Maternity Holiday Entitlement
By Dee Woodcock
I have been on maternity leave for the whole of our annual leave year and am due back at work at the end of our annual leave year. What happens to my holiday entitlement, will I lose it?
No, you will not lose your holiday entitlement, because you still accrue holiday entitlement whilst you are on maternity leave.
It would have been preferable that your employer had discussed the holiday leave with you before you went on maternity leave. If they did not I would expect them to discuss this with you before your return. Alternatively, you can raise it with your employer.
You can notify them how many days holiday you believe you have accrued and how many days you believe should be carried over into the new holiday year leave. You can then outline and discuss when you would like to take your accrued holiday. You may be able to add the whole entitlement on to the end of your maternity leave period, if your employer is amenable to this.
Depending on what your contract says, if you have holiday entitlement over and above your statutory allowance, which is 5.6 weeks/28 days, you may be able to be paid in lieu of your additional contractual holiday days.
The situation would be the same, even if you took adoption leave, instead of maternity leave. Holiday entitlement also accrues for your partner should they take paternity leave or shared parental leave.
If your employer disagrees with the position and refuses to honour or allow you take your accrued holiday entitlement, you could have claims for discrimination, breach of contract, unlawful deduction from wages and breach of the Working Time Regulations. You should take legal advice.
At Sampson Coward we can advise you on your employment rights and assist you in addressing any employment issues with your employer.