Pregnancy & Birth Clubs <
06/12/2012 at 11:37
Can't help worrying about this, and it's not long before I have to tell them what I'm doing!
Does anyone know anything about maternity pay for the NHS? I know what I'd qualify for maternity pay wise, but it's the after bit that's worrying me. I've heard that if I change my mind about returning to work after my mat leave, I would have to pay back any extra pay I get except for the SMP. I work full time now, and I know there's no way we could afford childcare costs for me returning to work full time (I don't earn very much and we'd have no family that could look after baby to avoid childcare costs).
As far as what I can find out, I'd have to return to work for a minimum of 3 months to avoid paying back mat pay, my salary would basically be used to cover childcare costs. I know of someone who wanted to go back part time but use their annual leave for the 3 months and then handed in their notice, but would feel really cheeky doing that.
Hubby has been talking about moving closer to friends and family when baby is a few months old, so I would have to if we did that look for another NHS job part time local to that area but don't know how successful that would be, and if I would still have to pay back maternity pay anyway.
06/12/2012 at 11:44
If you get another NHS job then its counted as continuous employment (that's one of the benefits of being employed by the NHS) so you wouldn't need to pay back the maternity pay. Its 5 years ago now so the rules may have changed, but you could choose whether to have the enhanced maternity pay package which assumed that you'd come back to work, or the basic maternity pay package which assumed that you wouldn't. I think its quite generous, the time for getting another NHS job before you have to pay the money back.
I would do what you can with the annual leave etc and DON'T feel cheeky... if that's how it is then that's how it is! As long as you communicate your wishes clearly and with enough notice, it's no different to any other member of staff leaving. Perhaps you could go back 'part-time' by using your annual leave. If you return part-time 'officially' it's still only 3 months you have to work to avoid paying back your enhanced mat pay.
I don't think you'd have to pay back your mat pay if you got another job in the NHS straightaway, but I'm not 100% sure of that, best to check with your HR dept. (ETA Cedar has now answered this so ignore!)
06/12/2012 at 11:47
Does this help? It's from the Mat leave policy.
If You Are Not Returning To Work
More than 26 weeks service
If you have been employed for a continuous period of 26 weeks or more by the 25th week of pregnancy, you will be entitled to 39 weeks Statutory Maternity Pay plus 13 weeks unpaid leave, which is broken-down as follows:
Weeks 1 – 6 (inc) - 90% of average weekly earnings
Weeks 7 – 39 (inc) - 90% of average weekly earnings or (SMP- £135.45) per week,
whichever is the lesser
Weeks 40 – 52 (inc) - Unpaid Leave
Less than 26 weeks service
If you have less than 26 weeks service you will be entitled to 52 weeks maternity leave. The
Pay Department will forward form SMP1 along with your original MATB1 to you, which
will enable you to claim maternity benefits from the Social Security Department. The
benefits payable are dependant upon your individual circumstances.
(c) If You Are Undecided
If you are undecided as to whether you wish to return to work, your entitlement to maternity leave/pay will be the same as though you were not returning to work (see section 4b). If, however, you subsequently decide that you do wish to return to work, your entitlement will be in accordance with returning to work pay/leave (see section 4a).
06/12/2012 at 11:48
Failure To Return To Work
If having indicated that you will return to work with NHS XXX for at least 3 months and you do not do so, or indicated a return to another NHS employer and you fail to forward a copy of your letter of appointment within 15 months of commencement of maternity leave, you will be required to refund your maternity pay as follows:
• If you have one or more years service at 11 weeks before the expected week of childbirth, you will be required to refund the whole of the maternity pay received, less Statutory Maternity Pay
• If you have less than 1 year's service and only received Statutory Maternity Pay, you will not be required to refund this.
06/12/2012 at 12:39
Thanks everyone, that does help a bit! It's such a minefield, and time seems to race by!
