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Maternity Leave - Holiday Entitlement

7 replies

Fiona1987 · 13/05/2020 11:33

Hi everyone,

I wonder if anyone can give me some advice, please.

I'm currently 29 weeks pregnant, with baby due on July 29th.

I want to take the full 52 weeks maternity leave.

I currently have 15 days holiday left for this year. The HR lady said I could carry my holidays over to next year and take them at the end of my maternity leave.
Today the company sent me a letter in which it says:

"Our holiday year runs from 1 January to 31 December. If the holiday year is due to finish during your maternity leave or shortly after it ends, you should plan with us to use your holiday entitlement before starting your maternity leave. Alternatively you might consider ending your maternity leave early and transferring onto paid holiday in order to use up your entitlement. Any of your 5.6 weeks of statutory holiday entitlement for the holiday year that is not taken before starting your maternity leave can be carried over to the next holiday year and should be taken immediately before returning to work"

Is it true that if I carry over holidays I have to cut short my maternity leave to use up my holiday? I thought I could fully use the 52 weeks and then attach the 15 days at the end.

Thanks for advice.

OP posts:
dementedpixie · 13/05/2020 11:46

Maybe its just that your last 3 months of maternity leave is unpaid so they are saying you could come back earlier to turn some of those weeks into paid leave rather than unpaid maternity leave. They dont say you have to come back early to carry forward leave

UrsulaSings · 13/05/2020 12:09

I think it's just the way its worded. My letter says about using up AL before mat leave, but in reality my manager has said it's fine to take it after and it'll carry over. It's probably just a standard letter they send out.

Dyra · 13/05/2020 12:28

It's saying you have 3 options:

  1. Take it all before you go on maternity leave.

2. Come back early, but include the annual leave so you still get 52 weeks.
3. Have your 52 weeks, but all of the previous year's entitlement has to be taken immediately after it ends before you return to work.

I'm doing the 3rd option. We have to use our entire years worth of leave before we take maternity leave otherwise we lose it. However, I inadvertently wound up with two weeks annual leave left over from last year's entitlement after my body had other ideas. Fortunately I went off the day before I was supposed to start the annual leave, so now, I'm taking my 52 weeks with the two weeks on the end so I'm returning on the original date agreed.
Persipan · 13/05/2020 13:24

I personally am doing a sort of mash up of 2 and 3 - I'll be off work for more than a year altogether, but have taken a bit less of the unpaid bit. I've essentially got a year's worth of annual leave that I have to take on the end of my maternity leave so I'd have been off for a lot more than a year if I did the whole 52 weeks of maternity leave plus that.

Mrbay · 13/05/2020 13:28


That's odd, at work we normally encourage our staff to take some holiday before they start mat leave, then a block at the end of the 52-weeks and some use their holiday to reduce their working week, allows that them to step back into work gradually.

I'd have to look at the regulations but I'm pretty certain that you can carry your leave forward for 1-year after the birth of your baby.

Wudgy · 13/05/2020 13:31

By law they have to allow you to carry over AL accrued ( up to the stat allowance only which is 5.6 weeks) and normally ask that it is taken as soon as maternity ends. Cannot force you to come off maternity earlier to start annual leave but most people consider this so they have some pay during the last 3 months unpaid bit. Entirely up to u!

MichelleOR84 · 13/05/2020 13:39

It’s just the wording . Financially it makes sense for some people which is why they suggested it .

I had 2 months worth of holiday so I decided to take 10 months of maternity leave and then two months holiday And returned after one year .

I’m currently pregnant again and this time I’m taking 1 year maternity and then all my holidays after , returning after 14 months . It means I’ll have a 3 month period ( 9-12) months with no pay but this time around we can afford that so the extra time with my kid’s will be nice .

But you can definitely carry over any holiday and it’s your decision when you can take them .

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