Home Advice for Parents & CarersReturning to Work What happens if I resign at the end of my maternity leave?

What happens if I resign at the end of my maternity leave?

Do I need to give notice?

If you do not wish to return to work after maternity leave, you should resign giving the notice required by your contract. For example, if your contract says you have to give one month’s notice you should give notice of your resignation at least a month before the end of your maternity leave. If you postpone giving your notice until when you are actually due back at work, then legally you must work out your notice period, or be in breach of contract.

Do I need to pay back any money?

You do not have to repay any of your SMP or MA if you resign. If you received contractual maternity pay (over and above SMP/MA) you only have to repay the top up part of contractual maternity pay if it was stated in your contract or agreed with your employer before you started your maternity leave.

What happens to my holiday?

On resignation you are entitled to be paid for any outstanding holiday pay that has accrued during maternity leave up to the end of your notice period. You are also entitled to be paid for the notice period if you are required to give statutory notice only. Statutory notice is one week. Your employer can offset any SMP they are paying you from the notice pay.

This advice applies in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. If you live in another part of the UK, the law may differ. Please call our helpline for more details.

If you have further questions and would like to contact our advice team please use our advice contact form below or call us.

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