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Maternity leave

(18 Posts)
Chocolatecakefan Tue 06-Jan-15 19:12:57

When is everyone planning on taking their maternity leave?

I am due with my first baby at the end of April.

My company offers statutory holiday (20 days + 8 days bank holidays) which has to be taken jan-dec.

I was hoping to start mat leave just around Easter I.e. 2-3 weeks before my due date and wanted to carry my holiday over to next year (I've already booked 4 days, so have 16 days + 6-7 bank holidays left to take). However work have said that I am unable to carry any holiday over to next year and if I don't want to lose my holiday entitlement, I need to add it to the start of my maternity (I.e. Finish work in early March). This would mean finishing 6-8 weeks before my due date.

Is this right? I was under the impression that you could accrue holiday and transfer it to the next holiday year? I don't want to take so much time off before the baby is born, I would rather use it when she's here!

I just work at a desk job 9-5 which is just a 15 min drive away and isn't hugely stressful so I don't see any reason why I couldn't work right up to a date close to the birth.

Gillian1980 Tue 06-Jan-15 19:25:48

Could you use holiday instead of using the maternity leave 2-3 weeks before? You could put maternity start date down as a couple of days before you're due and take holiday before that?

Firstimemummy15 Tue 06-Jan-15 19:27:27

I think it all depends on you and the company you work for. I gave up at 37 weeks (I am using annual leave for the last 3 weeks and then start my maternity leave). I was allowed to carry over a weeks holiday to take eh. I return to work (this is company policy). I will also accrue holiday while I am off.

I wanted to work until 38 weeks but have a 45 minute commute and suffered with sciatica so finished a week earlier. I finished last week and already struggling to keep occupied - I've been organised and the nursery is sorted and I've done lots of batch cooking for the freezer! If your well you may find yourself in the same position finishing that early???

Gillian1980 Tue 06-Jan-15 19:29:04

My understanding is that any holiday accrued during maternity leave can be carried over but I didn't think that applied to existing holiday.

But as most holiday is accrued pro rats across the year could you work out how many days you'll have accrued before you go on maternity leave and just take those? Then anything after you go on leave should be carried forward.

Chocolatecakefan Tue 06-Jan-15 19:31:11

I bought about starting my mat leave on my due date and using my holiday before that but my concern is if the baby is early, the mat leave kicks in I mediately therefore I would then lose my remaining holiday entitlement.

The dates mean that I would be due back at work at the end of the year, ready to start at the beginning on Jan 2016 therefore if she comes two weeks early, I wouldn't be able to tack the holiday to the end of my Mat leave before the 31 dec

Bellejessleo Tue 06-Jan-15 19:33:00

Can you just take your holiday allocation at the start of your leave, so your maternity leave then wouldn't technically start until closer to your baby's birth? That is what I did.

Chocolatecakefan Tue 06-Jan-15 19:33:43

Gillian that's what I thought, that any holiday accrued from May onwards would be able to be carried over as long as I take the pro rata holiday entitlement (jan -April) before I leave but they are adament that I need to take the whole lot (plus bank holidays) before I leave.

LolaBelle211 Tue 06-Jan-15 19:46:52

I was not able to carry holiday over into the next year, we have this rule for all. Use it or lose it! I therefore finished work at 34 weeks with the intention of using holiday/bank holiday and then maternity leave starting bang on due date. Baby ended up coming at 35 weeks and as a result maternity leave kicked in early but in this circumstance I was allowed to carry the holiday over and returned to work at the same time as originally planned as a result.

Gillian1980 Tue 06-Jan-15 20:09:25

m.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=4289

It says on the acas page that if you're unable to take the holiday then you're entitled to have it carried over.
Might be worth ringing acas to discuss?

In which case I'd definitely start maternity later and take holiday instead. If your baby arrives early and maternity kicks in then you should be able to carry over the holiday.

Ceejay14 Tue 06-Jan-15 21:17:12

I've been reading my company's policy on this today. I have to take all my annual leave (plus bank holidays) for the year before I leave which means I will be stopping work 6 weeks before my due date. Not ideal as I'd rather have the time afterwards, but with an hour plus commute each way it may ending up as a good thing! I was hoping I'd be able to be paid for some of the holiday instead of taking the days, but sadly not.

