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What happens to the holiday accured whilst on maternity?

Hi Ladies,

I'm just wondering about what happens to the holiday you accure whilst on mat leave. Im due back very soon and not sure whether or not to return (financial reasons). I know if you return you get your holiday, but if not do you lose this?

I work for the NHS if this makes a difference, tbh after numerous attempts to try to sort out flexible hours I've had no joy. So any advice you have would be great.

Thanks x


  • Hi, I don't think you lose your accrued holiday if you don't return to work. I think you are paid for it. I went back to work after my maternity leave, and was paid for the holiday, but my friend didn't, and she had a nice sum which she hadn't realised she was due.
  • At my work place, you have to take your accrued holiday at the end of your maternity (tag it on at the end as such). If you choose not to go back to work they don't pay you the holiday due. This could be different at your place of work - it should be in the maternity policy.
  • Hi, don't know about the leave, but if you want to go back I recommend if you haven't already to put in a formal request for flexible working quoting the legislation that means it is a legal requirement for them to consider it. Then they'll have to make a formal response explaning why they are not allowing it - which you should then get your union (if you aren't in one, join) to advise you and help fight your corner. You work for the public sector, which is supposed to support work-life balance, parents etc, so use that to your advantage to complain higher up.
  • I worked for the NHS (before, during and after maternity leave) and you are still entitled to accrue your holiday whether you go back or not, as you are still employed during your maternity leave. Remember though, that if you leave say 6 months into the leave year, you will only be entitled to half a years worth of leave - and I do believe you have to be employed for an entire month to accrue any leave for it.

    If you don't go back and therefore cannot take it it should be paid.

    The rules should be the same as if you resign at any other time for any other reason.

    At my trust, you could only carry over one weeks worth of leave into the next leave year, so it you are due to return after 8th April, you would unfortunately lose the leave from this year - but you also would if going back to work, so this should already have been made clear to you. But you would accrue leave for the proportion of next year for which you're employed.
  • I work for the NHS and am surprised that your leave wasn't sorted out before you went on Mat leave. The maternity leave form with the policy generally has somewhere on it how much leave you will be carrying over into the next year and then you can work out how much you will accrue depending on the date you have put down to return. It should also whether you will be taking you leave before your mat leave kicks in or towards the end when you are possibly going on to nil pay.
    You need to have a good read of your policy as regards to returning to work after mat leave. If you wish to return part time/ less hours, you need to submit this request with normally 2 months of you returning. Your Trust will also have a policy on flexible working that you should read. You need to have a good case as to how it will work for your dept if you go part time, since if it is not good for them on the business side and they have a good case against it then they are not obliged to say yes to you. The clinical work i do dictates we have to work a minimum 3 days a week since we do so much mandatory and stautory training that to employ someone any less than this would prove very costly for the dept and therefore is not cost effective for the dept. I woudl read through the policies and speak with you HR dept, if your manager is not as good as they should be!Good luck
  • im on maternity leave at the moment my pay stops in june and then i can take another 3 months unpaid but im wondering if i will be due any holiday pay i work for a very large company im a cook at a school and the way we get paid is spread out over the year so when we get school hols we get paid i really dont have a clue on my rights etc my company havent kept me in the loop right from the begining before i started my maternity 

  • I'm due to go on maternity leave in June and I don't plan to return to work. But my employer threatened that if I don't return back to work after then I will not get my annual leave that i will accrue or  I have to pay it back! But I know my rights and will fight them for it

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