I am not happy at my current job and I am 7 months pregnant. I could not find another job due to being pregnant and was planning on going on maternity leave and start looking for a new job during maternity leave. My current employer now wants to pay me half my salary during the 4 months maternity leave provided that I sign a work-back-agreement of one year after my maternity leave. Now I am considering my options and trying to find out what would be my best option without loosing too much money.
My first concern is whether I will be able to resign during maternity leave - will I have to go back after maternity leave work my one month's notice period or will I be able to resign after 3 months of maternity leave and have the 4th month serve as my notice period?
My second concern is how my decisions will influence the amount of money I receive from UIF. Apparently the amount you receive is based on how long you've been working for and how much you've been earning if you were earning less than R14872 per month. I have been working since February 2012 (+-30 months by the time I want to start claiming UIF for maternity leave) and my employer and I have been paying R148.72 each per month to UIF since then. Apparently you will receive between 38% and 58% depending on some factors (which no one can really explain to me). With this information I will basically be receiving 0.38 x R14872 = R5651.36 per month for 4 months after my baby has been born? Is this correct? If it is correct will the fact that my employer is paying me 50% of my salary (current salary = R19000) influence this amount?
If it will influence the amount of UIF I receive, what can I do? I am planning on resigning meaning that I will have to pay that 50% salary back. Is it better to resign before I go on maternity leave? Will I still be able to claim UIF and will my resigning have an influence on the amount I receive from UIF?
I don't really want to resign before I am sure of another job and because of the influence it will have on the amount I will receive from UIF, but if I don't resign I will probably have to go back after maternity leave and work for another month and I will have to pay back all the money the company is going to pay me during maternity leave.
The last thing I am concerned about is the annual leave that I still have. I get 1.25 days of annual leave per month and when I resign, any leave that has not been taken will be paid out to me. How is this calculated? According to me it will be R19000/22 = R863.64 per day of leave that I haven't taken by the time I resign. If I resign before I go on maternity leave it will mean that I am unemployed for 4 months and not earning annual leave for 4 months. I don't want to sound like a bean counter but 4 months' annual leave is worth 1.25 x 4 x R863.64 = R4318.18 which is quite a lot for me at this stage.
With all this information that I have this far, it seems to me that my best option is to:
Carry on working until I go on maternity leave
Claim UIF for the 4 months while I am on maternity leave and hope that the fact that my employer is paying me 50% of my salary does not cause the amount I receive to be too much lower than R5651.36
Save the R9500 I receive from my employer each month in order to pay it back
Go back to work after 4 months (and hopefully the certainty of another job) and resign
Work my one month notice period and pay back the R38000 that they have paid me over the previous four months
This way I will hopefully get the most I can out of UIF as well as get paid for my annual leave that I have not taken by the time I resign.
Any suggestions or extra information will be appreciated.