Maternity rights and contracts: ask the expert

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Hi just want to know how correct the information above is. Is this part of the law in UK? Please advise. Thanks

Editor: This is from our expert panel so we believe it is accurate.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi I am on a fixed term contract which ends in November 30th. I am due in Feb 2013. My employers say they may discontinue the contract. I myself am on maternity cover role. The person has come back from maternity leave, but I get to work till November. My company says if they decide to end my contract they will not give me maternity leave or SMP. I meet the 15 week before child birth condition before my contract ends. Now I am confused. Are they right? My performance has been good and I am sure they would not end my contract had I not become pregnant.

Editor's comment: You will certainly be entitled to SMP if you fit the elegibility criteria. See http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/MoneyTaxAndBenefits/BenefitsTaxCreditsAndOtherSupport/Expectingorbringingupchildren/DG_175884

Anonymous | Report this comment

Thanks for your help and information. I am hoping all goes well next week.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I have 2 years fixed contract and now I am pregnant at the end of the last year. I am falling 2 weeks short for the qualifying week before baby is due. Do you think my employer should extend my contract to fulfil my QEC week? I have emailed HR regarding the extension of my contract. I am just a month pregnant now. I am not sure if they end my contract it mean I have been unfairly dismissed?

Editor: I am a bit unclear about what you are asking. Do you mean that if your contract is not renewed does it constitute unfair dismissal if it is on the grounds of your pregnancy? Please send further details via the Advice & Support/Q & A page box as then we have your email in case our experts need further information.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi Regarding my below question to you. I would like to thank you very much. My HR, after reading all the documentation I sent from your website and another, have changed their mind and have agreed to give me my statutary maternity pay :) thank you so much for your valuable advice.

Question :Hi I am on a fixed term contract which ends in November 30th. I am due in Feb 2013. My employers say they may discontinue the contract. I myself am on maternity cover role. The person has come back from maternity leave, but I get to work till November. My company says if they decide to end my contract they will not give me maternity leave or SMP. I meet the 15 week before child birth condition before my contract ends. Now I am confused. Are they right? My performance has been good and I am sure they would not end my contract had I not become pregnant.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, we are planning our first baby, but want to be in the know in terms of benefits. I've been on a renewing 6 months contract since July 2011 and it have just been extended until 31st March 2013. I am concerned that IF I get pregnant in the next two months I will not be entitled to any Maternity Leave or SMP.

Can you please help me as to what I would qualify for if I get pregnant in the next 2 months?

Editor: See http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/MoneyTaxAndBenefits/BenefitsTaxCreditsAndOtherSupport/Expectingorbringingupchildren/DG_10018741 - if you require further information, contact us via the Advice & Support/Q & A page box.

Anonymous | Report this comment

HI, I AM ON A POST STUDY WORK VISA WHICH IS DUE TO EXPIRE IN MARCH 2013. However I have been working for NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE AS AN HEALTHCARE ASSISTANT (NHS) FOR OVER 12 MONTHS. NOW I AM PREGNANT AND MY DUE DATE IS WHEN MY CHILD WILL BE BORN ALSO WHEN MY CONTRACT WILL END DUE TO VISA EXPIRING AT THIS TIME. IS IT POSSIBLE TO EXTEND MY VISA FOR MATERNITY LEAVE? CAN MY EMPLOYER EXTEND THE VISA FOR ME ON MY BEHALF?

Editor: Can you send your question via the Advice and Support/Q &A page box so we have your email and our experts can contact you if they require further information to give you the advice you need?

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi I am not on a permanent contract I have been with the company since 23rd April 2012. My baby is due first week in August 2013. What rights do I have...???

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I qualify for SMP with my current employer but want to start work with a new employer (1 month before due date). Can I still claim my SMP entitlement from my old employer even though I will be employed by another company when I actually start the maternity leave (not been able to find anything that is totally clear on this issue - advice would be much appreciated).

Editor: It is not clear from your question if you are planning to take maternity leave and for how long. Could you reply via the Advice & Support/Q & A page box as then we will have your email and be able to ask any follow-up questions?

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I live in South Africa and i have just started a new job in december and nw i have found out that am 15 weeks pregnant and am on a fixed contract for 1 month, do you think if i tell them will not terminate my contract.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I am about to change my job to work for my husband in his business, and we are currently 9 weeks pregnant. I understand I will not qualify for SMP but MA but my husband has said that he wants to pay me SMP and also an enhanced maternity pay. Would this be allowed? Or would it be possible to claim MA and for the business to also pay me an enhanced maternity pay at the same time? Thank you for any help you can give me.

Editor: You cannot claim SMP and MA at the same time. You would need to have worked for your husband since just before you were pregnant to qualify for SMP and your earnings would need to be over £107 a week. You are likely, however, to qualify for MA if you do not qualify for SMP. Check with your JobCentre.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I am on a maternity cover contract which started in November and has no end date. I found out I am pregnant myself and I am due in Sept 2013. I started work for my employer in September 2012 on a part time basis and in November I was offered a full-time maternity cover contract which I took. The person is still on her maternity leave, but I do not know what is going to happen to my contract and if I qualify for SMP. Can you please advise - I am scared to admit that I am pregnant.

Editor: You should qualify for SMP if you are still in your job after the 26th week of your pregnancy. To be eligible you need to have worked for your employer from just before you got pregnant and to be earning over £107 a week. See http://www.dwp.gov.uk/publications/specialist-guides/technical-guidance/ni17a-a-guide-to-maternity/statutory-maternity-pay-smp/eligibility/. It is illegal to sack someone for being pregnant.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Thank you for your advice. I have one more question: When I signed my maternity cover contract (mentioned in above comment) my manager said that if I got pregnant she will have to change my contract as I cannot cover maternity when pregnant. She has a right to do that? Even if my contract has no end date? Sometimes she makes her own rules so I am confused about my rights.

Editor: No, they can't do that. There is no reason why a pregnant employee can't cover someone else's maternity leave (assuming they are pysically capable of the work), unless the 2 mat leave periods significantly overlap, in which case they find someone else to cover that part of it. But to change someone's terms & conditions detrimentally as a direct result of pregnancy is clear discrimination on grounds of gender. Also if you have an 'open ended' contract, that is effectively a permanent contract, as a fixed-term contract, by definition, should have an end date. So by making that change, they may be changing you from permanent to fixed term contract, which is tantamount to dismissal (albeit at a future date.) As this is is due to pregnancy, it is automatically unfair. 


Anonymous | Report this comment

I am agency worker with no end date contract. When I told my agency that I am pregnant and asked for my maternity right they could not answer me straight away and told me to look in to terms and conditions which I did but there is nothing about maternity at all neither in my contract. After I confront them again I received letter ( Recruitment Business Guidance Notes : PAYE temporary workers& contractors-expectant mothers,maternity&paternity pay) which said i can have smp but no sml and they will terminated my contact when I will leave on maternity my question is if they can do that ?

| Report this comment

Hello, I started a fixed term contact with a company on 25/02/2013. I had a scan last night and have a due date of 07/09/2013. I am therefore 13 weeks pregnant. Am I eligible for SMP (My last day of work with previous company was 23/02/2013-so I have been full time employed and paying tax for years without a break.

Also, I am very nervous about telling employers about my pregnancy as I wont be able to complete the contract. (It is quite specialised work). Can they dismiss me on these grounds?

Thank you
Tammy

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I was on maternity leave and my temporary contract finished in August and hasn't been renewed. Now my manager is saying that I shouldn't have received any SMP after my contract finished. She is saying that I have to give all the money back. Can you tell me what are my rights?

Editor: Were you working at your job from just before you got pregnant to the 26th week of your pregnancy? If so and you fulfill the earnings requirement, you are entitled to SMP, regardless of what happened after this date. Your employer can claim most of this back from HMRC. See https://www.gov.uk/maternity-pay-leave/eligibility

 

Anonymous | Report this comment

Thank you so much for the reply ..I started my job on the 31st October 2011 and went on maternity leave 12th May 2012 so I worked nearly 40 weeks and was entitled to SMP ..now my manager is saying because my contract finished in August 2012 after that I shouldn't have received any money. I think just because I was pregnant and on maternity leave she didn't renew my contract.

Editor: You are entitled to SMP and this cannot be withdrawn because your contract finished after the qualifying period.  Contact HMRC if you are having any further problems with your employer. SMP is 6 weeks at 90% of your salary and 33 weeks at £135.45. You are entitled to all 39 weeks' pay.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I am currently covering maternity for someone who is returning to work in July. I am pregnant and due to start my maternity in the first week of July. My employer has said that they will be ending my contract on the 12 July as the person is now returning. Please could you tell me if they can end my contract in this situation? They have said I should receive normal SMP, but this is yet to be confirmed.

