Question: Am I entitled to receive holiday pay if I am on maternity leave?

chris-hadrill-profileChris Hadrill, a specialist employment solicitor at Redmans, answers the question:

“Am I entitled to receive holiday pay if I am on maternity leave?”

If you are on maternity leave (whether this is ordinary maternity leave or additional maternity leave) then you continue to accrue all contractual entitlements (save for remuneration) which you would have enjoyed had you not been on maternity leave. Put another way, you are entitled to accrued statutory (currently 5.6 weeks) or contractual annual leave in the normal way if you are on maternity leave.

Whether you are entitled to carry over any annual leave from one leave year to the next whilst on maternity leave is an issue which is still yet to be absolutely determined as the Working Time Regulations 1998 and European law are in conflict on this point. However, if you have accrued annual leave prior to going on maternity leave, and wish to carry this leave over to your next ‘leave year, then it is generally deemed to be good practice for your employer to take the extra leave on your return from your maternity leave.

To answer the question posed: you are not entitled to receive holiday pay in lieu if you are on maternity leave, but you are entitled to, on your return to work, take any holiday accrued whilst on maternity leave.