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Paying back maternity pay shocker - please clarify quickly!

(11 Posts)
pinkdelight Tue 15-Jul-08 19:37:46

As I've said on another thread, I have to decide whether to hand my notice in tomorrow, rather than going back after maternity leave.

I had thought that I wouldn't have to pay any maternity pay back as I'm sure I've read threads saying that you can just give a month's notice and leave as normal. But have now just seen a different thread saying that you have to pay back anything extra to SMP i.e. the 90% of salary for the first couple of months or whatever it was. Is this true??? I was sure that these days we weren't penalised for deciding to stay at home after all. Please can someone who knows give me the lowdown bwfore the morning?

ChasingSquirrels Tue 15-Jul-08 19:39:10

you don't have to pay back SMP, but you may have to pay back anything over and above SMP - it depends on your contract.

flowerybeanbag Tue 15-Jul-08 19:40:53

Pinkdelight anything you receive over and above SMP is occupational maternity pay, and your employer can put conditions on it if they want to. It's quite common to put a condition on occupational maternity pay that you have to return to work for (say) 3 months.

However to do that you must have been made aware of the fact. First thing you need to do is check any paperwork/letters you had and look at your employer's maternity policy.

You can give a month's notice and leave as normal, but if there is a condition on the extra maternity pay you have saying you will have to pay it back, then you'll have to pay it back.

puffylovett Tue 15-Jul-08 19:43:14

the 90% of your salary in the first 6 weeks is PART of your SMP pinkdelight, not over and above it, if that's what you mean. smile

Flibbertyjibbet Tue 15-Jul-08 19:43:25

SMP is the 90% of pay for 6 weeks plus the £100 (ish) a week for the rest of the ordinary mat leave. I can't quite tell from your post whether you are asking if you have to pay back the 6 weeks 90%. If thats your question then no you don't have to pay it back.

if you have enhanced mat pay from your employer, ie full pay for x number of weeks, then your contract may state that should you not return after the end of maternity leave, you will have to pay it back.

This is not your employer 'penalising' you for deciding to stay at home, the enhanced packages are meant to encourage their employees to return to work after mat leave, so they don't have to recruit/train someone else. Ie, if you have to pay it back if you leave, you will be more likely to return to work.

If you got an enhanced package then you are very lucky and I wouldn't moan about having to pay it back if you are jacking your job in!

LIZS Tue 15-Jul-08 19:44:20

If your contract is worded such that anything paid over SMP - 6 weeks @ 90% then 33 weeks @ £117 - (apart from cash in lieu of benefits) is conditional on your returning to work (it may specify a minimum period) then yes you have to repay that element.

HolidaysQueen Tue 15-Jul-08 19:48:22

I have enhanced benefits (6 months full pay - which is amazing) and they do this to entice me back to work. So if I don't go back for 6 months then I owe them the difference between the company pay and the SMP - which is a lot of money. It is pro-rata so if I only go back for 2 months, I owe them 4 months back etc.

There would be no reason for your company to give you enhanced benefits out of the goodness of their heart, so I think it will be tied to going back and so you will owe them that money if you don't return which is fair enough really.

pinkdelight Tue 15-Jul-08 19:48:31

Aahhhhh! And a major PHEW! I didn't realise that the 90% thing was part of SMP. So I didn't get any enhanced package and won't have to pay anything back if I do hand my notice in. Thank you all for being so prompt and clear. What would I do without you??! grin

DiscoDizzy Tue 15-Jul-08 19:51:04

I had to pay back 3 months salary back to my company when I chose not to go back to work. They were very good and asked what we could afford and we paid them back in installments.

pinkdelight Wed 16-Jul-08 07:25:05

Why did you have to pay it back, Dizzy? Presumbly you were on enhanced pay?

DiscoDizzy Wed 16-Jul-08 10:46:04

I think I got around £800 for the three months I was off, in addition to the SMP. It was handy but I chose not to go back and thats why I paid it back. As I said they were very good and asked me how much we could afford to pay back.

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