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Not going back to work due to change in employers circumstances - do I have to pay back my maternity pay?

(6 Posts)
zoejeanne Sat 29-Aug-09 16:13:04

Whilst being on maternity leave, my employers have relocated and for me, the new commute is not practical or at all appealing (will be 2 hours each way). I have requested flexible working and have a meeting soon to discuss this, although I expect to get a no or a compromise, neither of which would work bearing in mind the new location.

If this is the case and I then decide not to return to work, would I still have to pay back an element of my maternity pay, as stated in my contract? I don't know if this is at all relevant, but because of the distance of the relocation they have already confirmed that staff not relocating with the office are eligible for redunancy pay (but unfortunately this would be less than I'd have to pay back).

Thanks in advance for your advice

trixymalixy Sat 29-Aug-09 16:42:31

If it's a redundancy situation then I doubt you would have to pay back your mat pay.

hatwoman Sat 29-Aug-09 16:48:55

if they're making you redundant they can't make you repay the mat pay. However, I'd make sure you have the thing about those who don't take up the relocation being made redundant in writing. Are you in a union? Given the fact that several factors are at play (relocation, mat leave, request for flexible working, possible redundancy) it might be worth a quick chat with a union rep.

zoejeanne Sat 29-Aug-09 19:35:28

The redundancy policy states that if the office moves more than x miles, then staff choosing not to go will get redundancy - and its been confirmed that the move is more than this distance, so that bits fine. I'm not in a union though, would citizens advice be able to clarify, do you think? Thanks to you both

RibenaBerry Sun 30-Aug-09 19:10:24

Whether you have to repay contractual maternity pay will totally depend on the terms of your policy. Statutory maternity pay is never repayable.

I am afraid redundancy does not automatically mean that you don't have to repay (and this does sound like a potential redundancy situation), but a lot of policies only make you repay if you choose to leave or if you are dismissed for 'bad' reasons like misconduct. Most don't make you repay if you are made redundant or are unable to return due to ill health.

If you are to be made to repay anything at all, the maternity policy must make the repayment obligations very clear, including how long you have to return for to avoid them.

Hope that helps

zoejeanne Sun 30-Aug-09 20:04:04

It does, thanks. I'll re-read my contract again to check the wording. I know that I have to go back for 3 months to avoid re paying the contractual pay, but will check to see it says about circumstances and so on

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