TheBooMonster Tue 06-Jan-15 21:21:44

My place have booked all of my holiday in the weeks before I go on maternity leave, I'm due april 11th, going on maternity leave march 16th (might be induced, don't want to lose holiday) holiday starts 8th feb.

last time I was due the end of the year, so i took what was left of that year (barely a couple of weeks) then would have added the next holiday year onto the end, but place went into administration whilst i was on maternity leave (fun times)

Georgia14 Tue 06-Jan-15 22:42:53

I have a question regarding maternity leave and pay also. I've been signed off sick now since 18 weeks now 23 weeks and have been told will be signed off till I go on maternity leave, my holiday entitlement starts in a months time for 8 weeks and the I was planning on starting my mat leave. Cause I've been signed off sick (pregnancy related) will I still get my full occupational mat pay. This would be 12 weeks full pay followed by the £138 for the remainder. Or will I only get stat may pay for it all. Or could my employer even say they won't pay smp to me due to me being off sick before the holiday then mat leave kick in.

mswibble Tue 06-Jan-15 22:48:46

Im due at the end of April too!
I have to take all my remaining AL before I start mat leave. I work at a Uni so my holiday year runs from October through to September. I have 18 days to use in this year and then when I go back in April 2016 I will have my renewed allowance of 27 days to use before that September. I'm finishing on March 20th and then beginning mat leave proper on April 20th.

Firstimemummy15 Wed 07-Jan-15 07:37:20

Just and idea but if you have to use holiday before going on annual leave and don't want to finish weeks and weeks before edd, could you take 1 or 2 days a week from a certain time to make ur working week shorter??

TeaandHobnobs Wed 07-Jan-15 10:42:08

To OP's question:
I went on ML at the end of April (unexpectedly earlier than planned, due to prem birth), and hadn't taken much of my leave entitlement for the year (Jan-Dec) at that point. For what I didn't take as leave, I was given payment in lieu (in December of that year). I guess that is just my company's policy though.

Georgia your pay will be dictated by the average of the pay you actually received in the eight weeks or two months up to the last pay day before the end of the Qualifying Week (which is 15 weeks before your due date) - see this fact sheet. Are you currently on statutory sick pay or are you still receiving full pay while sick? This will affect what you are entitled to in the first 6 weeks. If you are still signed off sick at 36 weeks, your mat leave will have to commence at this point (I think regardless of whether you are using annual leave at that point?).
And your employer has to pay you SMP even if you have been off sick. You could try contacting Maternity Action for further advice?

Just going back to what happened to me, I went on sick leave at 29 weeks when I was admitted to hospital, and ended using up 15 days of my 20 day company sickness allowance. My HR were trying to persuade me to take holiday or start my mat leave once my sickness allowance ran out, rather than go on statutory sick pay. However I really did not want to start my ML early (and they couldn't force me to until 36 weeks), and I decided I'd rather take statutory sick pay since I knew I would be paid in lieu for my untaken annual leave at the end of the year. In the end, it didn't matter, as DS was born at 31+5, and my mat leave was triggered at that point anyway.

Georgia14 Wed 07-Jan-15 11:30:29

Thanks teaandhobnobs. I'm still on full sick pay. So that would be full sick pay over the qualifying weeks also.

nottheOP Wed 07-Jan-15 11:39:47

I returned to work on 1st Jan and used holiday for the last couple of weeks of December. It was nice to get a better pay packet in December too. Thi would only work if you're going back to work then.

I also started my mat leave the Monday before my Due Date - this was the minimum but I knew that I would just take more holiday in December. I wasn't allowed to carry any over as that is company policy for everybody else.

PincPengwin Thu 08-Jan-15 21:43:45

I'm due April 12th, only taking 2 weeks maternity so starts March 29th but i've hardly used any holidays this year so have 6/7 weeks to take so officially leaving work around 8th February smile having a nice rest before baby gets here.

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