Editor: Is your contract a short-term one which was for covering the other woman's maternity leave? If so, your employer can terminate it on the return of the woman. Please provide more details via the Advice & Support/Q & A page box so our experts can properly advise you.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I am currently pregnant and on a fixed-term contract for the NHS. I have done over 2 years' continuous service by the time I go on maternity leave, but my contract will end before the point I return to work. i.e. if I take a year's maternity leave I would be due back at work September 2014, but my contract ends August 2014. HR are suggesting that because I wouldn't be returning to work, even though it's not my choice, I may have to pay back all my maternity entitlement. Is this correct? Surely I am therefore being treated unfairly for being on a temporary contract?

Editor: Are you talking about SMP? You would certainly not have to pay this back. If it is enhanced pay, what does your contract say? It may say something along the lines of: If there is no right of return to be exercised because the contract would have ended if pregnancy and childbirth had not occurred then the repayment provisions set out will not apply. Check carefully what it says.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I started work with my company in November 2010 and am now on my third 12 month rolling contract, which ends at the end of September 2013. My baby is due on the 15th September. My company will pay SMP, but have said they will not renew my contract, so I won't have a job to return to. Does this count as unfair dismissal or redundancy or neither?

Editor: Is this decision based solely on your pregnancy/maternity leave? If the job still exists, and your contract is not renewed because of your pregnancy or maternity leave, the dismissal will be discriminatory and automatically unfair. A woman who is dismissed while pregnant must be given written reasons for her dismissal. It is automatically unfair to dismiss a woman because she is pregnant or intends to take maternity leave even if this means that she is unable to work for the majority of the contract, whether because of maternity leave or because of health and safety reasons.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I began a 12-month fixed term contract January 14th 2013. My partner and I would like to try for our first child. I am confused as to the latest possible date to which I can get pregnant and still qualify for SMP. Many thanks in anticipation.

Editor: To qualify for SMP you must have been working for your company from just before you get pregnant to at least the 26th week before your due date and you must be earning over £109 a week.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I hope you can help and shed some light on this for me. I’m on a fixed term contract, I was covering for a lady who went on maternity leave. The contract which I’m on is due to expire in June (so I have just 1 more week). I’ve had verbal assurances that it will definitely get extended if the lady who I was replacing will not come back, and 2 days ago it turned out the lady resigned. But as my Manager knows I am now 3 months pregnant – he recently found out about that – he said that my contract will not be extended even though she is not coming back. The reason is obvious – it’s because I am pregnant..of course they will not tell me this because they can’t do such thing..

I was wondering if there is anything what I can do as I am certain the reason why my contract is not being extended is the fact I am pregnant.

As I’m a fixed term contractor, and I don’t meet the 15 weeks rule in terms of statutory maternity leave, would I get the top-up maternity pay from them? Presumably not, unless I’m a permanent employee? So where does that leave me, if they will not renew the contract because I’m pregnant? Hope you can help.

Editor: Sorry to hear about your situation. Our HR expert Sandra Beale says you should qualify for Maternity Allowance and she feels it would be difficult to prove pregnancy discrimination since there was nothing in writing.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I would appreciate advice on this topic. I started a six-month contract - which I would otherwise hope to be renewed on May 20th ending on November 19th 2013. I just found out I am pregnant - five to six weeks officially from lmp although that's only three to four weeks really, if you know what I mean). I am trying to work out if I have any entitlements to maternity pay and when the best time to tell them would be. My employer has offered me a better job title and is saying how happy he is with my work, but I am worried what will happen when they know the truth. I must have only been in the role 2-3 weeks when I conceived. I think I am due on March 4. The company is notoriously tight fisted.

Editor: Your employer cannot legally terminate your contract due to your pregnancy and once you have done 26 weeks with your employer you will be entitled to SMP, no matter what happens after the 26th week, for instance, if your contract is not renewed.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I am on a temporary contract until January 2014. I have just found out I'm pregnant and am due March 2014... I will have worked the continuous 26 weeks before taking maternity leave and my 15 weeks notice that my employers need will be in the 27 December. Do I still qualify for SMP? Maternity leave? Where do I stand on this? Thanks x

Editor: You should qualify for SMP if you have been working on this contract from just before you got pregnant until at least the 26th week of your pregnancy and if you are earning an average of £109 a week in the eight-week period leading up to the 26th week. Your employer cannot legally terminate your employment because you are pregnant or you could sue them for pregnancy discrimination.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I've been reading the above comments and just want to make sure I am correct! I am on a temporary contract covering mat leave. I started work in Feb 2013 and I earn at least £109 every week...My contract could possibly end in Jan 2014 and I am due in February 2014 (when the other girl is due back). Today HR have told me that I am treated the same as any employee would be with regards to maternity but as soon as they terminate my contract then they would stop paying me and I would have to claim MA from my local DSS.
Is this correct? Or should they continue to pay as I would have almost a year's service?
 

Editor: If you satisfy both the continuous employment rule and the earnings rule, your employer must pay you SMP even if your contract ends at any time after the start of the 15th week before the week your baby is due.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I would like some advice. I started work on a 6-month contract in June 2012; it was extended in December 2012 by another 6 months. However, it has not been extended again in June 2013. I am expecting my baby in March 2014. Will I be entitled to maternity leave without a contract or do I need to push my employer for one now so that I will be entitled? I have worked continuously for 13 months. 

Editor: Can you clarify what your position is now? Are you working without a contract? Are you working for an agency and waiting for another contract?

Anonymous | Report this comment

Yes, I am currently working without a contract. I am directly employed by my employer.

Editor: If you are an employee, even if you do not have a written contract, you are subject to certain rights, including the right to maternity leave - see http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/england/work_e/work_rights_at_work_e/contracts_of_employment.htm

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I started a fixed term contract for 1 year's maternity cover under an apprenticeship scheme. To start with I dont think it was lawful to employ me as maternity cover under the guise of an apprenticeship when clearly they just wanted a cheap solution for maternity cover. The person being covered was on a rate of £6.30 an hour. I was put on an apprenticeship rate of £2.65 (aged 17) an hour. After a couple of months I complained that I had not received any training under the scheme nor had I been advised what course I would be trained under (ie business admin, telesales). I suggested coming off the scheme as I was now already doing the job of the incumbent. They agreed to put me on full pay - however, I was put on the minimum rate for my reached age at £4.98 (aged 18). Is it fair that I was paid a lower rate even though I did the same work as the person I was covering and was it fair that they employed me on an apprenticeship doing maternity cover? I thought that they had to create a new role specifically for this.

Editor: The employer is entitled to offer whatever wage they wish, provided it complies with minimum wage legislation and the employee is not being discriminated against e.g. because of race - which sounds unlikely.  Just because the woman on maternity leave got a higher rate is irrelevant.  

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi. I am a contractor ie I am self employed with a limited company and 7 months into a 12 month contract for my client and I am 2 months pregnant. What are my rights with the client I am working for? If I tell them I am pregnant could they end my contract early because, for example, I can't provide the service I have agreed to eg because I need time off for antenatal appointments or because I am too tired to work late etc? I've already upset them because I don't want to risk flying to New York and had to tell them it's because of a private medical reason. They are a very demanding company and seem happy to terminate people's contracts for the slightest problem that occurs. Obviously I don't want to be pregnant and looking for work! 

Editor: Our legal expert Alan Lewis has replied:

There are significant provisions within employment law to protect the employment rights of pregnant women ensuring that they are not unfairly discriminated against within the workplace as a consequence of their pregnancy.

 

“Your employment status is key here however. If you are self-employed there is limited protection for you in these circumstances as you are effectively your own boss. However, if your contract with this client states that you are obliged to provide the work personally and cannot sub contract the work, you may still be protected against discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.

 

It is worth checking whether you could be classed as an employee’. Many workers who have been referred to as ‘self-employed or contractors within contractual agreements have been held by the Courts and Tribunals to be employees and therefore, have been entitled to greater legal rights and protection."

 

 

 

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I have just started a new permanent job and in my contract it states that I have to have 2 years' service before I can claim additional maternity pay. Does this mean I cannot get pregnant until after the two years, or that I can before the two years as long as I don't go on maternity leave before the two years? Hope this makes sense as am slightly confused to my entitlements and rights! I know at any time I can claim SMP but not AMP. I did not realise this as I thought most companies were a year's service and not two, although I suppose all companies are different. I would welcome any advice. 

Editor: It is likely to be the latter [two years before date of going on maternity leave], but double check with HR if you can as all companies have different policies.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi - I am unsure about my terms of employment. I work in the public sector through my own company so am essentially self employed. I signed a 12-month contract with my employer 04-Apr-11, but have been working continuously ever since. I haven't signed another contract & therefore do not really have an end date. I invoice my employer & am on an hourly rate, but pay all my own tax & NI & am not entitled to annual leave or sick - only get paid for what I work. Am I entitled to maternity leave/pay?

