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If you take work maternity pay and then decide not to go back, do you owe it to them?

(20 Posts)
Millie26 Mon 08-Sep-08 17:14:15

On a bit of a questions roll today as just had 12 wk scan so all seems real!

Told work, and they mentioned maternity pay as 90% for 6 wks but if I changed my mind about going back, do I have to pay them back?

Sam100 Mon 08-Sep-08 17:16:03

It depends on your contract if your company pays their own pay over and above statutory maternity pay. But the 90% for 6 weeks sounds like Statutory Maternity Pay - plus you get another 20 weeks at approx £100 a week. SMP does not have to be re-paid if you do not go back.

expatinscotland Mon 08-Sep-08 17:16:56

most of the time, yes, you have to pay back what they paid you over and above SMP.

cathym Mon 08-Sep-08 17:17:01

No. the 90% of pay for 6 weeks is the minimum they need to pay you, and you can run off never to be seen again and that money is yours to keep.
Some good organisations (but sadly not mine) offer a better package that this, and that might come with certain conditions such as needing to return to work for a certain period of time in order to keep the money.
You'll also get the £100 ish a week for the first 6 months (or has it gone up to 9 months now?).

Millie26 Mon 08-Sep-08 17:18:48

Hey, thanks, this is really useful.

It is just SMP - I dont really want to go back, but could do with the money for the 6 weeks!

hannah001 Mon 08-Sep-08 17:47:31

actually - I disagree expat - I've never worked somewhere where I've had to pay back mat pay (and I'm not talking SMP). Usually they seem to give you an incentive to go back - in my current case I get £1000 extra if I go back to work.

babyignoramus Mon 08-Sep-08 17:58:14

If it helps, my company pays 90% for 6 weeks, then SMP for 20 weeks - but I also get 50% of my normal pay on top of SMP for 12 weeks. If I decide not to go back I have to pay back the 50% but not the SMP. And I only have to go back for 3 months... no idea if that's any use!

flowerybeanbag Mon 08-Sep-08 18:03:28

Not sure how many organisations/sectors you've worked in hannah but you've been very lucky! Much more common to have to pay back anything over and above SMP unless you come back to work for a period of time, often 3 months as babyignoramus says.

NorthernLurker Mon 08-Sep-08 18:16:47

Milliw - just to be clear - it's not just 6 weeks! It's 90% of your pay for 6 weeeks and then £100+ for the next 33 weeks. 39 weeks in total - assuming you've been employed for a certain amount of time. I can't remember how long but basically if you were working for your employer when you got pregnant then you're ok.

MarkStretch Mon 08-Sep-08 18:18:53

You must check your policy. When I worked for the NHS you had to pay it back if you didn't return, including if you got pregnant again whilst on Mat leave which happened to a colleague, but my current employer says no.

I would ring your HR department directly though as I got told 40 different things by members of staff.

lucykate Mon 08-Sep-08 18:25:23

you don't have to pay back any smp, plus, even if your company do offer any extra maternity pay, they do have to right to claim it back if you don't return, but only if this is agreed in writing with you, and signed by both parties, before you go on maternity leave. most companies forget to do this part, assuming it's already mentioned in your contract, but in many cases it isn't.

hannah001 Mon 08-Sep-08 18:55:18

flowerybeanbag - I'm a software engineer.

lucykate - thanks for clearing that up

BlueJellie Mon 08-Sep-08 19:12:31

I get 6 months full pay at my work, but if I don't go back I have to pay that back less any SMP. I'm also goig back part time but have to work 4 weeks full time otherwise will still have to pay it back! Worth it for the full pay though

Tangle Mon 08-Sep-08 19:26:46

Millie26 - might be worth checking with the CAB as well. I was due just before the rules changed so things might be different now, but I got 90% pay for 6 weeks plus SMP for however long. I also continued to acrue benefits (annual leave) for the entire period of my maternity leave (including that portion where I didn't get SMP). Even though I always planned on being a SAHM, I didn't officially tell them that until 28 days before I was due back - if I had done so sooner I'd have effectively resigned, at which point I'd have got zilch.

The government leflet on maternity benefits is here, but its a bit of a trawl to find info.

Febes Mon 08-Sep-08 19:32:05

I get 4 months full pay and then SMP up to 39 weeks but have to finish at 32 weeks PG and if you don't go back you have to pay back minus your SMP. I'm a teacher. I've already done it once and now I'm pregnant again.

Febes Mon 08-Sep-08 19:33:06

You also have to go back for at least 3 months or equavilent if you are part time.

wombleprincess Wed 10-Sep-08 13:24:19

company maternity pay aka additional maternity pay: company sets the rules, you may have to pay back if thats in there rules.
statutory maternity pay - 90% for 6 weeks then 120 for remaining up to 39 weeks, dont have to payback. this is presuming you qualify for SMP, you have to have worked for a certain period of time and earnt a certain amount. look at http://www.dwp.gov.uk/advisers/ni17a/smp/smp_2.asp
if you are not sure.

hanaflower Wed 10-Sep-08 13:27:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

emma2617 Wed 10-Sep-08 13:51:53

The minimum your company has to pay you (provided you have worked there 6 months by the 15th week before EWC) is 90% of your salary (averaged from the 8 weeks prior to taking your leave, including any bonuses etc) for the first 6 weeks, or 6 weeks at 117.18 if your 90% is less than this. Then you have 33 weeks at 117.18.

Total paid time off is 39 weeks, with the option to take a further 13 weeks unpaid to make it a full year.

NONE of this has to be paid back!

If you take company maternity leave which gives you more that statutaory maternity pay then there is usually a clause that if you dont return to work for a stipulated period you will owe them back anything over and above SMP.

See...clear as mud!!!!!!

EDTessa Wed 10-Sep-08 18:22:54

Just to add to the above, even if you lose your job (resign/ made redundant) while you're on maternity leave, you will still get the 39 weeks statutory maternity pay. The only thing that would stop it is if you started a new job in the meantime (not very likely).

And just so people know - in case their employer is crotchety about having to pay hmm - even big companies get repaid 92% of your statutory maternity pay by the government, and small employers get 100% back. Not that they have any right to complain anyway!!

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