Membership fees during maternity leave

If you choose to take the full 12-month maternity leave allowance, you may well have several weeks towards the end of this period where you receive neither statutory nor occupational maternity leave payments.

For the period of unpaid maternity leave, you do not have to pay any UNISON membership fees. However, you must tell us in advance of any periods where you will be unpaid and your return-to-work date so your fees can be reinstated. It’s important you do this so your membership doesn’t lapse. Please don’t assume information is sent directly to us from payroll services as it’s not part of their duties.

If you’ve chosen to pay us by direct debit, tell us when your unpaid leave starts so we can suspend the debit for you. In some cases we may have to ask you to complete a new mandate on your return.

Sometimes women returning to work opt to work permanently fewer hours. Your membership fees must be lowered to reflect your new rate of pay. Please tell us when you change your working hours and your new gross annual salary as this won’t happen automatically.

If your pay reduced when you were on maternity leave and you wish to apply for any fee overpayment refund, you’ll need to provide us with copies of payslips for your whole maternity leave period.

If in doubt, please contact the UNISON office for advice: 01243 777636 or