Editor: see http://www.workingmums.co.uk/working-mums-magazine/hot-topics/6612203/maternity-rights-and-selfemployment.thtml and http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/employment-status/#1

 

 

Anonymous | Report this comment

I have signed up to an initial 6 month contract with the scope of becoming permanent at my place of work in March 2013.My contract ends on the 30th September. I am pregnant and due in March 2014 and my work have just told me that they will not be renewing my contract due to a staffing 'restructure' as my boss is also going on maternity leave. What are my rights regarding SMP and how can I be sure that they will actually change the staffing structure once I'm gone? Otherwise this would be unfair dismissal surely?

Editor: If you became pregnant after you started your contract and are still there after the 26th week of your pregnancy and earn over £109 a week you will qualify for SMP. If your contract ends and is not renewed, you need to look at the reasons why. If there is no longer a need for you to do the work, for example because the project has ended, you are redundant, and if you have 2 year’s continuous service with the employer you will be entitled to a redundancy payment. If the job still exists, and your contract is not renewed because of your pregnancy or maternity leave, the dismissal will be discriminatory and automatically unfair, but it may be difficult to prove this. 

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi there, hope anyone can help:

With regards to the NHS, how strict are the policies regarding 12 months continuous service? I have 11.5 months continuous service - has anyone qualified for occupational maternity pay under these circumstances?
Many thanks

Anonymous | Report this comment

I have a member of staff that is covering someone on maternity leave - they will have just over the 2 years service when the person comes back to take back their substantive post. Are they entitled to a redundancy payment ? The post still exists so it wouldn't technically be a redundancy as the person on maternity leave is returning.

Editor: Our employment lawyer Tracey Guest says:

I understand that your query concerns an employee covering a period of maternity leave. The replacement employee will have just over two years’ continuity of employment when the employee on maternity leave returns to her post. You have asked whether the replacement employee would be entitled to a redundancy payment.

Whether or not the replacement employee is entitled to a redundancy payment will depend on the reason for their dismissal. If the reason is genuinely redundancy, the replacement employee will be entitled to a redundancy payment, given that he/she has over two years’ continuity of service. You would also need to ensure that you follow a fair procedure in dismissing the replacement employee, in order to minimise the risk of unfair dismissal claims against you. If you dismiss the replacement employee before they have two years’ continuity of service, they will not of course be entitled to a redundancy payment and may also not be entitled to claim unfair dismissal, depending on their start date with the Company.

You should therefore carefully consider the reason for the replacement employee’s dismissal. Dismissal here also includes the expiry and non-renewal of a fixed-term contract if you have been using this type of contract for the replacement employee. You would usually be able to demonstrate that the reason for the dismissal of an employee on a fixed-term contract (i.e. non-renewal of a fixed term) is either some other substantial reason (‘SOSR’) or redundancy, depending on the circumstances.

If the replacement employee was taken on specifically to cover this maternity leave and certain conditions have been met, then the dismissal will be for SOSR. The conditions are: -

·         On taking on the replacement employee, you informed them in writing that their employment will be terminated when the employee on maternity leave returns to work.

·         And when you dismiss the replacement employee, the reason for this is to give work to the employee who has been on maternity leave.

If these conditions are met, then the replacement employee will not be entitled to a redundancy payment and you can argue that the dismissal will be for SOSR, rather than for any other reason. As stated above, you will still need to follow a fair procedure to reduce the risk of a successful unfair dismissal claim.

However, given that you have stated that the replacement employee will soon have two years’ continuity of service, it is not clear whether this employee was indeed taken on solely to cover a period of maternity leave, which would usually last for a maximum of 52 weeks. As stated, you will therefore need to carefully consider the actual reason for the dismissal. If this is a genuine redundancy situation (i.e. in this case a diminished need for employees to do work of a particular kind because when the employee returns from maternity leave you will have two employees doing the same job when you actually only require one) then given the replacement employee’s continuity of service, he/she would be entitled to a  redundancy payment.

If you require further advice, please contact Tracey Guest on 0161 975 3823.

 

 

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I am on a fixed term contract due to expire DEC 2013. I have been employed full time since September 17th 2012. The company offer Standard Maternity Pay for those employees with at least 26 weeks service at the qualifying week, and Enhanced Maternity Pay for those with 12 months service. I think I am entitled to full SMP pay, however, would I be entitled to the enhanced Maternity Pay, even though the contract will end a month before I am due? And will I need to pay it back?

Editor: You would need to check your contract to see if it applies to fixed-term contract workers. Companies are different with regard to enhanced pay. On the one hand, they should treat you equally with regard to maternity benefits unless there is good reason not to, but on the other they could argue that if you are required to pay back enhanced pay if you don't return then this is reason enough for them to exclude you.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I am currently on maternity leave. I was on a fixed term contract, which came to an end while I was pregnant and my employer extended it until the day my maternity leave started. My employer has offered me my old job back, on a part time basis, but the hourly rate of pay is 20% lower than it was previously. Can they do this?

Editor: Our employer lawyer Sejal Raja says: As your fixed term employment ended as soon as your maternity leave commenced i.e. you were no longer an employee of the organisation at the start of your maternity leave then your employer has no obligation to offer you any work and if it does make an offer, it can be on any terms as the employer may chose.

Accordingly, as your employment terminated and this is a new offer altogether it can be on whatever terms the employer sees fit.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi,
I am on a fixed term contract with my local council. This has already been extended twice - the current contract ends March 2014, I go on maternity leave Nov 2013. I am entitled to SMP, and then the Occ Health Mat pay - which is 12 weeks (weeks 7-18 of mat leave) of 1/2 pay on top of SMP; but they are saying that until the contract is extended (which we've been told it will be, just waiting for the written confirmation) they will withhold the 12 weeks of 1/2 pay entitlement.
Can they do this? I understand that the provision of the 1/2 pay is dependant on me returning for 3 months after mat leave, which I am intending on doing anyway, but can they decide to not pay me the Occupational Pay because they are not extending the contract surely that's unfair?

Anonymous | Report this comment

Further to my previous comment about the contract ending before mat leave - I have now worked for them on 3 fixed term contracts for a total of 4 years (2 yr, then 2 x 1 yr contracts) - does this mean I am classed as a permanent employee, or will this only come into effect once the contract is renewed this time?

Editor: I am seeking a response from our employment lawyer. I will post the response on our Advice & Support pages.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I have not long handed in my notice in my job about 2 weeks ago. I have just found out I'm pregnant and about to start my new job. Could you give me some advice on my rights please.

Editor: You won't qualify for SMP in your new job if you are pregnant before you start. However, you could qualify for Maternity Allowance - see https://www.gov.uk/maternity-allowance/overview. See also https://www.gov.uk/maternity-pay-leave/overview with regard to your rights on maternity leave.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, My girlfriend has been working a six-month contract which started in March, we fell pregnant in June. Her boss put her forwards for contract renewal, subsequently the HR department have fed back the contract won't be renewed.She spoke to her boss about this and he verbally stated that the best he could do for her was push for a 4.5 month contract due to her pregnancy. This is not right and they have an already understaffed team so don't know how they are going to cope without my girlfriend working there, I'm assuming they will recruit another! Please advise what we can do in this situation. She is really upset at the way this has been handled and at being out of work so close to the March due date she won't be able to find alternative work. Any help or advice greatly appreciated.

Editor: Is she currently still at the company and when does her previous contract expire? Has she accepted the 4.5 month contract which will see her past the 26-week qualifying period for statutory maternity pay? 

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I have been working for my current employer for over a year. For the first 9 months, i was a temp ('self employed' PAYE agency worker recruited to work for a client, my employer). My employer subsequently offered me a permanent contract (same role, same desk, same boss) knowking that I was being assessed for adoption. I am now close to being matched to a child, but I do not have 26 weeks of permanent employment (20 weeks). Does my 'temp' work count towards the 26 weeks continuous employment period? Thanks.

Editor: If the employment is continuous it should not matter if it is temporary or permanent.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hy,I am starting my new job next year so me and my hubby we were planning to try for a baby this December or January. I want to know if it won't affect my new job when they find out I got pregnant before they hired me or got pregnant the same month they hired me?

Editor: Many thanks for your comment. Are you based in the UK as our advice would apply to the UK. Your new employer cannot fire you for getting pregnant as this would constitute discrimination. If you get pregnant just before you start your new job you would still be eligible for statutory maternity pay if you are still in post at the 26th week of your pregnancy. If you get pregnant after you start you will not be eligible and would have to claim Maternity Allowance. You should have rights to return to your job after maternity leave, depending on how long you take off for maternity leave. If you take ordinary leave [first 26 weeks] you have the right to return to your old job. If you take additional leave [next 26 weeks, taking it up to 52 weeks] you have the right to return to your job unless this is not practical or a suitable alternative.  See http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/wales/work_w/work_time_off_work_e/maternity_leave.htm

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hello, I am getting married soon and I am trying to conceive. I need some information about what maternity pay I am entitled to if I do get pregnant.

