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NHS maternity pay mess up

(15 Posts)
calibee Wed 27-Apr-16 19:21:21

Hoping somebody can help me. I started my maternity leave last October. My twins were born prematurely end of November.
I decided before even going on maternity leave that I wouldn't be returning and despite telling HR this they still sent out my maternity confirmation letter as if I was returning to work. I literally made dozens of calls telling them I wasn't planning to return and wrote my letters of notice. I told them I knew my entitlement was 6 weeks OMP and 33 weeks SMP ( I work 18.75 hours per week) and understood my last wages would be this July. I was sent a renewed and corrected statement of maternity.
Today I received my wage slip only to find they have taken £1300 from me. There is also a payment to me entitled "non superannuable pay ad" of £720. I have no idea what this is. Suffice to say it, plus my SMP has repaid the OMP!!! I'm gutted... It has left me with just £51. It seems they have been paying me OMP all along. Not just for the first 6 weeks!!!
Can anybody tell me what the £720 is? Also as it is their mistake to overpay me.", can they just take it back? I'm so confused and upset.

ClaraLane Wed 27-Apr-16 19:25:35

Hi OP, I'll try and help as I deal with maternity leave at an NHS hospital. Firstly we would normally not mention you were planning on resigning after your leave as this can confuse things.

Regarding the money they have taken back, yes we can do this even if it's our mistake and personally I hate it because every payday I have at least one person who has money taken back which leaves them in a sticky situation.

Your payslips should have been sent to you at home during your leave so you could see your pay break down, has this been happening? Unfortunately you have a duty to report any over or under payments to your employer so if you knew you were being overpaid then you should really have told them. The best thing to do would be to ring your payroll department and ask them how you go about setting up a loan for financial hardship. This will hopefully mean they can put some money in your account in the next couple of days and you can arrange with them how much to pay back monthly.

calibee Wed 27-Apr-16 19:35:00

Thank you so much for replying.
Yes I have had monthly wage slips sent to me which I have looked at but had no idea really what I was looking at.

The thing is I have only May, June, and Julys money to use to pay anything back (I had budgeted this money to pay off my pram confused.....twins are expensive !!) I would have quite a lump sum of annual leave accrued however which I could use. I spoke to Pay roll earlier and she was a little confused about the £720 "non superannuable ad" figure, so was off to investigate and get back to me.
I knew I wouldn't return to work if I was lucky enough to have a baby ( three years of fertility treatments) so was always honest about this from the start and thought it would be easier to work out my entitlement. You're does seem to have confused matters. Eeeek.

lougle Wed 27-Apr-16 19:56:57

'Non superannuable' means that it can't be used towards your pension.

ClaraLane Wed 27-Apr-16 20:15:17

OK so worst case scenario you will lose May, June and July's pay to paying back the OMP. If you were planning on returning to work then you would have been entitled to 8 weeks full pay then 18 weeks half pay plus SMP then 13 weeks SMP only. I think the best thing to do is ask payroll to work out how much you owe them and then you'll know how many months' salary you'll be missing out on.

The annual leave wouldn't be getting paid until end of July or August depending on your mat leave end date so hopefully by that time you'll have paid off the OMP received in error.

calibee Thu 28-Apr-16 03:58:56

So have I not already paid back all the overpaid OMP with the £1300 they have taken off me this month?
I just worked out I have been on Matty leave for 27 weeks now... 6 weeks at 90% full pay and until now they have paid me £300 a month OMP (after initial 6 weeks) that's roughly £60 a week x21 weeks is £1200. Give or take.
My SMP is £598 a month... Could the non superannuable ad. Of £720 be some sort of an advance of next couple of months wages maybe?
What go smacks and angers me is that nobody informed me of this... No phone call or letter.... Just took it confused

Gobbolinothewitchscat Thu 28-Apr-16 06:10:16

I'm a bit confused here - employment lawyer. I'm writing this post based on the fact that your notice will expire on or after your SMP (39 weeks of payments) comes to an end. Let me know if not.

Are your NHS terms that you have to pay back any enhanced maternity pay if you don't return to work? If not and/or you were only receiving SMP, you should not be repaying.

The SMP element is 6 weeks of 90% of your usual pay and then 33 weeks of SMP. That payment is referred to as statutory maternity pay - the two elements are not broken down with any further descriptions.

I'm not quite clear from your post - you say you were entitled to 6 weeks of "OMP? Do you mean that the NHS was topping up the first 6 weeks of SMP (at 90%) to 100% of your usual salary (and calling it OMP?)

The long and short of it is that the SMP payment is not repayable. So you need to check your maternity calculations -ask the pay people for that, although your letter confirming your maternity leave should set it out. Work out what is SMP.

