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Work (council) have sent me a HUGE bill for not going back after Mat Leave. Can I beg with them to reduce it?? Help!

(115 Posts)
umberella Thu 07-Aug-08 19:30:26

It's over £2000. shock

Crappity crap. We are so poor atm.

LaTrucha Thu 07-Aug-08 19:32:14

I'm in the same position of having to repay but I think the percentage is pretty fixed. You could ask them if you can repay bit by bit.

morningpaper Thu 07-Aug-08 19:32:46

I'm assuming you were paid over the minimum (£120 a week) and had to go back in order to keep the money?

This might sound unsympathetic but I am curious as to why you accepted the money in the first place? Did you plan to return? Can you return now, perhaps on reduced hours? How long do you have to go back for?

meglet Thu 07-Aug-08 19:32:52

(not really an answer as such) but didn't they give you an option for them to withhold that money just in case you don't go back? I work for local government and they don't pay me a certain amount just in case.

It's local government though, I bet you could get out of paying. Its probably not in their interest to hassle you for it.

Pennies Thu 07-Aug-08 19:34:48

Same thing happended to me, but I knew it was going to happen (surely you did too?) and even though I'd kept the money aside to pay them back I never told them that and still negoitated a payment plan with them. Can't remember the details but it wasn't hard to do (also worked for a council).

llareggub Thu 07-Aug-08 19:35:44

They probably won't be able to just write it off. They'll need to make every attempt to reclaim it, and probably will hassle you. Your best bet is to try and negotiate a payment plan over x weeks.

umberella Thu 07-Aug-08 19:35:44

No - when fuel prices went up I would have actually lost money by going back (huuuuuge commute on top of childcare), so looked for a new job. Unfortunately jobs in my field rarely come up so I had to apply for the one I have now and wasn't able to go back for the required three months.

I got 90% of my pay for six weeks, 50% for six weeks and then SMP for six months.

umberella Thu 07-Aug-08 19:37:02

My maths must be terrible - I thought it would be something more like a couple of hundred quid!!

What's a realistic payment plan do you think?

morningpaper Thu 07-Aug-08 19:37:32

Don't quite understand your reasoning there but I'm assuming you knew you would have to pay it back, so this can't have come as a surprise? I don't think there is a lot you can do. Agree that you need to arrange a payment plan.

morningpaper Thu 07-Aug-08 19:38:37

Could you pay it back over a year?

Could you try to negotiate part-time hours and work for the required 3 months?

morningpaper Thu 07-Aug-08 19:40:22

If you worked for 3 months, you would probably have 1k X 3 months salary = £3k plus the 2K = £5,000 better off. That is worth considering for 3 months work perhaps?

Flibbertyjibbet Thu 07-Aug-08 19:40:48

If you've not gone back because you took a different job, then you must pay it back - its not like your circumstances changed and there was a reason why you couldn't go back to any work.
It will all have been clearly stated in your contract. If you knew you had to go back for 3 months, and didn't, did you really think they'd just forget about it? Its public money.

unfitmother Thu 07-Aug-08 19:40:50

I did the same, left my job after having DS and went back to another NHS job for 12hrs a week for 3 moths only. Saved me £2k wink

RubySlippers Thu 07-Aug-08 19:42:10

i think you do need to negotiate

there would have been something in your contract about being back a certain amoung of time

offer a payment plan to them as MP says spread over the year

if you calculate your company paid you 50 % of your wages for 6 weeks would that total £2000 K? that is the over and above payment which you have to pay back i assume?

umberella Thu 07-Aug-08 19:42:44

No, I've already given my notice. I stupidly thought the repayment would be anything extra over the SMP rate which actually doesn't add up to as much as £2000.

The reason I didn't go back is because we have a new mortgage, hugely increased gas/electric bills, and we just couldn't afford to live with all of this AND a more costly commute on top of childcare. sad

umberella Thu 07-Aug-08 19:44:09

god I am panicking sad

georgimama Thu 07-Aug-08 19:46:22

Surely you don't have to repay the SMP as well? You are entitled to that regardless of whether you go back or not. It should only be the additional sums over SMP that you repay.

Also, you will have accrued holiday entitlement during your maternity leave and they have to pay you for it, so that should be knocked off anything you "owe". I only got SMP so when I didn't go back to work I didn't owe anything, but they owed me nearly a month's salary in holiday pay (had been off for a year, and you accrue holiday entitlement in AML as well as OML).

traceybath Thu 07-Aug-08 19:46:42

have they definitely got the figures right? as the only bit over SMP is the 50% for 6 weeks - the rest is standard SMP i think.

umberella Thu 07-Aug-08 19:47:59

I am hoping they have made a mistake actually.

We are really on the edge of a big black hole financially atm.

LIZS Thu 07-Aug-08 19:48:22

It should be the difference between what they paid you and smp - they cannot reclaim smp whatever conditions they place on the rest.

georgimama Thu 07-Aug-08 19:48:25

agree tracey, was just re-reading umbrella's calculations and they only thing she has received over SMP is the 6 weeks at 50%. Taking into account accrued holiday pay she probably breaks about even I would think. I think they have worked it out wrong.

umberella Thu 07-Aug-08 19:49:46

I am going to make a spreadsheet, go back through bank statements and work it out for myself. What's SMP, £112 per week?

cat64 Thu 07-Aug-08 19:50:03

Message withdrawn

morningpaper Thu 07-Aug-08 19:50:10

It should be whatever you were paid over the standard SMP

I would imagine that would include the first 6 weeks at 90% but you would have to check your contract

If you were on about 15-6k then that would come to about 2k

(I think from rough calculations in my head!)

morningpaper Thu 07-Aug-08 19:51:32

They will also have (probably) paid you the 30 days' holiday that you will have accrued which is always a rather nice chunk too - so that might be part of it

I'm afraid that 2k is probably about right though

There isn't a lot you can do

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