I am working on two part-time (2 x 18.5 hours)'fixed-term' contracts for the same employer (UK). My first part-time post started on March 1st 2013 and is due to end 25th December 2013. My second part-time post started on 1st August 2013 and is due to end on 31st July 2014. The posts will not be renewed as I am employed to work on a project, at the end of the project, the role will not exist anymore.

What maternity pay will I be entitled to if I get pregnant? I earn over £109 per week (both salaries combined) and I will still earn over £109 per week when my first contract finishes and I am just employed on the newest contract. I have been employed by my employer since March 1st 2013 on my first contract, and have been employed on my second contract since 1st August 2013. Therefore I think I fulfill the length of service and salary requirements.

Will my entitlement to maternity pay change depending on when I become pregnant? E.g if I become pregnant at Christmas (with 7 months left of the contract) am I entitled to the same pay if I become pregnant in June? (1 month before my fixed-term contract finishes)

All the best,
 

Editor: SMP is calculated on your average earnings in the eight weeks leading up to the 26th week of pregnancy so if your pay drops when you stop the first job you will get less SMP. So long as you were employed before you got pregnant, are still employed by the same employer after the 26th week and earn at least £109 a week you should qualify for SMP.

 

 

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi

I have recently found out I am pregnant and due early July 2014. I am on a fixed term contract until May 2014 but our company is going through a restructure (merging with another company) so we have all been told that every job will be wiped out and we have to apply for the new posts. That includes people on permanent contracts as well as myself. Obviously this worries me as they are more likely to want someone who they don't have to give maternity pay to. Could you please tell me what rights I have and if I am able to claim maternity pay before my contract ends to protect me? Or if I am able to claim anything else?

Editor: Your employer cannot not give you a post due to your pregnancy as that constitutes discrimination. If you are in your job from just before you got pregnant to past the 26th week of your pregnancy and earn more than £109 a week you will qualify for SMP no matter what happens after this.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi there,

Thank you for answering my question above, about whether my employer can offer me my old job back at 20% lower pay. I have looked into the details a bit closer, and my contract ended on 16th March, however I told my employer I wanted to start my maternity leave on 15th March, the day before my contract ended. Does this change things? Does it mean that they are now obligated to offer me a job at the same rate of pay? If so, should I also have accrued holiday whilst I've been on maternity? Thank you very much for your advice, it is greatly appreciated!

Editor:  I am unclear what your status is. Are you currently employed while on maternity leave or has your contract ended in which case you would not accrue holiday after the end of your contract? Can you write with full information via our Advice & Support/Q  & A page box so our experts can help you. It is very difficult to provide information based on bits of information. If you are employed on a fixed term contract that expires during your maternity leave there is no obligation on your employer to re-employ you at the end of your maternity leave period (unless you are in a Redundancy situation).  However, if they do not re-employ you the key question will be why the contract was not renewed – if this was related to your pregnancy or maternity leave then you could claim unfair dismissal and possibly sex discrimination. 

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi. I was given a job to cover a lady that went on maternity leave. But when she came back I was given another years contract which is due to expire in july 2014.so I am just employed on a temp contract not covering maternity as she came back. I am due to have my baby on the 13th of june 2014. Am I entitled to maternity pay or not if my contract runs out soon after I have left to have the baby. Many thanks.

Editor: As long as you were employed from just before you got pregnant to at least the 26th week of your pregnancy and earned over £109 a week you will qualify for SMP. It doesn't matter what happens subsequently.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I am currently working in a firm for 11 months and just discovered I am 6 weeks pregnant. My contract ends in a few weeks' time (December) and I'm waiting for new one (renewable). Should I tell my boss about the pregnancy now?

Editor: You do not legally have to tell your boss and six weeks is pretty early to tell them. Many people wait till 12 weeks in any event until the pregnancy is well established, but it is a good idea to be honest with your boss for a long-term relationship. Have you been on rolling contracts? It is illegal for a company to discriminate against you because of pregnancy, but they may find other reasons for not renewing the contract. If your contract is not renewed you would not be eligible for SMP as you have to be there until at least the 26th week of your pregnancy to qualify. It is one of those issues that you have to decide for yourself based on your knowledge of your workplace.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I have been working for a tv production company on continuous fixed term contracts for two years and two months. The most recent contract expires on 29th November 2013. I have been told that there is a position on the project but that will expire in July 2014. They are stating that it can't be offered to me on the basis that I will be on maternity leave. I intended to return to work in May 2014 so do they need to offer that position to me even if I can return to it for two months, or do they need to legally work on the basis that I will be taking a year off. They have agreed to pay SMP and statutory redundnacy pay but I would like the option to return to my job.

Editor: Our HR expert Sandra Beale says: If they fail to offer you the position because you are going to be on maternity leave then that is discrimination.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I am self employed and have three jobs. The first is via a fixed term contract of one year which began on 31 July 2013 and the second is a six month contract via an agency which began on 5th August and may be renewed. I am paid by PAYE and pay class 2 national insurance contributions on those two contracts (my third job is only a purely freelance basis and I invoice monthly and pay tax via self assessment - I am not a limited company). If I get pregnant, will I be entitled to statutory maternity pay from my two PAYE contracting jobs? (I realise I am not entitled to a bean from my pure freelance role!). Thanks for any advice you can give.

Editor: It depends if you qualify for SMP on both of them separately, ie you must have be working in them till at least the 26th week of your pregnancy and earn at least £109 a week from each. See http://www.maternityaction.org.uk/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/morethanonejob.pdf

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I am currently trying for a baby for a while but have not got pregnant yet. I want to move Jobs but Im worried in case i get pregnant within a few months of my new job. Am i correct in thinking that as long as Im not pregnant when i start my new job i will be entitled to maternity pay or maternity allowance?

Editor: If you fall pregnant after starting a new job and are still in it after the 26th week of your pregnancy you may be entitled to SMP, depending on whether you earn an average of over £109 a week in the eight week qualifying period [the eight weeks leading up to the 26th week of your pregnancy]. If not, you should be entitled to Maternity Allowance - for MA you only need to have worked for 26 weeks in the 66 weeks up to your due date and this does not have to be in the same job.

Anonymous | Report this comment

My Friend has found herself in a situation. she signed a contract maternity pay. she is due to go back to work in a months time. to do this she would have to find £1000 deposit for child care and also another £1000 up front for the first month. she can not afford this. so she can not go back to work, resulting in her owing £7000. the college she works at has TOLD her if she does not pay back in 3 months then they are taking her to court. she wants to pay it back, every penny, but this would have to be over a period of time. is there anything in law that she can propose to the college that shows she wants to pay it back and will do but over a longer period then the 3 months that have stated and is no doubt in the contract.

Editor: Is there any compromise that can be found? Does the enhanced maternity pay policy say she has to go back for a specified period of time to avoid having to pay back the money? Are there no childminders she can find? She can try the local authority who will have a list of registered childminders in the area. If this is not possible, she would have to negotiate with the college about paying the money back over a longer period. Is the three-month period written down in the contract?

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hello,
I am 8 weeks pregnant without my employer knowing yet. I have started working part-time for them well before I got pregnant and I will be working with them until at least the 26th week of pregnancy. I have the option to change my contract from part-time to full-time. How will this affect my maternity rights and pay?

Editor: Your maternity rights won't be affected, but your SMP is calculated based on your average weekly earnings in the eight weeks up to the 26th week of your pregnancy so if your take home pay increases you will get more maternity pay. SMP is 6 weeks at 90% of salary and then £136.78 for the remaining weeks or 90% of average salary, whichever is lower.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I started a new temporary job (maternity cover contract) on November 6th; my contract was for a year although it said it can be terminated earlier by giving notice. This was to cover if the lady on maternity leave came back earlier. However I found out 3 weeks in I was pregnant and my baby is due 18th June.
I know I don’t qualify for SMP and I initially thought my contract would just end in June. However am I doing myself a disservice by saying this, as I presume if I stayed employed technically until November I would be entitled to annual leave? They will have to replace me with another temp cover and it gets very messy if there were 2 of us effectively on mat lave for the same job! I would be grateful for any advice.

Editor: If you are on a one-year contract then it cannot be terminated early due to pregnancy or that would be discrimination. I am not clear what you are planning to do. Do you mean to return to work shortly after having your baby up until November? You would not qualify for SMP if you got pregnant before you started this job, but if you got pregnant afterwards and are still employed by the 26th week of your pregnancy and earn an average of over £109 a week in the eight weeks leading up to the 26th week of your pregnancy you could qualify. However, if you can't get SMP, you should be able to claim Maternity Allowance if you have been employed for 26 weeks in the 66 weeks leading up to your due date, whether that is in the same job or not - see https://www.gov.uk/maternity-allowance

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, i was offered a job in the same nhs trust were i am currently working, i have accepted the job, as it was offered right after my interview, the new job is in a higher band but only on temporary contract (3-4 months), i have been in the trust for 2 years and 3 months now on a permanent contract, just a week ago, i found out im pregnant, please advise, i havent signed the new contract yet, if they want me to start in middle of january and the contract will probably ends in april 2014, where i will be probably on my 26th weeks pregnancy, if they wont extend or renew my contract, will i get any maternity leave? smp or maternity allowances? thank you.

