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My maternity policy says that ''in order to qualify for company maternity pay, employees must sign a loan agreement prior to starting the maternity leave period". It continues: "This agreement will require them to repay a sum equivalent to 18 weeks at half pay in the event that they do not return to work for a continuous period of at least six months from the end of their maternity leave.'' I must stress that when I went to HR to pick up my maternity information envelope, I asked whether I needed to sign anything and was told that 'later'. I was not explained all this above. Anyway, now after the end of maternity leave I was involved in an accident and was signed off sick. Do I have to pay the money back if I add holiday and parental leave to my sick leave? The policy also says that the more I work during the mentioned six months, the less I will return from the 'loan'. So if I went back after a period on sick leave and annual leave, would the amount I owed reduce? View full answer >

Answered by: Tara Daynes


I'm looking for some advice. I currently am on an induction period at work. I am due to be given my contract next week. When being interviewed for the job I was told by the manager the contract would be a choice of 33 hours, 34 and a half hours or 44. I made it clear I only wanted 33 hours as I have a six-year-old child. During my iduction period I have been working 44 hours a week and I was finding getting childcare very difficult so I went to speak to my manager about my hours going back to 33 and that when I get my contract I only want 33 hour because I was having trouble with childcare. He said your contract will be 38 and a half hours or you can find another job somewhere else. What do I do now? View full answer >

Answered by: Sejal Raja


When I had my son in 2009 I had a flexible working agreement in place for when I returned back to work. Shortly after returning to work I was suspended. After six months off I returned to work although I had been demoted - even though what happened had nothing to do with me which was later proved and all charges were lifted and I was reinstated. However, since then I have never actually returned to my minuted post, but have been getting paid for it. I have had many other jobs within the company and also many roster changes which hasn't been good for my childcare. I have recently gone back after maternity leave with my daughter to be told I am to return to my minuted post which I haven't done for about four years and to hours which weren't in place when I left and I cannot do as they include 0400 starts and 2110 finishes which I can't get childcare for. I have been told as it is my minuted post it's that or nothing. They state they have no record of any flexible working and also it seems most of my files are missing from the HR department. I'm very upset as I have spent the past four years trying to get my job back with no luck the they give it me back knowing I can't do it. I have a letter to state I was to return to my post on those hours after being reinstated, but that never happened. I have been declined flexible working on the grounds that the needs of the business have changed since I last held that post. I have been told my job is not suitable for women with children and it's best if I find something else. I have worked there 12 years and I am not prepared to throw that away. This has caused me a great deal of stress and I am very confused and upset by the whole affair. I hope you can offer some adivce.  View full answer >

Answered by: Tracey Guest

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