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Maternity leave and resigning...(25 Posts)
I'm not sure if anyone has been through this or can help..
I'm currently 16 weeks pregnant, my boss has known since I was about 8 weeks. We had a meeting the other day to get some dates down on paper and to discuss what I'd like to do when I came back to work - which is where the problem has arisen!!
I suggested coming back part time for a start and then would increase my hours as baby was getting older etc. He has basically veto'd this idea and said he wants me full time straight away.
So my question is, if I do not return to work do I have to pay back my SMP (he mentioned this to me) but I don't get any extra-just the standard 90% for 6 weeks and then basic pay after that?
Also if I decided not to come back and told him before I went on maternity would I lose my right to maternity pay?
Or would I have to go on maternity and then hand my notice in before I was due to go back?
Any help would be appreciated!!
You have the absolute right to receive 90% of your pay for 6 weeks then smp for a further 33 weeks and that cannot be taken away if you aren't going back. If your employers supplement this minimum, which lots do, then that extra can be demanded back if you don't return.
I work for NOMS, we get 6 months full pat, then 3 months SMP. If we do not want to return, we have to give a months notice, and annual leave can be used in lieu of notice, so leave accrued whilst off counts towards this.
Check your company handbook on their policy on this.
SMP is actually mainly paid for by the govt. Your company claims all or most of it (depending on size) back. They cannot take it away from you and you don't have to pay it back. Even if you give notice to quit just before you went on maternity.
It's different if you have extra maternity benefits.
Your normal notice period applies during maternity leave so you can agree to go back after your leave and then hand in your notice at an appropriate time to ensure you don't have to go back at all.
Nb you accrue paid annual leave throughout your maternity leave so if your leave is scheduled to end in July 2017 and you give 2 months notice in May 2017 you ought to get a lump sum payment in lieu of accrued annual leave.
As per PP. You are entitled to SMP and this does not need to be paid back. Some company's that pay enhanced pay do require this to be paid back if you do not return to work.
I would suggest that you don't resign until you have to because whilst you're still employed you are still accruing holiday and benefits. Just before the end of your maternity leave, at least the length of your notice period, ask to return on a part time basis if they say no, then resign. Fast forward a year and you don't know what your circumstances will be, they may have changed, you may need to go back to work full time.
Asking for part time now the business may say no, however, their requirements may have changed in a few months time and they might welcome you back on a part time basis.
If you did decide to resign now because that's what you want to do, of course that's fine and you can claim the maternity allowance which is similar to SMP but you have to claim it yourself rather than it be paid via your payroll.
If you just get standard maternity pay then none of it needs paying back. I would go on maternity leave and hand in your resignation before you come back giving the correct notice period.
You only receive the legal minimum, it would seem, so you pay back nothing. Your mat pay is claimed back by your employer from the govt. It's only mat pay that exceeds the legal minimum which can be paid back.
You can formally request flexible working upon your return and you should be given the details of why it is not possible. An arbitrary no at this stage is probably breaching the law.
Are you in a union? If not, get in touch with ACAS and Maternity Action.
In terms of going part time while your current boss may have verbally vetoed it now but you can formally apply for flexible working while on maternity leave. They can still say no but they'll have to assess it and give you the business case.
To be fair, what you've asked for isn't realistic in terms of going back part time and then upping your hours as you see fit over time. They can't plan for that. If you apply to go part time and get it, that's a permanent change to your contract. Any further changes to your hours will need to be handled in due course as a new flexible working request.
All that said by the time you're coming back that boss could be gone so hang on before doing anything.
Yes I only get smp,my work does not increase this at all.i don't have a handbook to look through at work and my contract says nothing about maternity leave etc!!
The only reason i suggested telling them I wasn't going back after the maternity is due to my boss debating on if to get a temp in for the 9 months.i have been here for a long time and feel an obligation to let them know soon as I do and not lead them into thinking I'll come back when I have no intention of coming back..
I guess it would be best to go maternity and then hand it in before I go back,it just feels a bit under handed!
