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Maternity Leave - Do I say about coming back?

(9 Posts)
Flowerydems Wed 08-Jun-11 14:19:54

I've recently been told by my boss they'll be wanting my decisions on Maternity leave etc when I can but I've got a few problems.

1) I don't think I'll be returning to work and quite a few people who have asked know that I don't feel we'd be able to afford childcare even with both of us working (me part time) so I was going to work weekends and evenings which would mean DH can look after the baby when work, hospitality work like what I was in before I got my office job after uni just seems more suitable and flexible for me despite the lower pay (have come to the conclusion of 'it'll be hard, but we'll manage')
2) We might not be living near my job, as DP is needing to find a job for the new school year (he's just finishing his probationary year with his first school)
and
3) I don't know if I can get my SMP if I leave before going on maternity.

I spoke to a HR woman and she said just not to say anything, as I'm entitled to the money anyway but for tax purposes I'd be better off. Thing is as quite a few people know that I probably wouldn't be coming back and I've got a good relationship with my boss, should I not be honest?

Really confused and cause everything's up in the air it's getting me down a bit. If anyone has had any similar experiences I'd be really glad to hear them.

PS I should point out I'm a really bad liar.

edwinbear Wed 08-Jun-11 14:24:27

I felt the same when I went on ML with DS and simply said I wasn't sure what I intended to do. As it worked out DH and I thought I probably wouldn't go back but in the end I did so it was worth keeping my options open. I would just say that you haven't looked into childcare options yet and that you can't make any hard and fast decsions until the baby is here. Lots of women change their minds about going back to work after the baby has arrived so I don't think this is being unreasonable.

melrose Wed 08-Jun-11 14:32:11

Don't tell them. they have no right to ask. The assumption when you go on mat leave is that you will return a year later. I you do not plan to return you need to give notice in writing 8 weeks before teh date you are due back. If you feel uncomfortable not saying anything simply say that you are not sure yet

nunnie Wed 08-Jun-11 14:33:43

I was honest and when I gave in my MATB1 form at 25 weeks I gave them a letter explaining I would not be returning, this allowed them time to fill my post too and me to train.

Didn't affect my SMP.

I will get you a link to the government site that explains who can and can't get SMP.

nunnie Wed 08-Jun-11 14:35:23

www.direct.gov.uk/en/MoneyTaxAndBenefits/BenefitsTaxCreditsAndOtherSupport/Expectingorbringingupchildren/DG_10018741

NatzCNL Wed 08-Jun-11 14:36:41

I used to work in the NHS and was offered a really good Mat package if I returned after the baby was born, however, the commute and child care costs were too much and I knew I wouldn't return. I was told by HR that I could change my mind about returning on Mat leave if I initially said I would return, but would have to repay the NHS Mat money (not the statutory money as everyone is entitled to that even if they leave), but my line manager told me that I could come back on Family friendly hours (2 days a wekk etc) and give 3 months notice on my return so that I am still entitled to the full Mat package.
I personally couldn't do it as I felt so bad doing it that way - and am also an awful liar!
Depending on what job you have and where depends on if they could accomodate family friendly working hours or not, and if they can you could try to make it work for a couple of months, and then hand in your notice if it's financially or otherwise too difficult.
Or you could just hand in your notice and leave after statutory maternity leave and owed annual leave, which is the route I chose. It worked well for me as I was in a management role and it took a lot of pressure off me to enjoy my baby without the return date and mega responsibilities hangingi over my head, not to mention finding child care in central London, or leaving baby in child care in Kent!
Best of luck to you.

silverangel Wed 08-Jun-11 14:44:40

When I filled in my form for mat leave it had tick box options for:

Coming back during ordinary mat leave
Coming back during additional mat leave
Coming bacg after additional leave
Not coming back

Have to say I did wonder why anyone would tick the not coming back option - even if that is your intention I wouldn't tell them. It won't affect your SMP if you do tell them but if you have enhanced maternity I think it may affect that?

daimbardiva Wed 08-Jun-11 15:20:27

Check your contract - if you have enhanced MP there may be a clause that says you have to come back for "x" amount of time or you'll need to pay it back.

In my company it's 3 months.

candr Wed 08-Jun-11 19:36:06

I have told my head I don't plan on coming back but that I will not put it into writing till last poss moment incase someting happens and I need the job. I wanted her to be able to employ someone full time for my class. I also will not be going back for the 12 weeks required to get last bit of stat mat pay as would rather not do it and wold be very unsetteling for class so will work out how much it is and put it to one side to pay back when they ask for it. Have no idea how much mat pay I get or for how long and don't know when I have to give final decision but really dont want my class to be mucked around.

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