I went on maternity leave in November, but was not told of my right to accrue bank holidays at the time. I have since been informed by a friend and had this confirmed by HR, but apparently have lost the three bank holidays from December. Should I appeal this as I was not told at the time?
I am assuming that your Company’s holiday year runs from January – December and so your Personnel department are saying that 3 bank holidays that you accrued over 2008 Christmas period have been in effect “lost” to you because the Company has moved into a new calendar year for annual leave.
You do not mention how many days annual leave entitlement you get. There is no statutory right to time off for bank holidays, but the legal statutory annual leave entitlement is currently 28 days per annum, (but was 24 days in the year April 2008 – April 2009 when you were off).
Legally, women on maternity leave have to be allowed to use up their accrued holiday entitlement either before or after the maternity leave period. However, the right to carry holiday over from one leave year to the next depends on the terms of the employment contract with the employer and not the legislation governing maternity leave. So, if your Company does not permit employees to carry over holiday from one year to the next, then it should advise employees prior to commencing maternity leave to use up all holiday entitlement before starting maternity leave.
So you need to look at how many actual days accrued annual leave you took before your maternity leave and work out if that equated to at least 24 days (during 2008) and that during 2009 it equates to at least 28 days. This will not necessarily include bank holidays. If your accrued annual leave for these 2 years is less than this then you need to talk to your personnel department again.
I hope that this helps.
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