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UK maternity leave and holiday/vacation accrual

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We are a US based company with a handful of employees based in the UK.

One of our UK employees (UK citizen) has requested maternity leave. I have found much information on line, but one thing that I am still uncertain about is vacation/holiday accrual.

The employee is going out in Nov. 2010 and wants to use her remaining holiday/vacation days immediately before her official maternity leave begins. This aspect is fine. However, the employee is also requesting to use the 25 days of holiday/vacation pay that we give annually on the back end of her official maternity leave, thus giving her 1 year + 25 days of time off.

I dont think we have issue with her taking the 25 days, but must this be paid leave? What if at the end of the 1 year and 25 days she decides not to come back to work....we have no way of recouping this money.

Thanks for any input.

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