Editor: Are you employed by the same employer ie the NHS Trust? This would constitute continuous employment - see http://www.dwp.gov.uk/publications/specialist-guides/technical-guidance/ni17a-a-guide-to-maternity/statutory-maternity-pay-smp/eligibility/

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi thank you for your quick response, yes I will be employed by the same trust but only for a 3 months contract, my worry is, if they wpnt extend or renew my contract as I am pregnant now,will I still get my mmaternity leave or smp? The new contract will last til 30th april 2014,how early can I file maternity leave? Thank u.

Editor: If you are still there past the 26th week of pregnancy you will get SMP, plus ending your contract on the grounds of pregnancy would constitute discrimination so, for instance, if they did not extend your contract but then hired someone else to do the same job that could be suggestive of discrimination.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi,
I am on a fixed term contract due to expire in March 2014. I was planning on returning to work in April 2014 after 12 months maternity leave but have heard nothing from my employer and I have a feeling they won't renew my contract. They haven't contacted me at all since I went off sick at 28weeks pregnant, it has been me that has contacted them on the odd occasion and I don't feel that they care. If this is the case, will I have to pay back my additional maternity pay? I'm struggling to find any information relating to this! Hope someone can help. Thankyou

Editor: What does it say about paying back additional pay in your contract? Contracts tend to vary on paying back additional maternity pay so you would need to check the small print.

 

Anonymous | Report this comment

Off the top of my head it says i have to return to work for 3 months, but if they are the ones to choose not to renew the contract do you know where i will stand then? I'm worried about ringing the local authority to ask in case they report it to my employer that I was enquiring!

Editor: Do you not have a written contract or maternity policy available, for instance, on the intranet? You could just ask to see the maternity policy rather than a specific bit of it to check the wording. It will depend on what is in your employer's policy.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi I am on a yearly fixed term contract which ends in July 2014, I have just found out that I am pregnant and I think im about 4-6 weeks, meaning the baby will be due in August 2014. would you be able to tell me what I am entitled to? I know they cannot say they are discontinuing my contract because of my pregnancy, but I am afraid they will give some other reason to make up for it.

Editor: As long as you are still in your job by the 26th week of your pregnancy and are paid on average £109 a week in the eight weeks leading up to the 26th week of your pregnancy you will be entitled to SMP no matter what happens afterwards. As you say, it is discrimination to discontinue your contract on the basis of your pregnancy.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hello, I changed my job recently without knowing that I am pregnant. I have a 3 months trial contract ending at the end of this month, but haven't told that I am pregnant yet. I am 12 weeks pregnant now and I am worried that if I tell them before my contract is finished they won't make a new contract. Should I tell them before my contract is finished? What are my rights? Thank you. (I have been told I am doing a great job)

Editor: You cannot have your contract terminated because of your pregnancy as this would constitute pregnancy discrimination.

 

Anonymous | Report this comment

hi, could you tell me my daughter works on a temporary contract ended 31st dec 2013. We are house keepers she told work about being pregnant and they asked for all forms that were needed. They agreed 28th jan 14 can leave for maternity, baby due 17th april. after going back to work still on the old contract they said they think it may be better of ending her employment. can they do this?

Editor: Fixed term or temporary employees are entitled to maternity leave in the same way as permanent employees. If the reason for not renewing her contract is related to her pregnancy or maternity leave and the job still exists it would be unfair. If the job no longer exists, there is a redundancy situation. Even if she has not worked for your employer for long enough to qualify for a redundancy payment, she has a special protection as a woman on maternity leave. She MUST be offered any suitable alternative vacancy which exists. This means that if there is a group of people, only some of whom are being made redundant, someone else must be selected instead of the woman on maternity leave.

 

 

 

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hello, I did not give my employer my 15 weeks notice and I am due in 6 weeks. What are my rights and what can my employer do?
Help.

Editor: If it was not possible to give the required notice (for example, because you didn’t realise you were pregnant), you should tell your employer as soon as possible. You need to say that you are pregnant, what your expected due date is and the date you expect to start your maternity leave (you can change the date later, if you give at least 28 days’ notice). Your employer might ask for this notice in writing. They may also ask for a copy of form MAT B1, the maternity certificate, saying when the baby is due which you can get from your GP or midwife after you have been pregnant for 21 weeks. Your employer should write back to you within 28 days confirming your SML and giving you the date your SML will end.

Your employer can’t refuse maternity leave or change the amount of leave employees want to take if notice is late. However, they can delay the leave or pay start date if the employee doesn’t have a reasonable excuse for giving the wrong amount of notice. To delay it, they would need to write to you within 28 days of your leave request.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, my baby is due on 14/4/14. I was an agency worker and then put onto a fixed term contract. In total I have worked for the company for 18 months, but on the fixed term contract since August 2013. My company is saying I will only qualify for the maternity allowance. Is that right?

Editor: Were you employed by the agency or by the company - ie who paid your wages and NI contributions, etc? You would need to determine if you have been an employee of the company since you got pregnant or only after you got pregnant. See http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/employment-status/

 

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi
I have been working for my employer for more than 2 years (continuously). My contract ends on the 14th of June (end of project). My due date is 20th of sept so I think I qualify for the 15th week criterion (please double check though)

Where do I stand in terms of maternity rights?
I am also offered another post (different funder) with the same employer for another 3 years from June onwards (nothing in writing until March April time). Is it that any rights I might have will come from the first post only?

Editor: If you are more than 26 weeks pregnant on 14th June you will qualify for SMP no matter what happens afterwards, ie if you do not get the other contract. If you stay with the same employer that should count as continuous employment so you should get SMP even if it is before your 26th week that you start. See http://www.dwp.gov.uk/publications/specialist-guides/technical-guidance/ni17a-a-guide-to-maternity/statutory-maternity-pay-smp/eligibility/

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hello,
I started a one year fixed term contract on 23rd Sept 2013, and have just found out I'm pregnant. I will be due mid-Sept 2014 (just before my one year contract expires). Does my employer have an obligation to offer me a job again, once I have taken maternity leave? Thank you.

Editor: Your employer does not have to offer you another contract, for instance, if the work you were doing does not exist, but they cannot not renew your contract if the work exists if the only reason not to do so is because you have been on maternity leave.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I need help on how to work out when I am due back to work and when my SMP finishes please. My maternity leave started on Monday 17th June and I am taking the 39 weeks. I make it I am due back to work on the 17th march, is this correct please?

Editor: Going by a calendar count that would be correct. You could double check with your employer when your SMP payments are due to finish.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi,
I am on part time temporary contract from december to february 2014 an i am due at the end of June. My employer said to me that they want to offer me permanent full time contract after this temp contract finishes.  A few days later I told my employer that I'm pregnant, so what she said to me was that they not gonna give me permanent contract because I'm pregnant and they will try to find me some position and keep me as long as they can. So is possible that they may not extend my contract at all?

Editor: They cannot end your employment because you are pregnant as this would be discrimination. Keep notes of what they say to you as you may need to use this in future. If your contract is not renewed and your job still exists this would constitute discrimination - http://www.workingmums.co.uk/advice-and-support/q-and-a/111245/maternity-rights-and-contracts-ask-the-expert.thtml

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I have just done nearly 12 months maternity cover which was a 12 month contract. The person I was covering for has returned to work and it's nearly the end of my contract. I am now 9 weeks pregnant. Me and my partner work at the same place and he confided in his manager about our news. As we work in different departments my manager is someone different. As news gets around people have been spreading the word. As I haven't told my manager as it's early days yet I have had previous pregnancy problems I have kept it quiet until my first doctor appointment. With all the Chinese whispers going round I was handed a letter to attend a meeting about ending my contract today. I'm really confused as to why because both the managing director and hr have told me they want to renew my contract permanently. Will I qualify for any maternity leave or payment?

