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Holiday Entitlement Whilst on Maternity Leave... HELP!

(50 Posts)
Toothache Wed 28-Apr-04 08:42:36

Hi Folks,

I've got yet another problem with my work……
I was planning on leaving w/e 18th June 2004, taking 2 wks holiday then my Maternity Leave commencing from 5th July when I'm 35 wks pg. I asked Personnel what would happen to my holiday entitlement. If I look at my full years entitlement I get 25 days and 8 Bank holidays. I have taken 9 days holiday already and was wondering if I should just add ALL of my remaining days (16) onto the beginning of my leave. Personnel replied this morning saying that I wouldn't lose any holidays, but they would calculate my entitlement according to when I intend to go off on Mat Leave! This suggests to me that I'm not getting my full years worth of holidays?? I thought you still accrued holidays when you were on Mat Leave! Am I wrong?? And what happens over Christmas and New year when I'm still off...... do I get paid for the Bank Holidays? Seems unfair for me to lose holidays and bank holidays just coz I'm due a baby in the middle of the year instead of the start/end of it!

HELP!!! I only get paid 6wks pay before it drops to £100 per week and I can't afford to use that 6wks up before the baby even arrives, but I also can't work any further into my pregnancy due to health concerns.

Flip Wed 28-Apr-04 08:48:04

You don't get paid for bank holidays but you should still get all of your annual leave. But you only have to take what you have acrued already before leaving. The rest you can be paid for. I go back in November and I'll have 23 days to take before the end of December. But I finished in November last year.

Is there no one else who has gone on maternity leave at your work that you can ask?

oliveoil Wed 28-Apr-04 08:48:58

My sister is a personnnel queen extraordinaire and I emailed her this exact query yesterday, what a coincidence!!! My work haven't told me I can't take my full quota but I wanted the ammunition in advance just in case.

I am planning to finish at the end of July, take my 3 weeks ish hols quota and then start the 6 months or whatever mat pay, maybe sticking a month or so extra unpaid on depending on finances.

I will let you know when she replies.


pollingfold Wed 28-Apr-04 08:50:08


Since you are still considered an employee you are entitled to accrue holiday whilst on maternity. However it is up to the company whether they give to you at your old entitlement rate of 25 days a year or at the statutory minimum of 20 days a year. Regarding bank holidays, these do not count towards your holiday entitlement.

What HR might mean is that at the point that you go off on maternity - the 5th - you will have only accrued X number of days. By taking any extra upfront you would in effect be starting off maternity with a negative holiday balance, only to be recouped over the rest of the year. If they don't let you have it off before your maternity you need to check that any you don't use in this financial year (presumably to Dec) won't be lost and that it can roll forward to next year and be added on to the end of your maternity leave.

All very confusing, best to sit down with them.


twiglett Wed 28-Apr-04 08:55:50

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Toothache Wed 28-Apr-04 09:00:07

Thanks folks.... there a few different views here! I'm still confuuuuused.

LIZS Wed 28-Apr-04 09:09:06

Hi Toothache

Possibly their worry is that, were you not to go back after your Maternity leave or resign in the meantime, you could "owe" them should you take a greater proportion than you eventual entitlement up front. You should still accrue your holiday entitlement as per your contract whilst you are on leave though. Bank holidays don't count on top as far as I know and would just fall within your maternity leave. Depends on when your holiday year runs from but if Jan 1 to Jan 1 then, assuming you have every intention of remaining "employed" by this company in the interim, you should be able to take up to your full entitlement ahead of Maternity leave or be paid in lieu at the end of the year for any balance.

oliveoil Wed 28-Apr-04 09:10:54

Me too now By the sounds of it, each company may have different policies so whatever my sister tells me may relate to hers only?

My company is v family friendly so hopefully they will do what I want!

Tallgirl Wed 28-Apr-04 09:16:37

Agree that this is very confusing - am in same situation as holiday year runs Jan - Dec and i am planning to finish in mid August and not sure whether to take all my leave for the year or not? Will also check with my sis who is in HR.

Just another point by the way - weekly mat pay has gone up (wait for it!) to £102.80 (inflation rise) so make sure your personnel dept are aware of this (as mine werent).

Interested to hear the outcome of all this and will check with my sister.

Toothache Wed 28-Apr-04 09:17:57

Just had another reply from Personnel.... I'll copy it in here:

Your holidays are calculated up until the end of your 26 wks leave so it depends on when you commence maternity leave whether you get your full 25 days or not. If you are planning to commence maternity leave w/c 12 July, then you will not lose any of your 2004 entitlement. However, you will only have the days up until your stopping date available to you before you stop and then the rest would be available to be taken or paid to you when you return.

For example, if you stop w/c 12/07/04, you will have 25 days. But up until your stopping date you will have 12.5 days to take or be paid for and when you return you will then have 12.5 days left and you can receive payment for these or take the days as holidays once you are due to return. I hope I'm not confusing you, sometimes maternity leave can get soo confusing!

