How does holiday allowance work after maternity leave?
nics1stbaby · 06/08/2002 17:16
I am due to go on Maternity leave in 8 weeks (4 weeks before due date). I plan to either return after 18 weeks, but might take extended leave depending on how we are coping financially. When I return to work, will I have the normal holiday allowance as if I hadn't been away at all... or do I lose the period I was away?
Bozza · 06/08/2002 17:28
Not sure if this is a general rule but I accrued holiday through my 18 weeks of maternity leave, but had I taken extended leave would not have done so subquently. I had to take any outstanding leave before I finished. This was only 2 days as I finished at end of Jan (Jan-Dec holiday year)but then when I went back to work in June I had accrued Feb-May at full-time even though I went back to work part-time. This was really good because it meant that year I had loads of holidays and no problem taking the odd half day to take DS to the baby clinic etc.
I have heard that people who's leave is later in the year (eg returning to work at the beginning of Dec) are paid in lieu sometimes. Another rule is that you have to return to work before taking holiday - ie you can't just tag it onto the end of your leave. HTH.
leese · 06/08/2002 18:35
Hi there - think I was much similar to Bozza. Working for the NHS, I was entitled to take a year off if I wanted (though only 18 wks paid). I accrued holiday over this 18wk period, but unlike Bozza, it was calculated before I left, and I took it in with my maternity leave - not sure my manager was meant to do this, but did! I did end up taking extended leave, and accrued no holiday in this extra time. Consequently, when I returned to work in February, I had no hols left to take, just began accruing them again then. You may well prefer to take your hols as Bozza did, when you return to work, as it gives you more flexibility.
PamT · 06/08/2002 19:54
I worked in Local Government before becoming a SAHM and as far as I can remember I was given holiday entitlement for all the time that I was on paid maternity leave which I attempted to take in anticipation prior to maternity leave. DS was born v. early whilst I was officially on annual leave not maternity leave so I would have lost a week if I didn't return to work. I knew that I wouldn't be returning to work properly but had to go back for one day so that I could take that extra week. I worked on 19 December 1996, had 5 days holiday, 4 weekend days and 3 statutory holidays and ended up with a hefty wage of £450 for one 7 hour shift including a small tax refund! It would have cost them far less if they had paid me for just the week that I was owed but I wasn't complaining. Watch out that your maternity leave doesn't overlap holiday years or they might take any unused holidays off you.
I don't know what the statutory requirements are for holidays accrued whilst on maternity leave, perhaps your personnel department will tell you what the company policy is. You might also want to look into the possibility of claiming Working Families Tax Credit whilst you are off, if you are entitled to this you will also get the one-off payment which is quite large these days, you'll find more info about this on the Inland Revenue site or the DSS site. Good luck.
JanZ · 07/08/2002 09:59
You accrue holiday leave while you are on maternity leave (the paid bit) but not on maternity absence (the unpaid bit after 18 weeks, should you choose to make use of it). You are supposed to take the holiday you will accrue while you are off BEFORE you go off on maternity leave. In your case, that means that you could put off starting "official" maternity leave, using holiday leave initially. For example, if, say, you have two week holidays still to take (maybe a combination of days you have already accrued this holiday year, plus the time you would have accrued while you're off), then in 8 weeks time you can go "on holiday" for two weeks, and only start your maternity leave two weeks after that. That way, your maternity leave will last 2 weeks longer AFTER the birth.
In my case, with work commitments etc I only managed to stop a couple of weeks before ds was due. Intially I was "holiday" and my "official" maternity leave only started a few days before ds's due date. The only risk there is that if he had arrived early, the maternity leave automatically kicks in.
My own company had no problem with me taking holiday when I started back (which effectively added a week on to my break) - but they were in the process of changing the holiday year, from "birthday" year to calendar year - so it would have been hard for them to hold me to a particular period during which to take the time.
aloha · 07/08/2002 10:15
I don't think that's right. You just accrue holiday during maternity leave in exactly the same way as you do if you were working. You don't have to take it before the baby is born at all and you just roll in into your leave period. In fact, during maternity leave you keep all your benefits of work just as if you were in the office - that includes a car, parking space, mobile, health insurance, holiday - basically anything that's part of your job package and in your contract.
sis · 07/08/2002 10:43
Hello nics1stbaby, Most of what has been said on the messages is correct - annual leave definately accrues during the 18 weeks of maternity leave - bit of a grey area on whether or not it accrues over the extended maternity leave. I think that there is a very strong case for leave accruing over the whole period and always employers to pay for the whole period.
PamT has made a very important point in that if you do not take your leave before the end of the company's holiday year, then you could lose it!! so make sure you find out if the leave year will end while you are on maternity leave, if it does, then take the paid annual BEFORE you start maternity leave.
JanZ · 07/08/2002 10:49
You're right Aloha. I think the probllm is more if your maternity leave crosses holiday years. In our contract, we are not normally allowed to carry holidays into a new holiday year, so technically you would lose it (lathough in practice I don't think that happens). I suspect that that is why they say that they would "prefer" you to take your holiday before you go on leave. To be fair, the exact statement in the policy is "You will normally be asked to take this leave before commencing your maternity leave where possible."
Nics1stbaby - you should also be aware that any public holidays that occur while you are are on leave should be given to you in lieu, so that these should be added to the holidays you are due.
mears · 07/08/2002 13:51
Aaaaargh - dd spoke to me just as I went to preview the last link before posting it. I have checked it and it definately works - remember you have to have patience for it to download.
Aloha - all your employment rights are intact when on ordinary maternity leave (18 weeks which will be increasing to 26 weeks in April 2003).
On unpaid leave you are usually not entitled to accrue annual leave unless that has been negotiated individually by you and your employer.
The NHS (the caring profession) does not allow the accruing of annual leave when on unpaid leave.
sis · 07/08/2002 14:07
nics1stbaby, sorry to be the bearer of less positive news, but you will only be entitled to be paid for bank/public hols which occured whilst on maternity leave when you return to work if the bank/public holidays make up part of the four weeks annual leave entitlement. If you get four or more weeks annual leave plus bank/public holidays, the employer is within their rights not to pay for the "missed" public/bank hols.
Hope you enjoy your maternity leave!
debster · 07/08/2002 15:22
That's really interesting about public holidays. I am starting my 18 weeks Mat leave in 6.5 weeks time. I am following this with my entire year's annual leave allowance (25 days) and then taking one months unpaid leave. This will give me 6 months off in total. I was told by my employers (council) that I will accrue annual leave whilst on unpaid leave which is why I can take the full amount in one go. I wasn't told about public holidays though. Is this written down anywhere so that I can quote it to my employers?
JanZ · 07/08/2002 15:37
Debster - if you're employed by the local authority, they should have a written policy regarding maternity leave. Ask for a copy and read it through carefully - you may find that you ARE entitled to the public holidays in lieu.
One of the reason why my company is fairly generous is that it is ex public sector (ex electricity company) and a lot of these rights were conditions of employment that pre-dated privatisation.
To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.