Editor: You would only qualify for SMP if you are still in employment [ie if your contract is renewed] past the 26th week of your pregnancy, but if you have worked for 26 weeks in the 66 weeks up to your due date you will qualify for Maternity Allowance. If you feel your contract has not been renewed because of your pregnancy this would be pregnancy discrimination, but you would need to be able to prove it.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Thank you for your answear. Like i mentioned before i am on 3 month contract which ends in february and i am due in june. I forgot to add that this position is called winter position and they wanted offer me completely different position with different tasks after this one. So even if is called winter position they still have to offer me something? Thank you so much again :)

Editor: Our HR expert Tara Daynes says: Not giving her the role would constitute. 'less favourable treatment' so if the reason was because of her pregnancy, then yes, this would be discrimination. The burden of proof is on them to show if that was not the reason. She should ask them to objectively justify their decision & if they can't do that, she may well have a claim.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi

I am on a 6 month temporary contract through recruitment agency and iv just realised I am 13 weeks pregnant. I am covering maternity for another member of staff and they are back in june. My due date is June. Will I be entitled to smp or maternity allowance? Please can u advise. I am getting paid via the agency on a weekly basis.

Editor: Have you been employed by the agency prior to this? You say you are paid via the agency so do they pay your NI and tax which would mean they are your employer? You would only qualify for SMP if you were employed just before you became pregnant up until your 26th week of pregnancy. Otherwise you should qualify for Maternity Allowance if you have worked for any 26 weeks in the 66 weeks before your due date.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi
I am with an agency and have been working in a school for 4 months now, it is a year contact. I have recently found out I am pregnant and wanted to know if I am going to be entitled to smp or the maternity allowance if I am 24 weeks pregnant before the school closes for summer holidays. It doesn't come in the 26 weeks however does meet the 15 week due date criteria.

Editor: Are you employed by the agency or the school? If you are employed by the agency you may still qualify for SMP - see http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/spmmanual/spm20655.htm. If you are employed by the school and your employment ends before the 26th week of your pregnancy you will not qualify for SMP, but could qualify for Maternity Allowance.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi there,
I am 5 months into a full time 10-month contract and am 13 weeks pregnant. I have told my employer about the pregnancy because I have been very ill in the early stages with hyperemesis gravidarum (extreme vomiting) and have tried to negotiate a part-time contract because I think it will be difficult for me to continue full-time given the nature of the work. My boss has arranged for an appt. with Occupational Health to ascertain if this is really necessary and has made clear that they wish me to continue full time on the basis that the condition is likely to improve. However, I am still no better and concerned about the health implications. Do I (A) have the right to sick leave? (B) Can I be dismissed with no rights (considering it is a 10-month contract at a university), (C) Do I have any rights to renegotiate my contract?

Editor: You certainly have a right to sick leave during pregnancy. If you are dismissed for reasons related to your pregnancy that would constitute pregnancy discrimination. You can certainly suggest reduced hours if your GP or health review can back up the need for this.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I am currently working my third 6 month maternity cover contract (two different women) which is due to expire end of March. I believe the woman who I am covering doesn't plan to return until May or even July. I'm assuming I will get a rolling monthly contract from April. I'm trying for a baby and hope to have one by the end of the year therefore planning to be pregnant whilst under contract. Would I be entitled to smp? After my contract ends I'm hoping to stay at the company only as relief for holiday and sickness cover...would this entitle me to anything?

Editor: To qualify for SMP you need to have got pregnant after you started work and to be still employed at the company after the 26th week of your pregnancy and earning an average of over £109 a week. 

Anonymous | Report this comment

Like i wrote you before im on 3 month contract till february. After your advice i went to my menager and told her that they have to extend my contract not like she said that they will keep me as long as they can because this is discrimination, and also if they offered me different position they cannot change it. So she said she will talk to hr and get back to me. Then she come up to me and said ok we have 4 position at the moment avaliable, (Not that one which she offered me before. Two of them are better offers 2 bit worst), but i have to attend an interview. So now im bit confiused. Because if they cant end my employment why i have to attend an interview??? And let's say if someone will be better than me?

Thanks so much for answear, you are really great.

Editor: Can you write via our Advice & Support/Q & A page box with full details. Is your original position no longer available, eg, because it is now redundant, or are there other reasons you cannot do your original job? Our HR expert's advice still stands in relation to your original post. It is illegal not to renew your contract simply because you are pregnant.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Thank you for anwear. Ok I will wrote my whole story again.

I am on part time temporary contract called "winter cleaner" from december till february 2014 and i am due at the end of June. Couple weeks later my menager come up to me and said thet there is one position avaliable as barista. So i filled application. Then after maby 2 weeks later my employer said to me that they want to offer me permanent contract after this temp contract finishes but as a cashieer in cantin, and i said ok. A few days later I told my employer that I'm pregnant, so what she said to me was that they not gonna give me this permanent contract because I'm pregnant and they will try to find me some position and keep me as long as they can, because they prefer some one who can work and now company will have to pay me maternity and thats too much money. So after your advice i said that what she said is discrimination and they have to extend my contract. So she said she will first talk to hr and then to me because she may say something wrong again. Then she said that there are 4 position avaliable now, 2 as a barista, one hospitality job (waitress) and one office position, and i have to choose one and attend an interview. So i dont really get it why i have to attend an interview if they have to extend my contract. Whats will happen if i fail interview? And other question do every company have they own rules abt maternity pay or is like on gov.uk webside that i have to work for 26 weeks up to the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth?

Tank you so so much again

Editor: If you have been with the company since before you are pregnant until at least the 26th week of your pregnancy and have earned at least £109 a week you will qualify for statutory maternity pay whatever happens after the 26th week. The company may also have their own contractual maternity pay, which differs for all companies, which tops up SMP, but for SMP the rules are the same nationally. Is the only reason they won't give you the original position they offered because you are pregnant? They cannot offer you a position and then withdraw it due to your pregnancy. Have they now given that position to someone else?

Anonymous | Report this comment

I've just found out I'm pregnant and due in Sept '14. I've been with my employer a year and just started my third 6 month fixed term contract that will end in July ' 14. (They say they'd like to take me on permanently but they have a head count freeze from head office).

They are happy with my work and my job will continue indefinitely (i.e. they won't be able to argue they don't need my role any more) so am I right in thinking that my company will have to extend my contract in July '14 when I'm 7 months pregnant or else they are discriminating against me?

So should they renew my contract for another 6 months even thought I'm 7 months pregnant and clearly going on maternity leave? Or will they be allowed to extend until just before I go on leave?
And should they really hold that job open for me for when I return from maternity leave?
Lastly if I was staff and not on fixed term contracts they would give me additional maternity pay so are they not discriminating against me as a fixed term contractor by not offering me that too?
I'd be very grateful for your advice.

Editor: You have all the rights that any employee has, and cannot be treated any less favourably because you are on a fixed term or temporary contact.

If your contract is normally a rolling contract and ends and is not renewed, you need to look at the reasons why (and even more so if it’s ended earlier than the current end date…). If there is no longer a need for you to do the work, for example because the project has ended, you are redundant, and if you have 2 year’s continuous service with the employer you will be entitled to a redundancy payment. If the job still exists, and your contract is not renewed because of your pregnancy or maternity leave, the dismissal will be discriminatory and automatically unfair. A woman who is dismissed while pregnant must be given written reasons for her dismissal.
 
It is automatically unfair to dismiss a woman because she is pregnant or intends to take maternity leave even if this means that she is unable to work for the majority of the contract, whether because of maternity leave or because of health and safety reasons.
 
With regard to maternity pay: each organisation which operates contractual maternity pay has a different policy so you would have to check the wording of this policy with regard to your rights.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I'm currently in a permanent position but am looking for a new job, I went for an interview the other day and it's for a fixed term contract of 12 months. I am not pregnant but I'm also not taking any contraception. What happens if I am offered the job & take it then I fall pregnant or if I am actually pregnant now (if I am would be in very early stages)?
Thanks.

Editor: If you become pregnant in a new job you must still be there at the 26th week of your pregnancy and be earning at least £109 a week to qualify for SMP. Whatever happens after that - for instance, if your contract comes to an end - you will still get SMP. If you are pregnant before you start a new job you will not qualify for SMP, but you should get Maternity Allowance which you claim through your Job Centre Plus. To be eligible you must have worked for 26 weeks in the 66 weeks before your baby's due date and to be earning at least £30 in any 13-week period. SMP is six weeks at 90% of your salary and then £136.78 or 90% of salary whichever is lower for the remaining 33 weeks. MA is £136.78 or 90% of salary whichever is lower for the whole 39 weeks.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi one of my colleagues started maternity 2 weeks ago and her replacement has been in the post 3 weeks now, has just told us she is pregnant, she thinks she was pregnant before she started. She keeps mentioning coming back after maternity leave alongside our colleague and is on a 12 month fixed maternity leave cover contract. Our colleague is back in January and I think her replacement is due in September and has already said she will return before January if she can.. There won't be a position after January next year when my colleague returns. So is maternity leave considered a break in her 12 month contract? I'm only asking as there is absolutely no animosity about it but I feel that this needs to be made clear for her as I just reply non committedly at the moment. It's all confusing! Also if she can work alongside our colleague it would be great to train her in other things to enhance her chances of getting a position in another department and raise her profile a bit in the company. I want both colleagues to stay! :-(

Editor: If her contract was just for maternity cover, her employer could argue that there is no role for her. She cannot be refused an extension just because of maternity or pregnancy - see http://www.workingmums.co.uk/advice-and-support/q-and-a/111245/maternity-rights-and-contracts-ask-the-expert.thtml

Anonymous | Report this comment

Thanks, so as there is no extension in the offing for anyone, she may need to discuss this with hr. The company is very good towards employees there just isn't any money to employ anyone else.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi

I have question. If my contract ends with end of april and im due in august and I will go on sick leave lets say in mid of april for 2 months is my contract automaticly extended?
Thanks for help.

