Posted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 12:38 pm
Post subject: Annual leave & Maternity leave - Advice please?
Can anyone help me please?
I started work with my company at the beginning of Feb and our leave year runs from Jan to December and we can't carry any leave over.
I want to start my maternity leave on the 1st of Sept and thought that i would be entitled to 11 months of annual leave as i will still be employed by the company from Sept to Dec even though i'm not actually here. I wanted to take the annual leave before my maternity leave so i had a bit longer off before.
My employer is saying that i'm only entitled to build leave from Feb to August as that is the actual amount of months i will have worked for them. Are they right?
Does what i've written make sense?
x x x
Posted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 12:54 pm
I have this problem too as i am starting my maternity before the end of the holiday year but i am entitled to all the holiday i would acrrue from starting maternity to the end of the holiday year.
You still accrue holiday while on maternity and you are legally entitled to these days so if they won't let you take them before then they should pay you them at the end of the holiday year.
Posted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 12:56 pm
They are right but so are you, i think you may be a little muddled. You wont need to take any leave beyond sept because you'll be on maternity leave anyway and you can't carry any over. so you need to use all your entitlment before or during august. this way you still leave work before. you won't be entitled to count any bank holidays as leave because you will be being paid at a different rate from if you were there anyway. altough you are employed by the company you are 'not there' so everything is at it's minimum or reduced.
does this make sense?
Posted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 1:08 pm
Yeah that's kind of what i'd thought. If i can't carry over the days i accumulate from Sept to Dec then i should be able to take them before i start maternity leave.
They are saying i am not entitled to them because i won't be at work - but i am still employed by the company!
Thanks for all your advice
Posted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 1:35 pm
Posted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 2:45 pm
Hi slummymummy, I think you are right. See text below, I copied this from a website (www.berr.gov.uk)
Ordinary maternity leave is the first 26 weeks, additional is a further 26.
Employees on maternity leave retain their entitlement to statutory annual leave throughout ordinary and additional maternity leave. If the employee is also entitled to contractual annual leave (that is, annual leave that is provided by her contract, on top the statutory minimum provided by law) she will continue to accrue this additional, contractual entitlement during Ordinary Maternity Leave. Women whose expected week of childbirth is on or after 5October 2008 will continue to accrue contractual annual leave during Additional Maternity leave. However, women whose child is expected before this date will not continue accruing contractual annual leave during Additional Maternity Leave unless she has agreed otherwise with her employer.
It is not possible for an employee to take annual leave at the same time as maternity leave. It will, though, usually be possible for an employee to use any untaken annual leave either before she starts her maternity leave, or once her maternity leave has finished.
She could, for example, agree with her employer that she will take two weeks’ annual leave immediately before starting maternity leave. This would mean that her last day at work before maternity leave was actually two weeks before her maternity leave began. It should be remembered, though, that if the baby is born early the maternity leave must start from that point.
Employers and employees will often find it useful, once the woman has given notice that she is pregnant, to incorporate annual leave arrangements into their planning. This is particularly important if the employee plans to take a whole year’s maternity leave, as it is not possible to carry over statutory annual leave from one leave year to the next, or to pay the employee in lieu of any untaken statutory annual leave unless the contract is terminated. It is, of course, up to the employer and the employee to agree between them whether to carry over or provide pay in lieu of any untaken contractual annual leave above the statutory minimum.
If your are employer is saying you can't take it before you've accrued it then they will have to let you carry over the days you accrue from Sept to Dec.
Hope this helps.
Posted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 2:56 pm
Thanks for this WifeyG. I think they are trying to mess me about a little bit. They never did a H & S assessment and didn't reply within 28 days about when i want to go on maternity leave, so i haven't got the form saying they won't be paying me anything which i need to take to the Job Centre to get my maternity allowence.
I was a few weeks pregnant when i started the job, but i didn't know when i came for interviews etc. I think they are a bit grumpy about that which is understandable, but i wasn't going to turn down a job and sit at home for 9 1/2 months! I was going to come back part time, but i feel like there's bad feeling now and i feel uncomfortable about it. Which is probably what they want.
Posted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 3:54 pm
Just heard back from Citizens Advice and they didn't really offer any help.
I've no idea really where i stand on this so don't know how to argue it. As i haven't been with the company for very long, i don't think i have as many rights legally.
Oh well, i'll just have to have a few days sick to make up for it!!
Posted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 8:29 pm
Hi there, I've found that ACAS are quite helpful - they have a telephone helpline, but I would suggest that your holiday will still be accruing whilst you are on maternity so you can either take it in advance of earning it (if you leave they'll claw back the money) or be paid for it at the end of the holiday year. Your employer is legally bound to be flexible over holiday entitlement as it is contractual, therefore legally binding, also maternity leave is legally binding so your emplyer doesn't have a leg to stand on!