Maternity leave dispute
I went on maternity leave last year and I am due to return in 3 weeks. I had asked for 9 months off, I always thought it was odd that I only had 8 months plus 26 days holiday but because it’s worked out in weeks rather than months I’ve always just assumed it’s right.
It’s only after speaking to a friend due to return to work on the same day as me that I’ve realised I’ve not had as much maternity leave as her. When I’ve looked into it I’ve realised I was only given 34 weeks maternity leave plus 26 days holiday, a total of 39 weeks. I’ve never known I was entitled to 39 weeks, I’ve always just assumed what I was given was the maximum amount of time off I could have paid.
The problem is, I took my holidays at the end of my maternity leave. My maternity leave ended 2 weeks ago and I am now using my holidays until I return to work. I read on the government website that you cannot restart maternity pay once it has ended.
I contacted my HR department and they are just saying I must have asked to go back early. I’ve stressed that I did not, I’ve got no reason to go back early. They are refusing to admit they have made a mistake and are blaming me.
I’ve spoken to HMRC and they have told me because I have a letter from HR staying my return date, that is classed as an agreement therefore there is nothing they can do. I’ve spoken to a solicitor who has also advised it’s too late to do anything.
I just wondered if there is anything at all I can do? I’ve been robbed of 5 weeks with my baby, I’ve been crying about going back to work for weeks but now knowing I could have had an extra 5 weeks with her is affecting me quite badly. I’m still going to be breastfeeding when I go back to work and I’m worried that all this stress is going to affect my milk too
Any help would be appreciated
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