06/12/2012 at 12:48
I think the 3 month rule is quite common for enhanced maternity pay, my employer is the same. Definitely see if you can be clever with your annual leave and as Saisi says don't feel guilty. Could you manage 3 days a week childcare costs? Might be worth working out how much you will get with SMP and Enhanced Maternity Pay and seeing if the difference is enough to cover the costs of the childcare for 3 months. E.g. if you earnt an extra £5,000 on enhanced pay you would still be 'up' even paying out for childcare for 3 months afterwards and then leaving anyway IYKWIM?
06/12/2012 at 12:59
I know you've said you don't have long to think about it but you don't need to tell your employer anything, including that you are even pregnant, until the 15th week before your expected due date so you still have 2 months to decide. You also don't need to tell them if you are thinking of not returning. The Employee Relations Department will be in touch with you by letter, not earlier than 28 days before the end of your paid maternity leave to ask your intentions for returning to work.
06/12/2012 at 13:00
I basically earn a day the basic cost for childcare per day, so whatever I earnt 3 days a week would go straight to nursery, but know what you mean. I would accrue about 30 days annual leave though which I suppose I could ask if I could use when my mat leave ends
06/12/2012 at 13:03
Notts Lass, my understanding of it is that if you go back part time then the 3 months rule extends until you've worked the equivilent.
06/12/2012 at 13:04
I've found a childminder to be cheaper than nursery so that might help you a little bit. If you stopped working would you be able to get any other benefits based on just your H's salary? That would maybe help with the drop in income. x
06/12/2012 at 13:08
I've been told that it has to be agreed before I go on mat leave whether I'm returning to work or not
06/12/2012 at 13:10
If you definitely accrue 30 days leave then you will be able to use this at the end of your Maternity Leave so you would only have under 2 months to work. Just be careful as depending on how the leave year falls you may 'owe' them for annual leave. For example I get 30 days a year, I'm having to use them all up before I go on ML as my ML is half in this leave year and half next. So whilst I'm off for 12 months I 'only' accrue 15 days (6 months ML in the next leave year) + then I have another 15 to use for the remainder of the leave year but if I was to take all 30 and leave after 3 months I'd owe them 3 months leave! Your HR will be able to advise you better though.
pombear, sorry I should have been clearer...I meant she could use her leave to make herself part time so using up 2/3 days a week of annual leave but technically she's still full time!
06/12/2012 at 13:12
I'm surprised at that Gbutterfly, here you don't have to make that decision for ages
06/12/2012 at 13:16
GB, I've just had my meeting with HR and still can't remember what they said about informing them of that beforehand!! I know I said I was coming back anyway so maybe they did ask me! What I don't have to say is what hours I am planning on yet (flexi working request). Calculate the amount you get with enhanced pay compared to the amount on SMP though, it's worth taking into consideration. You wont be losing money by paying for childcare but you will essentially be working for nothing BUT if you've earnt an extra £5k for example on the enhanced pay it's worth it! Personally I would stay and see about all that when you're due back...a lot can change in a year and you're only just in 2nd tri so have a while to go before baby will be here anyway
06/12/2012 at 13:19
Ah ok! Thanks Notts Lass, thought I had to tell them all that beforehand. I was told it had to all be agreed at 20 weeks when I hand in my cert
06/12/2012 at 13:25
At my meeting with hr I was given my start date back! I always thought you had to go back for three months or you had to pay it back. Or you can get a job within the nhs elsewhere as its continuous service.
06/12/2012 at 13:50
No, from ladies on here I learnt that you have to tell them barely anything beforehand and thinking about it it makes sense as you have no idea about your circumstances that far down the line. To play it safe I would say you are planning on returning but that you haven't thought any further ahead than that. Honestly, don't let them pressure you or get yourself stressed out.
06/12/2012 at 13:57
Ok, will do! Feel much better now!!!! Thanks ladies :D
You DEFINITELY do not need to tell them at 20 weeks. The policy states by the 15th week before your due date so only at 25 weeks do you even have to admit you are pregnant. I'd just say you will be returning as you are well within your rights to change your mind. They will contact you 28 days before your paid maternity leave ends, so 9 months, to find out if you are coming back or not. They are making it up GB and need to read their own policies. Do you have access via the intranet to your own local maternity policy? x
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