Editor: I am a bit unclear from what you have said. If you are on a short-term contract and it is not renewed you have to look at the reasons why. If the role is genuinely redundant, then you would not have it extended. However, if it is not extended because of pregnancy or maternity leave that would be deemed discriminatory.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I am employed in a fixed term training contract due to end on 9th October 2014. I am pregnant and have a due date of 6th October 2014 so will start my maternity leave in September 2014. I understand I will qualify for SMP (my employer does not offer any enhanced maternity pay) but will my employer be the party to pay this. Also will I still be paid childcare vouchers which I currently get as salary sacrifice. I understand that you can't 'sacrifice' SMP so should continue getting vouchers. I can't see my employer being happy to continue paying me SMP and ccv when I should have finished work!? Thanks

Editor: Your employer will be responsible for your SMP, but they can claim back most of this from the government. On vouchers: The effect of maternity leave on your Childcare Vouchers will depend on the specific details of the Childcare Vouchers scheme that your employer operates, and the terms and conditions of your contract of employment. If you receive Childcare Vouchers and will be going on maternity leave, you should contact your employer at the earliest possible point to discuss your options.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hello, I was dismissed from my job and I am pregnant, I am four weeks away from my maternity leave. Am I entitled to any funding from the government?

Editor: If you are entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay or Maternity Allowance, you should be paid these benefits instead of JSA once you are 29 weeks pregnant. If you are entitled to Employment and Support Allowance you will be paid this instead of JSA once you are 34 weeks pregnant. You may also be entitled to means-tested benefits such as income support, Child Tax Credit and the Sure Start Maternity Grant, on top of your maternity pay. Contact your local JobCentre Plus. 

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, ive worked for a agency for 3 years now, 2 different agency but the same place, the aim is to get a contract if your performance and attendency is good, i was told at xmas 2012 that i was getting a contract and i was over the moon as im a dad of a 1 year old at the time. 5 of us was told we were getting contracts then all of a sudden nothing was said, 2 of the 5 of us got contracts because they went from night shift to day shift but i wasent even giving that option. I was told i wasent getting one. The person who did get a contract was on days for about a month then come back on nights, lol. After that work went quiet and we were getting less hours on nights, sometimes even 2 days, i lost my flat because of this and i was homeless for 6 weeks, i was still going to work but struggling realky bad, i spoke with them and told them. I had to have some days off here and there trying to find a place to live and bad night sleeps, they put me on a 6 month probation period which i seen out, i had 1 day off in that time because i sprained my ankle, i produced a self cert certificate and seen the doctor, he told me to have a week off but because i was scared of being on probation and i knew contracts were coming around again i went in work and soilderd on. When the contracts come around again i was told i couldnt apply because of this day off i had when i was hurt, i feel that the supervisor didnt like me and now the same things happening again. Less hours, and still no contract, is there something i can do. I feel ive done everything. Makes me sick people are in there not aslong as me, some even months and getting contracts.

Editor: Call the free Acas helpline on 08457 474747.

 

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi,

I am on a 12-month nhs contract (as a student health visitor)the course (contract) commenced from 9th September, 2013 and ends on the 8th September, 2014. On my current contract it states my nhs continuous service date as (24 August, 2013).

I am 11 weeks pregnant and my due date is on 12th September, 2014 which i would have completed the course (contract would have ended)

My employer (Manager)informed me that i quote "You will be entitled to maternity leave from 11 weeks before your baby is due.You will be entitled to statutory maternity pay but not the occupational maternity pay because your fixed term contract with us will have ended".

I wanted to find check if that is right as for some reason, i was convinced that i will be entitled to Occupational Maternity Pay because i satisfy the requirement for my current trust.

I am not sure why i do not qualify for that because, i have 12 months continuous service with the nhs, will still be working for them after am 26 weeks pregnant etc.

Please advise.Thanks

Editor: You need to check the terms for occupational maternity pay. Each organisation is different, but look at the small print on eligibiility to see if what your manager is saying is correct. OMP is often linked to a person returning to their job for several months. 

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi,
I have been working for my employer for over 2 years and am expecting my first baby on 12th September 2014. My current job is in a childrens centre and we are due to be taken over by the local school on 30th June 2014. I have been made to apply for a new contract as hours are being reduced but I will still be paid by the local council which will be considered continuous service. I currently work 37 hours per week and will do so up until 30th June 2014 when I will either drop down to a 22 hour per week contract or be out of work depending on if I am successful in getting a new contract.
Firstly I wondered where I stand with applying for this new contract. As I comply with the continuous employment rule are my employers obliged to offer me a new contract that is similar to the one I am on currently? I do not plan to take maternity leave until just before the baby is born which will be after 30th June therefore meaning the new reduced contacts will have come into affect.
Secondly am I correct in thinking that my maternity pay will be calculated on my 37 hour contract which will end on 30th June and be up to and including my qualifying week and not the reduced contract I am potentially going to be put on afterwards.
Please advise. Many thanks

Editor: If you are still on your current contract by the 26th week of pregnancy you will get SMP whatever happens afterwards. It will be based on your average weekly earnings in the eight weeks leading to the 26th week of your pregnancy. With respect to changing contracts - see https://www.gov.uk/your-employment-contract-how-it-can-be-changed

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi I've just started a 12 month temp contract but I just found out I'm
Pregnant, I don't want to tell them until 3 months but can they sack me also what are my rights ??

Editor: You do not need to tell your employer straight away - in fact many people wait until after they have had their first scan and some wait till later - and they cannot sack you for being pregnant as this would amount to pregnancy discrimination.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I am in school & on a fixed term contract until August 31st 2014. I'm am due October 2014. Can I opt to start my maternity leave 30th August- just before my contract ends? It's not yet clear if the school will need me after this date as I am employed as part time & am aware that they may need a full time member of staff instead. I am entitled to SMP but just need clarification on when I can start my maternity leave.

Editor: The earliest you can start maternity leave is 11 weeks before your due date.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi

I have been working for my employer for 6.5 months now on 3 month fixed term contracts that keep getting extended. My current contract ends 23rd May and I am currently 13 weeks pregnant. I have worked continuously for 26 weeks for the same employer but my contract ends in the 24th week of my pregnancy. The project I have been working on comes to an end so there is no reason to extend me. Do I qualify for any Maternity Pay or SMP? Thanks

Editor: You would only qualify for SMP if you are still in your job at the 26th week of your pregnancy. Your employer cannot not extend your contract because of your pregnancy, but it sounds like they have a valid reason for not extending it if the project you are working on has come to an end. In that case, you would probably qualify for Maternity Allowance. For MA you need to have worked for 26 weeks in the 66 weeks before your baby's due date and to have earned more than £30 a week in any 13-week period in those 66 weeks. You can apply for MA through your local JobCentre Plus.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I am in school & on a fixed term contract until August 31st 2014. I'm am due October 2014. Can I opt to start my maternity leave 30th August- just before my contract ends? It's not yet clear if the school will need me after this date as I am employed as part time & am aware that they may need a full time member of staff instead. I am entitled to SMP but just need clarification on when I can start my maternity leave.

Editor: You can start maternity leave no more than 11 weeks before your due date.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hello,

Looking for some advice. I am currently an apprentice in office/clerical work. I started my apprenticship in June 2013, my contract expires in June 2014. However I was told verbally in my interview that they would want me to have a long term career within the company and would progress. I am due in September 2014 and am quite certain they will not keep me on now since I told them I was pregnant (I cant prove this though) Do I have any rights?

Your advice would be much appreciated.

Editor: As an apprentice you have the same employment rights as other employees so your employer cannot discriminate against you because you are pregnant. It can be difficult to prove, though, as you say. For more information - see http://www.maternityaction.org.uk/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/pregnancydiscrimination.pdf 

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi,

I am looking for some advice regarding statutory maternity pay.
I started working in my current job on a self employed basis while they got my permanant contract sorted. I ended up working on a self employed basis ( although for my salary rather than self employed rate). I didn't start getting paid on PAYE until October and I would have needed to be contracted since September in order for me to qualify ( the 26weeks rule) for SMP. Does the fact that I had been working for them and waiting for my contract to start for 5 months while working for them continuously stand for anything? I.E should I still be paid SMP? Thank you for any help...