Then look at your maternity policy, work out if you were getting any enhanced payments and if they need paid back.

On termination, you are also entitled to payment for accrued but untaken holidays at your normal rate of pay.

calibee Thu 28-Apr-16 08:01:13

Thanks for replying Goblin.
It took lots of phone calls when I first went on maternity to get them to correct that I would NOT be returning to work at the end of my maternity period. The maternity pack had stated that if I already knew I wasn't going to return I would (as you said above) get 90% full pay for 6 weeks followed by 33 weeks SMP. I had to make dozens of calls and seemed to get different info with each advisor I spoke to. Eventually it seemed to be clear that I wasn't returning although I was still questioning why they were saying I would still be an employee until October and not finishing in July, at the end of the 33 weeks SMP. I was just told "that's how it works" . The first payslips ( so what I would assume the first 6 weeks) state 2 components....SMP amount of £346 and Payable OMP £38. After this they have continued top at both of these components but SMP is generally £618 and OMP is £300. I'm afraid the advisors confused me so much at the beginning that I just assumed this was correct.
On 31/3/16 my boss ( who I have to add has never once been in touch with me since the birth of babies) has put in my "leavers" sheet and it seems to have highlighted this error of overpayment. This months components list SMP amount-£598.20.
Non Super Annuable Pay as £720.27
Payable OMP* -1318.47

It has me totally confused and extremely worried that I won't receive any more wages and may even lose my accrued annual leave sad

ClaraLane Thu 28-Apr-16 08:58:53

Gobbolino if NHS staff don't return to work for 3 months after maternity leave then they have to repay the OMP. In this case if OP wasn't returning she would have been entitled to 6 weeks at 90% of average pay and 33 weeks SMP only. However it sounds like she's received 8 weeks of OMP paid at full pay followed by 18 weeks of 1/2 pay plus SMP.

Like I said before, unfortunately they will just take money back once they realise there has been an overpayment and they don't normally send a letter out (why they don't do this I will never understand). Have you asked them for a breakdown of what you "owe" and how much has already been paid back?

calibee Thu 28-Apr-16 09:09:51

clara I'm expecting a call back from the payroll lady today. She was confused herself so she wanted to look into it. I will definately be asking for a breakdown.
It almost looks like the non superannuable payment is some sort of advance....which means I can probably expect no more money ( or very little) before the end of my leave in July.
I'm just so sad that I made a pest of myself in the early days, making sure they understood I wasn't coming back so that this sort of error wouldn't occur....and now it has its me that has to suffer.

lougle Thu 28-Apr-16 12:33:13

Did it not seem strange to you that you were getting so much money though?

calibee Thu 28-Apr-16 13:29:00

No it didn't occur to me it was too much. I had bent over backwards to make sure everything was in place before twins arrival. Since their arrival it has been a never ending spiral of hospital appointments and caring for them.
I trusted the payroll department to get it right after I had told them several times!!!
Not only that...nobody ever explained to me exactly how much SMP was.

IceMaiden73 Sat 30-Apr-16 11:29:10

This must be a bit of a shock, however, you could have googled and found out what the SMP rate should have been, and your payslips clearly show there is an error

I'm afraid you will have to pay it back

I would work with the payroll department to work out exactly what you will be getting for the next few months. I suspect you will still get SMP

I wonder if the total you owe is £1,300, but the £720 shows what will be carried forward to the coming months to recover, rather than taking all together

calibee Mon 02-May-16 22:52:24

Thank you for replying. Yes I realise now that it was an overpayment. I still maintain though that they muddled me so much in the beginning that I had no idea how they worked it out. Suffice to say I did everything ( and more) to put things into place with no questions so that mistakes shouldn't/wouldn't occur.

Anyway I think you are partly right. What they have done is advanced the money and will be taking it from my next 2 months of SMP. According to CAB this is very naughty of them and I could make a complaint which they will help me with. To be honest, I have my hands full at the moment with twins. I just want it sorted.

Cancelled trip to see family this Summer ... Thank you NHS. Glad to be out to be hire frank!!!

calibee Tue 10-May-16 20:01:25

Just to update.
I spoke with somebody last week in the recovery dept. It appears that not only had the amount owed being calculated wrongly, they had then proceeded to take twice the owed amount. Also the NHS are not allowed to take my SMP as a way of recovery as its not monies paid by themselves.
I will receive an invoice for the money I owe when I officially leave at the end of July and this can be paid over an agreed amount of time.
Just goes to show ...always check your payslip, as proves above, even those who "work" in the departments don't seem to know what they are talking about wink

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