Your rights after maternity leave: Hi, So I’m thinking... - NCT


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Your rights after maternity leave

kirstyblue profile image


So I’m thinking in advance here as I’m due to go on maternity at the end of June. I was wondering what my rights are if I decide I don’t want to go back to my job? Will I end up having to pay my maternity pay back? As far as Work are concerned I’m coming back but I know I have to tell them for sure 8 weeks before I’m due back.

Ideally I need to find more of a local job after mat leave. I have tired looking this up online but can’t seem to find the answer.

Thanks x

16 Replies

Hi there you have to go back to work for 3 months before you resign otherwise you have to pay a proportion of the maternity leave back I'm not sure how much tho x

kirstyblue profile image
kirstyblue in reply to

Thank you! 3 months is going to feel like a long time 😫 They best approve my request for part time hours but I know legally they don’t have to. Surely they can’t expect anyone to go back full time with a baby! X

in reply to kirstyblue

Aww bless ya yeah I'm in the same boat I don't want to go back but need to for the money sigh yer unfortunately that's how it is im starting work on a Friday because then at least I get the weekend off before going back the Monday x

laurafig profile image
laurafig in reply to kirstyblue

Follow Mother Pucker on instagram for advice on flexible hours.

Hi Kirsty,

The only maternity pay you may have to pay back is any additional paid by your employer on top of the statutory maternity pay. For example if you get more than the stat £145 per week.

This all depends on your company and HR should be able to give you the full policy. I think the other poster has given you their work’s policy of 3 months but this may not be applicable for you. My own work requires me to go back for 6 months after so they are all different.

If you are only paid statutory maternity pay you will not need to pay this back even if you don’t go back x

You only have to pay back if your employer gives you more money for being on maternity leave. I only got the statutory maternity leave so technically I could of left my job without paying anything back xx

Hi I Took 12 months of have the notice and never went back to work. I never had to pay anything back either.

Just thinking of the 3 month thing, if you have accrued annual leave and bank holidays, you can use them during the 3 month period of being back at work - which can make it a lot more tolerable xx

Thank you. My holiday allowance is actually due to start again 1st I still entitled to the usual full allowance or will this be less as I leave end of June? X

Hmmm - HR question I reckon... do you have any left over from last year? It’ll likely be pro-rata for this year...

Some employers when they know your not coming back for much time just let you go...maybe yours will be helpful in this way? X

Babypud19 profile image
Babypud19 in reply to kirstyblue

You'll only be entitled to what annual leave you've accrued between 1st April and June when you leave. If you had any annual leave that you didn't use the previous leave year you are allowed to carry this over to the new year as well.

If you get stat maternity pay, you shouldn’t have to pay them anything back, as they haven’t contributed to your pay. Surely you would only pay back if they pay into it.

Do you have any annual leave you can add on the end of your maternity leave?

It depends on the company- I have to go back for a year or pay back 3 months maternity pay! Its a joke! Do you have access to tge company's maternity policy?

If you work in the public services (teacher, police, nurse...) it is 3 months. I did that after my daughter.

So it’s the money you get from work that you’d need to pay back, not the £145ish you get every week. Depending on how much you earn we’re talking about thousands of pounds.

As a teacher you don’t accumulate holidays (I appreciate you couldn’t get all holidays but it sucks knowing you have literally 12 months from when you go on maternity to when you have to be. back and see others then using their annual leave to extend their maternity leave...).

I went back for those 12 weeks and then quit. It might feel like a long time but similarly passes quite quickly.

I'm an HR Business Partner and agree with all those that have said you won't have to pay back SMP but if your company does enhanced mat pay you usually do have to pay that back if you leave before the date their policy states, usually within 3 months of returning. With annual leave, you will continue to accrue this while you are on mat leave so if you know you are leaving then just make sure you only use what you will have accrued during your mat leave up to your final day of employment. Easiest way to work it out is by taking your annual leave allowance, divide by 12 and then multiply by how many full months you'll still be working for them (obviously you'll need to deduct any leave you've already taken.)

Hope that helps.

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