Do I have to use holiday to cover closures during my maternity leave?

I am due to go on maternity leave in July. I get 20 days holiday excluding bank holidays. I work in a children’s day nursery and we close for a week over Christmas. During this time we are asked to take holiday or unpaid leave for the three days we close for which are not bank holidays. I have been told my by my employer that I need to save three of my holiday days to cover Christmas even though I will be on maternity leave and only getting maternity pay. Is this right?

You are unable to take holiday during your maternity leave so you should not be required to use three days over Christmas, assuming your maternity leave will cover the Christmas period.

If you are not able to take your holiday before you start maternity leave, it should be carried over for when you return. This includes bank holidays during your maternity leave.

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