I'm just wondering if anyone has had an experiences with employer paid mat leave (not gov paid parental leave) and return to work clauses. Here is a little background on my situation.
I'm on a contract that has an end date in late 2015. My employer will pay my full wage as long as I return to work with 12 months remaining on my contract. So at this stage I'm looking at taking 6 months off and returning to work late next year which will allow me to qualify for the paid mat leave. However my employer says that if I take the leave and don't return with 12 months left ( such as my contract end date is brought forward or I can't return in October) then I will be forced to repay the mat leave.
I have full intentions to return but I feel like they are trying to force me into not taking the paid leave. My only concern is, if I take the paid leave and can't come back, say my baby is unwell or I just completely change my mind. Can they really enforce me to pay them back? Obviously I won't be working so I don't know how I would be able to. I've also heard these types of clauses actually can't be enforced (not sure if that's true). I just want to know what I'm getting into if I take it, as it will be quite a help if I do get it!
Thanks for reading my looong post :-)
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03-12-2013 14:40 #1
Employer Paid Mat Leave & return clauses
09-12-2013 12:00 #2Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
Give the office of industrial relations a call. I'm pretty sure these clauses can't be up held.
IF it turns out that it can be held, I would be thinking seriously about taking unpaid leave (with the gov PPL as an income) rather than committing to a return date.
09-12-2013 12:34 #3
Paid maternity leave is not compulsory for a company so my opinion is they can put their own clauses on it as it is a perk so to speak.
However I think it is wrong of them to expect you to pay it back and I would be curious to see how they will enforce it.
If anything they should pay half and pay the remaining when you do return with at least a year left.
Definitely call industrial relations...that is an odd one. Although if your baby is sick (god forbid) you can get a carers leave certificate so would still be ok...
09-12-2013 12:44 #4Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2010
I'm interested to see what you find out as my work has a policy that you must return from maternity leave for a minimum 6 months (can return part time, full time whatever), or pay back the 18 weeks company mat leave payment.
I'm thinking of getting a new job and wondered how they would enforce it and get me to pay it back. It's a fair amount of money to pay back in one go.
09-12-2013 12:59 #5Senior Member
- Join Date
- Nov 2011
I know at my work we have to return to work for 6 months or pay back our maternity leave
09-12-2013 13:08 #6
My work has a very generous mat leave - I'm on ongoing this time around, but last time my contract finished 7 or 8 months after my baby was born and I still got my 6 months mat leave. Your place sounds a bit dodgy. Hope you can work it out.
09-12-2013 13:59 #7
I don't have a "pay back" clause, but as a previous poster has said - companies do not have to offer paid maternity leave, it does not form part of any standard award, so therefore the company is within their rights to put such clauses in.
You would have agreed to this by signing your contract, so I'm not sure if you would get much backing if you tried to challenge what is essentially a perk of the job. As said previously though, if your baby had a health issue you could get a carers certificate, which is a separate leave entitlement.
09-12-2013 19:10 #8
At my work you would need to repay the difference between the GPPL and your normal full wage. Where we have people that think they may not return, they usually take the pay but put it in a separate account so they can repay if needed. Having said that I have people who have taken up to 2 years off so there is no requirement to come back within the first 12 months but an obligation to repay if you don't return or return and stay less than 6 months. One option would be to take just the GPPL if you aren't comfortable taking the whole amount and possibly needing to repay.
09-12-2013 20:30 #9
Thanks for all the comments, I'm still deciding what to do. I'm going to ring the industrial relations as my situation is a bit different with having a contract end date. If my employer wants to bring my end date forward I have no say in this what-so-ever which is a pain because I could take the leave come back to work with 12 months on my contract and then my employer could decide to terminate my contract 6 months early which could force me to pay back the mat leave. Which is why I am struggling with whether or not I should take it! But if all goes to plan and my contract isn't brought forward I will be paid mat leave and have no problems with finishing out my contract for the next 12 months.
09-12-2013 20:33 #10
Also thanks for the info on carers certificates, fingers crossed there is no need for anything like that but it's handy to know.
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