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What maternity pay am i entitled to if I don't want to return to work?

(34 Posts)
happytree Thu 30-Jun-11 18:23:22

I've posted this on money matters but no responses so thought I'd try here.
I'm 4 month preg with DC2 and DH has got a new job so we will need to relocate. I am remaining at my job until maternity leave begins (end of oct) then will relocate with DH and DS to give birth. As such I will not be returning to my current job at the end of my maternity leave. My question is, am I still entitled to SMP? I know that any extra would need to be paid back but is there a way I can claim (or a form I should be asking for?) the basic SMP from the very start of maternity leave rather than the 90% etc?
Thanks for any advice

supadupapupascupa Thu 30-Jun-11 18:25:19

yes you are fine and entitled to smp regardless of whether or not you return to work. anything above that and it will be company policy as to what happens.

suzikettles Thu 30-Jun-11 18:28:42

You are entitled to SMP as long as you've worked for the company for the qualifying period (can't quite remember, but I think it's something like you would have been employed there when 20wks pg).

SMP is 90% of earnings for 6 weeks and then a flat rate of a hundred or so for the next 33 weeks I think.

If you aren't returning to work then you (probably) won't qualify for any additional maternity pay that your employer offers over and above statuatory, but you won't have to pay back SMP.

happytree Thu 30-Jun-11 18:28:49

but i'm under the impression that if i claim smp i will have to return for 13 weeks at the end of maternity leave or repay??
Also my boss wants me to hand in my resegnation letter before maternity leave starts. I'm really not sure about this?

suzikettles Thu 30-Jun-11 18:34:13

No. That's definitely not right. It sounds like a qualifying period for not having to pay back additional maternity pay.

I've no idea about the resignation letter. I guess it would be ok as long as you were making the resignation date the last date of your maternity leave, otherwise wouldn't you be technically unemployed and need to claim maternity allowance instead?

suzikettles Thu 30-Jun-11 18:35:15

Have a look here (DirectGov SMP pages)

MotherPanda Thu 30-Jun-11 18:35:36

Happytree - Dont hand in your resignation before you leave, Tell them you want to leave towards the end of your maternity leave, It just keeps your rights intact and your options open. It sounds as if you have already told your boss about it - but dont hand anything in! If they want to get you off the books sooner then they could make you redundant (extra pay for you...)

You will never have to pay back SMP - its only if your company offers an extra maternity pay that you might have to pay some of it back.

MotherPanda Thu 30-Jun-11 18:37:13

wouldn't you be technically unemployed and need to claim maternity allowance instead?

I agree with that, it would make things confusing.

going Thu 30-Jun-11 18:42:20

Does your company have a HR department. They will be able to tell you.

Don't resign, really bad advice from your boss!

happytree Thu 30-Jun-11 18:43:42

I thought the extra was the 90% rate? My boss has given the impression that they will have to pay this and then I'd have to come back to work for 13 weeks or pay it back?? confused
Is there a way I can not claim the 90% bit and just claim the £128 per week instead from the beginning of maternity leave? If I resign, I'm not going to be entitled at all am I? I think I'm being had?? hmm

happytree Thu 30-Jun-11 18:45:13

I do have HR dep but they're not on side (long story) so wouldn't want to go to them.

supadupapupascupa Thu 30-Jun-11 18:45:55

i'm pretty sure you're entitled to the 90%. How long have you worked for them for, and are you full or part tme?

suzikettles Thu 30-Jun-11 18:46:54

No, the government (not your employer) pays you the first 6 weeks at 90%.

suzikettles Thu 30-Jun-11 18:47:57

From the DirectGov link posted above:

"How much SMP do you get
If you qualify for SMP, it is paid: for the first six weeks at 90 per cent of your average gross weekly earnings with no upper limit for the remaining 33 weeks at the lower of either the standard rate of £128.73, or 90 per cent of your average gross weekly earnings"

happytree Thu 30-Jun-11 18:48:15

part time since returning from last maternity leave (Dec 10) but I was working full time from Sept 06-Feb 10 before first maternity leave

suzikettles Thu 30-Jun-11 18:49:16

Sorry, there should be a paragraph break between ...with no upper limit and for the remaining...

LaVitaBellissima Thu 30-Jun-11 18:49:41

Think your employer is trying to get away with paying you less. The 90% of your salary for 6 weeks is part of SMP but your employer will pay this whereas the SMP of £100 per week is paid by the government, I think confused

I also think you are entitled to holiday pay that you accrue, whilst on maternity, even if you don't go back. Maybe someone can clarify that for me?

happytree Thu 30-Jun-11 18:49:50

But does that still apply when you are not returning to work after the leave suzikettles? I know that was how it worked last time

dilbertina Thu 30-Jun-11 18:52:13

Yep you're being had! You are entitled to the 90% and the SMP - that is all part of statutory payments. DON'T resign. You are also ENTITLED to holiday pay during maternity leave. The company can claim back all the Maternity payments paid to you (other than the holiday pay) - in fact they will get slightly more than they give you, so no idea why your boss is pressurizing you like this. Unless he is an arse of course. Just tell him you are "undecided" whether you will return and expect to be taking your one year at this point, he has no right to know any more. I moved abroad during my maternity leave so quite obviously was not coming back, I still got everything I was entitled to. Best of luck with your pregnancy and new life!

suzikettles Thu 30-Jun-11 18:52:25

Yes. The government pays SMP, not the employer. The employer administrates the scheme through their payroll but they claim the money back from the government.

You will never, under any circumstances, have to pay back a penny of SMP. Please do read the information on the link I posted. I think it will help you.

suzikettles Thu 30-Jun-11 18:54:29

He probably wants to replace you straight away and your company maybe has a policy of not doing this for maternity leave, or he thinks it would be easier to fill your job as a permanent position rather than maternity cover.

However, that is not your problem. And good point by dilbertina about accrued holiday. You may lose out on quite a bit if you resign. Speak to your HR dept asap!

basingstoke Thu 30-Jun-11 18:54:52

I resigned for maternity reasons when I had DS. I got SMP including the 90% for 6 weeks.

happytree Thu 30-Jun-11 18:55:10

I will thank you suzikettles, I just find pages like that a bit daunting, esp when advice at work has been different. I'm just looking for reassurance I suppose that I'm not the one whose just mis read it IYSWIM.

LIZS Thu 30-Jun-11 18:55:50

SMP is 90% for 6 weeks then the standard rate of about £115 for remainder - none of this is repayable. You don't need to resign beforehand just write with due notice (as per your contract) before the end of your paid ml is up to say you are not returning to work. The main reason your boss is encouraging you to resign is that he legally cannot permanently replace you until you do.

suzikettles Thu 30-Jun-11 18:56:27

It might even just be handy to print out to show to your boss.

So he says abc, you can show him and say "Oh that's confusing because this says xyz"

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