You will be paid for all bank holidays when you are on maternity leave and they will be paid along with your maternity pay but described as a salary adjustment.


Why am I STILL confused???? I have used 9 days already.... so that leaves me with 16 left over until the end of the year. Does this reply mean that I can't use 10 of those remaining days at the start??? I will have to wait until January 2005 to be paid for the 12.5 hrs accrued during Mat Leave? Isn't that a bit odd?

Toothache Wed 28-Apr-04 09:23:07

Wahey Tallgirl!!... an extra £2.80. Better than nowt I s'pose. And when I was off with DS in 2001 I only got £62.20 per week. I think I'd have been better off on the dole coz they didn't keep my job open for me anyway!

twiglett Wed 28-Apr-04 09:25:15

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oliveoil Wed 28-Apr-04 09:25:33

Tallgirl - lets hope our sisters don't give confilicting advice, we will be even more confused then.

LIZS Wed 28-Apr-04 09:27:42

Yes I think they are saying you cna only take another 3.5 before Maternity leave BUT I'm not sure they are allowed to do so. If you start ML a week earlier then you'd only have to use 5 days max at the end so I would have thought you could take the balance of 7.5 now at least - which is what you were proposing. Can you email the Maternity Alliance for their understanding of the legal position ?

Also you are entitled to paid time off for Antenatal appointments. I agreed with my then boss to work from home for the remaining half day - so saving what might otherwise have counted as holiday as the travelling into work would have rendered the rest of the day futile.

twiglett Wed 28-Apr-04 09:29:20

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LIZS Wed 28-Apr-04 09:32:16

Posts crossed but I *think* Twiglett and I are basically saying the same thing ! Offically start your Mat leave on 12th but take holiday so you can stop work when you propose.

Toothache Wed 28-Apr-04 09:38:52

Thats EXACLTY what I want to do Twiglett. I don't fancy working until 36 wks with all the problems I've been having. I hope you're right.

Oooooooo... another email has just popped up....

Here we go:

If you don't take the holidays that you are entitled to before you leave then you can receive payment for them but it will only be for the 12½ days minus the 9 that you have taken. The other 12½ days will be available for payment or to be taken when you return or confirm your returning date.



So I can only take 3.5 days at the beginning. That's not good.... I don't think I'll be able to work that long.

pollingfold Wed 28-Apr-04 09:40:10

Tootache from the HR post, what they are saying is that you can't go into a negative balanve before you go on maternity.

You accrue holiday at 2.1 days per month(25/12). By the time you get to Jul 5th (start of you maternity) you will have accrued about 12.5 days holiday, of which you have taken 9 days, so you can take the remaining 3.5 days before you go on maternity. Not the two weeks that you had planned.

Your remaining 12.5 days you can take at the end of your maternity leave (get them to confirm that in writing) or will get paid it on your return to work or resignation (if you don't intend to return to work).

Sorry thats probably not the news that you wanted to hear

twiglett Wed 28-Apr-04 09:41:56

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twiglett Wed 28-Apr-04 09:43:57

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pollingfold Wed 28-Apr-04 09:50:30

This is the phrase that is suggesting that you can't use holiday that you haven't "earnt yet" "

However, you will only have the days up until your stopping date available to you before you stop and then the rest would be available to be taken or paid to you when you return."

If you start you maternity on w/c 21 June (when you want to go) you will have accrued just under 12 days holiday, of which you have taken 9, so you would have 3 days to take. the remaining 13 days would be paid to you you could take at the end of your maternity.

Obviously the plus side is that you get to finish when you want to, but the down side is that your maternity pay will finish sooner.

Its all so confusing.

Don't want to get into the fact that if you take the 2 months unpaid leave at the end of the 6 months paid you also accrue holiday at a pro rata rate of 20 days per year i.e 10 days!!!

pollingfold Wed 28-Apr-04 09:52:19


6 months from July 5 will take her to 5 Jan 2005, assuming that the year end is 31 Dec she'll make the full year.

Toothache Wed 28-Apr-04 09:52:35

I think what's confusing me is that I thought you ACCRUED the holidays whilst on Mat leave.... doesn't that mean that every month on Mat Leave I am entitled to be paid for more holidays?

Why do I have to wait until the end of the 6mths Mat Leave if I am still accruing them at the same rate?

Pollingfold - Thanks, No that isn't what I wanted to hear. I just can't afford that.
This is just what I need. I've got a GP appointment this afternoon to check my BP again... maybe I should've waited until tomorrow to find this out.

Toothache Wed 28-Apr-04 09:55:32

AAAAAARGH! Still Confused!

If I return on 5th Jan 2005 would I just be paid a lump sum for the 12.5 days holidays I haven't used?

pollingfold Wed 28-Apr-04 10:07:51

Yep, or you could take the holiday and not return until a couple of weeks later

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