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Maternity pay - qualification period

(6 Posts)
lisbapalea Mon 23-Sep-13 12:28:18

Hi there,

Not sure if this is the right place, so will also post in Legal Matters...

I am 27wks pg with DC2 - told work ages ago and they are fine with it - no issues in sorting out when to leave etc. I am just having a headache trying to work out what maternity pay I would be entitled to as I am in a slightly complicated situation.

I have been working for my company for 14yrs. I came back from maternity leave in 2011 after having DD, working 3days per week. I increased that to 4days per week for 2013 as I took over some maternity leave from my boss, and took on some of her responsibilities, meaning I would work more days. This was agreed on the basis that I would return to 3days when my boss returned to work in 2014.

I am now scheduled to leave for my own mat leave in November, and want to know whether my 2014 maternity pay should be calculated based on 4-days per week (i.e. my salary during my qualifying week - which I understand is 15wks prior to due date), or whether it should be calculated based on what my salary would be in 2014 - i.e. 3days per week.

I gather from various DWP sites that statutory pay would be based on my salary in qualifying week, which is fine, but my company offers quite a good enhanced package, so it would make quite a big difference if that was calculated on 4days instead of 3days. Does anyone have any experience on what the legal stance would be for enhanced pay, or is that very much up to the discretion of the individual organisations?

Before I started digging into this, my employers had said they'd be happy to pay the enhanced maternity pay based on 4days per week next year if I guaranteed I would return to work 4days per week. I didn't agree to this because a) I don't think it's right for them to ask me to make that commitment, and b) I don't actually think I will want to return to work 4days per week.

Sorry this is so long! Would really appreciate any expert opinions!


Rockchick1984 Mon 23-Sep-13 13:14:20

The enhanced package is set by your employer so depends on their policy. Regarding the return to work thing, many companies make you pay back anything over SMP if you don't return to work so that's also fairly standard.

lisbapalea Mon 23-Sep-13 13:33:39

I am totally fine to tell them I will return to work after mat leave - we have to return for 6months to prevent having to pay any enhanced maternity pay back.

But I do think it is wrong of them to ask me now to guarantee how many days per week I would return to - isn't it?

flowery Mon 23-Sep-13 13:38:48

Terms and conditions for enhanced pay are set by the company.

Doesn't sound like they are asking you to guarantee anything, only saying that for enhanced pay to be based on 4 days, you need to return on the same basis. Check their policy to see if that requirement fits within the normal terms and conditions. If the normal terms and conditions don't specify returning on the same hours, then point that out.

Ask them to clarify if you want to go back to 3 days a week when you return, what enhanced pay arrangement would they offer, then check that fits with their normal terms and conditions.

Mutley77 Mon 23-Sep-13 13:51:32

It sounds fair enough to me, as flowery has put it. If it is an enhanced package they can set their own t&c's for qualification.

lisbapalea Mon 23-Sep-13 13:58:10

Thanks all. I feel like I am managing my own expectations a bit better now! I was initially fine with the way they handled it, but then a few others that I mentioned it to were a bit indignant on my behalf, which made me want to check it out!

Feel more reassured after seeing your replies.

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