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statutory maternity pay

(15 Posts)
elsabel Wed 17-Apr-13 21:18:50

Hi Ladies. Looking for some info from someone who is more in the know than me, running out of time and dont want to make the wrong decision!

I am due to start my maternity leave May 19th and decided I dont want to return to work afterwards. Also, really dont want to ask my boss about this. So my questions are, do I have to pay back any maternity pay if I decide not to return?

My company's maternity policy is 90% pay for for 6 weeks, then smp for the rest of the 9 months. Ive looked on the government smp website and it says that smp is basically the same as what my company gives. So to me looks like I wont be any better off financially if I stay an employee on mat leave rather than if I quit and am unemployed receiving smp. And would I still recieve smp if i did indeed hand my notice in instead?

Hope that makes sense I will appreciate any info/advice given, thanks!

AnythingNotEverything Wed 17-Apr-13 21:25:19

At a guess, I wouldn't think you'd have to pay anything back but it will depend in your work policies. You should be able to get a copy from your intranet, staff handbook or even by calling HR.

I will get 90% for 6 weeks, 12 weeks at half pay, and then SMP.If I don't return to work I have to repay the 12 weeks half pay.

Your policies may differ!

elsabel Wed 17-Apr-13 21:31:51

Thankyou anything . I'm reluctant to find out much from the company at this point as dont want my boss to know Im considering not going back (a difficult situation!) .So if I hand my notice in I guess the money for the first 6 weeks I receive would come off the government instead of my employers, would it?

Fuckwittery Wed 17-Apr-13 21:31:52

Don't resign! During maternity leave you accrue holiday pay, so, you will get a lump sum of the holiday pay due to you at the end of maternity leave. If you resign I doubt you will get this as you will not be employed but on maternity leave. I'm also not sure if an employer can pay you SMP if you are no longer employed by them, you might have to claim maternity allwowance instead, and the first 6 weeks of MA is capped at the SMP amount so you would lose out. Just give the notice required by your contract for resignation at the end of maternity leave.

Fuckwittery Wed 17-Apr-13 21:34:44

And your employer will be able to reclaim SMP from the government, so don't feel like you are helping them by doing this.

Just to clarify, MA for the first 6 weeks is 90% of your wage or £136.78 whichever is the LESS (so you would get £136.78)

Statutory maternity pay for the first 6 weeks is 90% of your wage, of £16.78 whichever is the GREATER.

So you can lose out a lot. Also, you might change your mind! Holiday pay will be your full entitlement, so if you get 25 days a year and are off for a year, you'll get a full month's pay at the end of your maternity leave.

yellowsnownoteatwillyou Wed 17-Apr-13 21:41:40

I'm due to start maternity leave on the 19th, but have just used all my holidays so am off work now.

The reason for this is I work on a relief basis and before I told them I was pregnant I was working 40 hrs a week. Then they cut all my hours and now I'm not eligible for staff maternity pay so have decided stuff them, give me all my holidays and when my year off is up, I'm telling them to get lost.

Don't tell them you are leaving, just wait until you finish your maternity leave and take all the holiday pay you are owed and walk.

BabyHMummy Wed 17-Apr-13 21:43:23

Just ask ur company for a copy of their maternity policy. Everything should be in that and u should have already been given a copy of it!

If u resign before mat leave u will only get maternity allowance as you will no longer qualify for smp (am in a similar sit so have researched) which os about £137 a week for the whole 9 months so dependi g on ur earnings u may or may not lose put.

Speak to jobcentre or ur local dss office for more on it

AmandaPayneAteTooMuchChocolate Wed 17-Apr-13 21:46:41

You will not have to repay any SMP, regardless of whether you return to work or not. Also, provided you are employed up to 15 weeks before your due date, you get SMP even if you resign rather than go on maternity leave.

Your SMP is also mostly (either 100% or about 90%) funded by the government regardless of circumstances. The financials aren't different depending what you do.

There are other good reasons to leave your options open. Financially, you accrue holiday during mat leave, so will have a lump of full pay to be paid out if/when you do leave. Your CV will also show you in employment until the end of your mat leave, which will make any period out of work up to a year shorter when you do decide to go back to work.

Finally, life changes a lot with a baby. I thought I probably wouldn't want to go back after my first mat leave. But I did. I'm glad I didn't resign!

Fuckwittery Wed 17-Apr-13 21:47:19

second post should read 136.78, not 16.78!

elsabel Wed 17-Apr-13 21:47:58

Thanks fuckwittery thats helpful. Although I'm not looking to do the company I work for any favours right now! My reasons for wanting to leave for good if I can is because I know I will enjoy my mat leave so much more if I know I wont have to go back to that job, and can start a new job when I'm ready to start work again. I think my company would make me pay back holiday pay if I don't work the whole financial year, as wouldnt have accumulated enough.

AmandaPayneAteTooMuchChocolate Wed 17-Apr-13 21:48:32

It isn't true that you don't get SMP if you resign BabyHMummy. Provided you are employed up to the qualification date (which is 15 weeks before the due date) you get SMP from your former employer. MA would be if you left before that point.

AmandaPayneAteTooMuchChocolate Wed 17-Apr-13 21:51:31

Can't find it on direct gov (or whatever they are calling it now), but here is a link about redundancy which explains exactly what happens if your employment ends during your pregnancy as regards SMP and MA

elsabel Wed 17-Apr-13 21:52:18

Didnt realise you accrue holiday pay during mat leave, good to know, thanks. In that case and judging by the things you have all said I will most likely carry on as I have then when it comes to going back tell them to shove it!

AmandaPayneAteTooMuchChocolate Wed 17-Apr-13 21:52:22

Elsabel - time on mat leave is 'working' for holiday accrual. So if you will have to repay if you leave now that would be another reason to stay employed during your mat leave.

AnythingNotEverything Wed 17-Apr-13 21:57:01

You're right elsabel - you'll only accrue holiday on a pro rats basis ie if your annual leave year is jan-dec, ad you quit at the end of June, you'd be entitled to 50% of you annual entitlement. You should get this as a lump sum and for fte should be two weeks wages at least!

I agree with pps though - don't quit until the last minute.

Also, asking for a copy of the policy is well within your rights and won't arouse suspicion.

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