of 3 months. As you won't be returning at all you will probably be asked to do this.

However, you could always take extra time off as unpaid leave and defer your return to work without penalty (i.e. you won't have to pay your mat. pay back if you take say another 6 months off unpaid leave but do eventually return)

Does that make sense?

wrapmefestively Wed 15-Dec-04 22:58:45

Actually I'm the f*wit! - I thought you meant you worked in the NHS (but actually you just quote the NHS year book).

I'm always getting the wrong end of the stick these days

zsooz Wed 15-Dec-04 23:22:17

haha wrap.... you are a fellow sister F*kwit I like it

I think I also received some additional pay too but will have to check this (was poorly towards end of pregnancy and not really with it) will get payslips sorted tomorrow and see what is what. I was wondering about asking if I could have another 6 months off. Hopefully all will be clearer tomorrow. lib to fade etc...

zsooz Wed 15-Dec-04 23:23:06

thanks for helping.

TheHollyAndTheTwiglett Thu 16-Dec-04 10:53:26

if they were nice they might have put you on sick leave before your maternity pay kicked in

Flumberrysauce Thu 16-Dec-04 11:01:54

Statutory Maternity Pay is:

90% of salary for 6 weeks
then £100 per week for 20 weeks

Anything above that they could ask you to pay back depending on your contract.

LIZS Thu 16-Dec-04 11:09:18

Agree with Gobbledigoose they can request back any top up payments, over and above SMP etc, but I think only if that payment has been stated up front as being conditional upon your return to work for a minimum period. If you receive any Benefits in Kind these are unconditional and you are fully entitiled to receive them for the duration of maternity leave, but obviously if you effectively give them notice, normal rules would then apply as regards relinquishing them. You could request a Career Break if the company offers such a scheme but it may or may not guarantee you a job at the end of it. (I took 5 years and it was good for my pension for 2 years-ish but I wasn't in a position to apply for a job at the end of it anyway).


aloha Thu 16-Dec-04 11:37:13

You need to read your contract. Unless it SPECIFICALLY states that you have to pay back anything above SMP, then you don't.

Gobbledigoose Thu 16-Dec-04 12:38:29

Agree with Aloha and LIZS - that's how I understand it too - pretty sure it's right.

MrsFogi Wed 22-Dec-04 16:18:28

My company does something bizarre where they ask you to pay back all the extra + the tax you already paid if you don't go back for the required amount of time (ie they pay you an amount above statutory maternity pay during maternity leave that is net of tax (as you get normally ie tax deducted at source) and if you don't go back they want the whole gross amount back!) - how they justify this I have no idea.

Distracted Wed 22-Dec-04 16:39:45

MrsFogi - my company used to be the same in that you had to pay back the gross rather than net amount that you had received over and above SMP if you left within a year of returning - presumably it's the only way they can get that tax back. I always assumed that you could then claim it back from Inland revenue as you would obviously have overpaid your tax for that year. Pretty awful though having to pay it all out first and then wait to get it back again (nowadays my company just pay SMP and nothing extra so there's no payback clause and no tie-in for a year - instead they offer an incentive to come back to work in the form of childcare vouchers).

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