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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50165
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I live in the UK and am on maternity leave at the moment

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I live in the UK and am on maternity leave at the moment (have been for 5.5mo) and am being paid statutory maternity pay with no extra pay from my employeer on top of that. I has intended to return to my current employer mid-August 2016 but I have since found other employment. My start date at the new employeer is 15th August 2016. In my contract for my current employer says I have to give 4 weeks notice. I have read on line though that I'd have to give 6 weeks notice before returning to my current employer if I chose to. So I'm wondering if I should give my letter of resignation now when I have 6 weeks to go before I end maternity and start my new job, or if I should give notice right on 4 weeks to go. I want my current employer to pay my SMP up to the last working day before I start my new job (so the 12th August 2016 woud be my last day at my current job). Also, I haven't taken any of my KIT days at my current work. When should I give my notice to my current employer? If I give notice earlier than the 4 weeks as per ym contract can they stop paying my SMP early (before the 12th Aug) if they so chose? If I give my notice at 4 weeks can they have my employment end earlier than I wish and stop my SMP?
Thank you
-Mary Cameron

Hello how long have you worked there for?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello! For 2.5 years now.

Thank you. If you are on maternity leave and wish to end your employment then you would be required to give the employer the contractual notice period you are due to give on resignation. In your case this is 4 weeks. You do not have to give them notice that you wish to return from maternity leave early unless you were actually thinking of doing so. In other words, you can give them the 4 weeks and let that pass whilst you are still off on maternity leave and your employment could terminate even before you have returned from leave.

Your entitlement to SMP depends on how long you had been employed for at the end of the Qualifying week, which is the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth. You need to have been there for at least 26 weeks to qualify for SMP.

If you were to resign after the Qualifying week, even if during maternity leave, you will still be entitled to the full SMP entitlement from your former employer. So whether your employment terminates before the end of the maternity leave period or you stay until the end, if you have already qualified for SMP then you would be entitled to receive the full entitlement even if your employment ends before you reach the end by which the full SMP is payable. It means you can resign now and give 4 weeks notice and still get paid your full SMP entitlement.

I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. If this has answered your question please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars from the top of the page. I spend a lot of time and effort answering individual queries and I am not credited for my time until you leave your rating. If you still need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Many thanks.

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