Not at all - your boss isn't exactly being professional by telling yor incorrect info on SMP.
Agree with others - put in a formal flexible working request when you know what you want - they have 8 weeks to get back to you.
A couple of other things,I work for a reasonably small company so when I say my boss he is one of the directors so it's not as if he is going anywhere!
They tend to accommodate most people on working hours,many people do more than they are contracted for etc.and we have had part time workers before but his reasoning was "part time just never works for us",felt a bit disappointed really as like I have said I'm one of the longest employees.
If I put in a request for part time nearer the end of my maternity,it wouldn't really do much as they don't have a system in place to review these things if you know what I mean!! It's just you ask the director and get an answer!
I was in the same position, OP - small employer who I wanted to be fair with and give as much notice as possible. I gave notice soon after the baby was born and received full statutory maternity pay. This is from the Maternity Action website, a charity that campaigns for fair maternity leave:
"You will still be entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay if your job ends after the end of the 15th week before your baby is due (this is roughly week 26 of your pregnancy) and you meet the normal qualifying conditions. However, if your job ends before the end of the 15th week before your baby is due you will not be entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay but you may be entitled to Maternity Allowance instead. These rights are explained below."
"Once you have qualified for SMP you are entitled to receive all of it from your employer for 39 weeks even if you resign from your job or you are dismissed or you decide not to go back to work after maternity leave."
So I would wait until you reach the cut-off point and then formally request again for flexible hours, then hand in notice if you want to.
Spookily I have exactly the same situation. However the company I work for does not believe in maternity leave and will try to get rid if they find out I am pregnant before I tell them.
Interesting to read that I can resign at the end of maternity leave and still claim SMP- and not feel bad that I am affecting a small business as they claim it back anyway.
In that case, you are fine, it's only enhanced pay you would have to pay back, but SMP.
I would do the same as artioo if it's a small company. I think it's a bit underhanded if you don't give notice till the end when you have no intention to go back. You have been working there for a long time as you have said. It's totally different when the company is of a reasonable size. It's much easier to cover your leave when there are others in the team who are essentially doing the same job a syou.
AndOnandOn, a company can not believe in maternity leave all it likes, but it's legally required to give it to you. If they did try and get rid of you because you are pregnant, they would be breaking the law and you would be able to take them to court if it came to that.
Thank you Artioo2, it is a small company who will make life quite difficult when they find out, hence my desire to leave.
I just need to make sure no one guesses before I am ready to tell.
Sorry for the hijack.
The other thing to think about is that you would lose any benifits from your company if you quit before mat leave - eg, you work in new look you would lose your staff discount - so if you get benifits like this then hand your notice in as per your contract during you mat leave
The acas website has lots of useful info on how to request flexible working. The company has to consider your request and give you a business reason for refusing. As someone else said though it would be a permanent change to your contract. They have to reply to your request within 14 days I think. I'm pregnant and have put in a request to my school to go to 4 days which has been refused (although they say they're trying to make it happen) but I still won't be back at work in a year (from now) so I'm going to request again once the 12 months is up (if they haven't already said it's ok).
I think you should formally request the part time for your return now. All they can do is say no! Like others have said though I wouldn't resign until later in your maternity leave.
Don't forget that you accrue annual leave whilst on mat leave so could use that to go back part time initially- say you accrue 15days whilst on mat leave you could go back 3days a week for 7 weeks, then 4days for a couple of weeks as you'd have accrued some more whilst back.
I wouldn't had your notice in until you are well in to mat leave.
You don't actually want to go to four days a week until your return though as you accrue holiday, pension payments are made etc on a five day a week basis until the change goes through.
Thanks for all the helpful replies ladies
After thinking about it I won't hand it my notice in until on maternity and that will be after bringing up the part time again.they wouldn't allow me to use my holidays to just work 3 days a week as he would know that's what I was doing,as I said it's a small firm so they know exactly what is happening!
Hopefully he will have a change of heart after my maternity leave as working part time is feasible,it won't change my job role or how the company works so it's only his personal reasons he has said no!
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