Resigning before Returning to Work - Paid Parental Leave - Refunded?

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10 July 2014

I was working with the company since May 2010. I took 52 weeks maternity leave in October 2012. I received 9 weeks company-funded maternity paid leave on top of government's scheme. I asked for part time role in September 2013, no role available, advised to extend leave. I asked again for part time role in May 2014.

The company said will try to accommodate but due to nature of business cannot and will not guarantee part time arrangement in the long run. I seek part time employment elsewhere and got an offer. I advised my current employer about the job offer and ask about resignation. The employer advised that the paid maternity leave must be refunded as resignation is before I return to work post maternity leave. The company policy does not mention how long I have to stay with the company after returning, but the HR Rep did say that if I were to only stay a few days then it would be seen as illegitimate return.

Is there any way around this? I don't have the money to repay them the 9 weeks pay and not keen on returning full time.

Owens Lawyers

Well-Known Member
13 June 2014
I would strongly urge you to get legal advice by contacting an employment lawyer and providing all relevant information. Depending on what state you're in contact Legal Aid or your states Law Society for an appropriate referral.

I would be suspicious of a policy that claims this, particularly after they appear to have refused a request for flexible work arrangements.