No. You cannot take maternity leave and holiday at the same time. If you want to take paid holiday you need to bring your maternity leave to an end.
Yes. You are entitled to accumulate your holiday and take it outside your maternity leave period. The minimum annual leave is 20 days + 8 bank holidays, and any extra holiday provided for under your contract of employment. You should discuss with your employer when this can be taken, that is before or after your maternity leave. Refusal to allow you to take the holiday may be maternity discrimination.
You must be allowed to carry over any unused part of your statutory leave entitlement of 28 days (which includes bank holidays). The law is not clear if your contract says you are entitled to more than 28 days (including bank holidays) and you should take advice if that applies to you.
You are entitled to take your statutory leave of 28 days either before you go on leave or on return, though the timing must be agreed with your employer. If your contract provides that you get 28 days including bank holidays, you are entitled to accrue the full 28 days.
If your contract provides for 28 days annual leave plus bank holidays you could argue that you are entitled to accrue all holiday, including bank holidays, as they amount to your contractual holiday. The legal position is not clear and you should seek legal advice about your entitlement. Your employer may argue that any holiday over and above 28 days including bank holidays actually amounts to remuneration and is therefore not payable.
Yes, you can take your accrued holiday one or two a days a week if your employer agrees. Most contracts require that the employer must agree the period and timing of holiday so if it does not work for the business your employer could refuse. This may also be a good way of settling back into work. It may also show that you can perform your job working part time if this is what you want to do.
For further guidance about Maternity Leave: What happens to annual leave and sick pay see: //www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=4289.
Last updated: 12 May 2016