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Can you be forced to take AL on a career break?

(10 Posts)
DuggeeHugs Tue 11-Apr-17 18:10:55

I signed a contract change for a period of unpaid leave as a career break.

Days before the end of that period I'm due to give birth.

I've recently been informed that I'll be on annual leave from 7 weeks before my EDD, even though I'm supposed to be on unpaid leave.

Is my employer entitled to force this without another change of contact terms?

Heratnumber7 Tue 11-Apr-17 18:13:04

What reasons have they given?

Looneytune253 Tue 11-Apr-17 18:18:33

Is it not coming up to the date when your yearly entitlement is renewed? Some places don't let your entitlement roll over into another year?

DuggeeHugs Tue 11-Apr-17 18:25:14

They've given no reason. My guess is that they want to force me to use outstanding AL before maternity leave begins.

There is nothing in any policy about this and the plan (suggested by HR) was to use the leave on my return in the new leave year. I don't accrue leave on the career break. Based on policy I had expected to use this leave at the end of ML.

I'm surprised that they're forcing maternity leave to begin during the break - the policy seems to say that it would begin on the return to my standard contract, less the time since the birth, which is absolutely not a problem for me.

I'm trying to formulate an email as I want it all in writing, but wondered if I was missing something obvious about them being allowed to do this.

titchy Tue 11-Apr-17 19:31:16

Isn't it so that you'll get maternity pay as this is based on your salary when you go on ML. If you were still on the unpaid career break you'd not get any pay at all.

DuggeeHugs Tue 11-Apr-17 20:12:25

I hadn't thought of that scenario titchy. I'll see if I can get more information from them, but they prefer not to explain their actions if possible.

Heratnumber7 Wed 12-Apr-17 11:00:54

Well, I would certainly ask them why. It might have an outcome in your favour.

RoseAndRose Wed 12-Apr-17 11:06:05

could you go back to work in that period?

You 'd be paid, you'd have a chance to catch up with developments in the workplace etc.

Your AL should then roll over in accordance with policy to use at the end of maternity leave.

But if you really don't want to be at work, there isn't really any difference though, in having 7 weeks unpaid leave just before maternity leave or 7 weeks unpaid at the end.

EdithWeston Wed 12-Apr-17 11:09:43

Maternity pay is based on pay during the run up to the qualifying week

"To calculate your average weekly earnings your employer will average your gross earnings over a period of at least eight weeks up to and including the last payday before the end of your qualifying week. The qualifying week is the 15th week before the week your baby is due"

So if they want you to use leave so you are on-pay in the qualifying period, they've mucked the dates up.

DuggeeHugs Wed 12-Apr-17 11:15:03

Thanks all for your input, it's given me a good steer on the questions I should be asking.

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