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Return to work for 3 weeks after mat leave then resign?

Discussion in 'Pregnancy' started by calamitouscat, Jan 6, 2020.

  1. calamitouscat

    calamitouscat New commenter

    Hi all, hoping someone can advise on both the legal and moral implications of my return to work (primary school) after mat leave.

    I started Mat leave in September. I had only worked in the LA for one year so was NOT eligible for mat pay and so am not obligated to return but I believe legally they have to hold my job for me (I do have permanent contract).

    Whilst on mat leave, I have moved house and am now an hour away from school. I did not intend to return at all as an hour each way commute on top of ft teaching and a young baby would be too much in the long term. I discussed openly with head and SLT at school that I would be unlikely to come back after mat leave but did not submit anything in writing.

    However, due to unforeseen circumstances, I now am in the position that the money will run out in June and I’m unlikely to find a permanent, part time job at that point in the year where I live currently. I don’t want to have to go back in April as my baby will still be very young. Supply is an option but then I would have no income from July-September. Would it be unreasonable of me to return to my old job just for 3 weeks in July to get paid for July and August and resign for August 31st?

    I’m interested to know both where I stand from a legal point of view but also being fair and reasonable. The school were incredibly kind and supportive about my situation so I really wouldn’t like to be too cheeky but equally I’m struggling to find a good option financially for my family. Thanks in advance.
  2. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    You need to read your schools maternity policy (or equivalent). You may have to repay all your CMP (not the SMP) if you leave before a certain number of weeks after returning (often 13 weeks - which would mean the return in July wouldn't be long enough).

    Legally and morally there is no issue though, I think. It is no different to a teacher who's not been on maternity handing their notice in.
  3. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    It is absolutely okay to resign (by May 31st) but return on any date of your choosing. You can go back on the first day of the summer holidays if you want, and you'd get paid in full from then until August 31st. It may well not be worth going back earlier than that, by the time you've covered travel and childcare. If money is literally going to run out at the end of June, maybe it's worth it, but work out the net gain before you decide.

    (People sometimes feel it's a bit cheeky to return on the first day of the holidays, but it is your right. Those doing maternity cover posts are usually well aware that a teacher starting their maternity leave in September will return on/by the first day of the summer holidays, and will be aware that they are unlikely to get paid for the summer holidays. Returning for three weeks means the cover teacher loses out on another three weeks of pay, and the kids have a change of teacher for the last three weeks - so don't go back earlier on their account! Do, however, go back if it is the right thing financially for you.)

    Stiltskin - I think calamitouscat only got SMP, so the return for 13 weeks isn't relevant.
  4. calamitouscat

    calamitouscat New commenter

    Thank you for the replies. Stiltskin - I didn’t get CMP so that’s not an issue.

    Frustum - thank you. My mum is able to look after my daughter for those weeks so childcare not a problem but good advice to think about travel costs. I also know the school hired another full time teacher on a permanent basis so no mat cover because they needed to reshuffle teaching staff anyway so that’s not an issue either. I suspect they’d put me in as cover for PPA or illness as I don’t think there would be a class needing a teacher.

    Thanks again for advice :)
  5. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Here's another possibility, although I don't know how the school would react. If you need (financially) to go back before the end of term, they're going to end up with you spare for that time. If you could do some KIT days, those could be at times to suit the school (when someone's out on a trip or a course, for instance), and reduce the time you need to return at the end of term. It might be worth putting it to them that you want to return on (eg) 27th June, but could delay by a week if they can offer you some KIT days earlier in the term instead. Remember in your calculations that a calendar week is 7 days pay, not 5.

    Of course that also relies on your mum being able to cover those days, which may depend on whether she's local or needing to come and stay. However it has advantages for the school and also spreads the time you're leaving your daughter.

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