Editor: You have to be an employee for at least 26 weeks to qualify for SMP, but you should be able to get Maternity Allowance through your local JobCentre Plus.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi,
I am a part time teacher on a fixed term contract from Sept 2013 till Aug 2014 working at an academy. I am18 weeks pregnant and told them at 14 weeks as i am in a workshop and i wanted them to know on health and safety grounds. They have now advertised my job not stating the contract time, length or start date.
They have been pleased with what i have done in the job so far and the head of department has said she wants me to continue at the school. Should they have told me they were advertising my job? I am going to apply for the job as i understand they cannot discriminate against me even though i am pregnant. Obviously i will be at a massive advantage going for the job. What rights do i have if any?

Thanks.

Editor: If you are on a short term contract which is not renewed due to pregnancy that would constitute discrimination - see http://www.workingmums.co.uk/advice-and-support/q-and-a/111245/maternity-rights-and-contracts-ask-the-expert.thtml

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi,
I am currently on a fixed term full time contract which is due to end in March 2015. However we have recently received a letter from the company saying this is likely to extend to September-December 2015 but no new contract has been issued at this time. There is a severance package after 2 years of employment worth 6 months of pay.I am currently 6 weeks pregnant with my first and due in December 14 . I have worked for the company since January 2013 so assume I would receive the SMP for the entire 52 weeks but fall a month short of receiving the severance. I have read the company maternity package and terms and conditions which state that if you have worked for the company for 1 year you would be entitled to the company maternity package (it does not mention anything about fixed term contract employees) on the basis you go back for 3 months or pay back some of the money if you decide not to return.

Basically I wanted to know where I stand in terms of maternity and my entitlement. I have not spoken to HR yet as plan to talk to them once I have had my 12 week scan but want a heads up on what I am entitled to by law. Could they for example offer me early severance or would I be entitled to both if I was to return to work. I was planning on taking my maternity leave in November 14 therefore if I decided to take 9 months off as an example there would potentially a job for me to return to all be it for a few months which mean technically I would have been there for 2 years therefore worth going back for the severance package??

Any help would be appreciated

Thanks

Editor: If fixed-term workers are entitled to the company maternity package then you should get it. Usually if you cannot return to work due to redundancy the terms about paying back your extra maternity pay are waived. Again this is something you would need to check in your maternity policy - it may say that the money is repayable in any circumstances where you do not return. Check the wording. In terms of severance pay, you would be safer returning after nine months.

 

Anonymous | Report this comment

I am waiting for a baby in September. My project is ending in October. Will I receive Maternity compensation?

Editor: Do you mean maternity pay? If you have been in your job since before you got pregnant and are still in it at the 26th week of pregnancy and earned an average of at least £109 a week in the eight weeks leading up to the 26th week of your pregnancy you should get statutory maternity pay. If not, you could qualify for Maternity Allowance - see https://www.gov.uk/maternity-allowance

Anonymous | Report this comment

I currently work full time on a temp contract with no end date. My employer did assure me that I was going to receive a permanent contract but since I fell pregnant she has been very off with me and has treated me unfairly. Anyway that's not what this post is about I was just wondering if I will accrue holidays whilst on maternity leave? I know that permanent staff do but I'm not sure about temporary staff. I do qualify for SMP so I will receive that.

Editor: Yes, you will continue to accrue holiday in the normal way.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi there,
I currently 8 weeks pregnant and have been working at my current workplace since September 2013. I am on a one year fixed contract. I have been told verbally I now have a permanent position. I have not yet told my employer I am pregnant. I am worried they will say they now can't renew my contract as apparantly they have before. Any advice on how I should handle this?

Editor: There is no need to tell your employer yet that you are pregnant. You say they have verbally agreed that you have a permanent position. Can you get this in writing? In any event they cannot terminate your contract or fail to renew your contract [if the work is still there] simply because you are pregnant as this would constitute discrimination. 

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I work for a large National Media Company. They have a policy of not allowing people to work here for longer than 11 months (you then have to go away for 3 months, work elsewhere, then you can come back).
I started a contract at the end of January 2014, my contract takes me up to Dec 5th. However recently they've offered me more responsibilities essentially adding an additional role to mine. This role used to belong to a male colleague who is leaving, his contract was different to mine, he was on a yearly rolling one, which included paid holiday (mine doesn't). My line manager said in a meeting that they would put me onto this contract in December, as my new role needed continuity.
It's now June and I'm pregnant, due in January. My worry is that they will not stand by their verbal promise to renew my contract in December as it would mean me going straight on Maternity leave. I don't want to get into legal rows with them obviously as I've worked hard to get into this industry and especially this company.
What advice do you have for me to handle the situation, and what am I entitled to legally? Would I be entitled to the same Maternity they offer full staff?

Thank you

Editor: If you were in post when you got pregannt and are still there after the 26th week of pregnancy [and are earning an average of at least £109 a week in the eight weeks up to the 26th week] you will get SMP no matter what happens afterwards. If your contract is not renewed due to your pregnancy/maternity leave that is discrimination.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Good morning,

I would like to find out what I am entitled to SMP, MP, MA.??

I am currently working for an agency I have been here since September 11th 2013 and my current contract with this assignment ends on the 31st July 2014.

I have been with the agency longer than 26 weeks and was wondering what I am actually entitled to and how I would go about claiming it and when I would need to claim and when I can start claiming from. I am due on the 19.11.14.

My last pay will be Friday 8th August 2014.

I have read your pages of agency worker rights but I am still a bit confused.

I look forward to your response.

Kind regards,

Editor: If you have been there from before you got pregnant and are past your 26th week and have been earning an average of at least £109 a week in the eight weeks leading up to the 26th week of your pregnancy you would qualify for SMP which you would claim via your employer. Your midwife should give you a MATB1 form which you hand to your employer - see https://www.gov.uk/maternity-pay-leave/how-to-claim

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi,
I am currently on maternity leave from a fixed term contract due to end 30th June 2014 (the contract started Nov 12). I have been chasing the company as it is now only 12 days away from ending. They are going through a restructure/redundancy process and have pretty much told me that my role will go to a permanent employee who needs redeployment. Can they do this? They have also said that I can not apply for redeployment positions as I haven't been with the organisation for 2 years or more. As you can imagine I am not happy especially as my SMP runs out mid July.

Editor: Fixed-term workers have the same rights as permanent workers over pregnancy discrimination. Any dismissal that was influenced by your pregnancy or your taking of maternity leave would be automatically unfair, which does not require the usual two years service in order to bring a claim to the Employment Tribunal. You would also potentially have a sex discrimination claim. In order to defend such a claim your employer would have to prove that its decision regarding your role was not linked to your pregnancy or maternity leave in any way whatsoever. If your role is genuinely no longer required at the end of the fixed term and you are made redundant during your maternity leave [which does not seem to be the case],  your employer would have an obligation to offer you any suitable alternative roles (where any are available) to start immediately after your existing contract ends. You would not need to apply for such positions as they should be offered to you by your employer over all other employees.

Anonymous | Report this comment

hi. my daughter has worked for same care company for 4 yrs but has no contract. is she entitled to maternity pay?

Editor: As long as she is still in her job at the 26th week of her pregnancy and has been earning at least £111 a week in the eight weeks leading up to her 26th week. They should issue a contract to her though - she is entitled to that.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I am due to go back to work in September after 9 months maternity leave, I am contracted to do 27 and a quarter hours over 4 days which I was working Monday to Thursday. my employer has now asked me to change my day off which I am unable to do because of childcare. I have been flexible in the past and changed days but unable to do it now. He has told me that he will have to talk to HR and I might have to change my day or do two half days. can he do this?

Editor: If your employer wishes to change your terms and conditions, they have to consult with you and get your agreement - see https://www.gov.uk/your-employment-contract-how-it-can-be-changed/getting-agreement. Is there some sort of compromise you can find?

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi! I have just started a fixed term contract that will be ending in April 2015. I am expecting, and my baby is due in November 2014. I understand I will not be entitled to smp and I will be claiming ma from the job centre. I gave given the correct notice to take maternity leave (15 weeks before due date, and have handed in my MATB1 form to HR) which means I will be on maternity leave while the contract is due to end. I intend to take OML and AML.
My main worry is if my contract will be renewed to accommodate my maternity leave, or if I would be entitled to return to work.

Editor: Your employer cannot not renew your contract because you are on maternity leave, but it can come to an end if there is no work required.  See the above advice. Talk to your employer. Also see http://www.maternityaction.org.uk/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/paw.pdf

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi. I started my new job on the 3rd March, I have got a 1 year contract. I have been told that it will get reviewed once I have been with the company 9/10 months. At this time I will find out if I will be getting my contract extended or maybe be made permanent. I was wondering what my rights are when it comes to maternity leave and pay? Me and my husband really want to start a family. Thanks.

Editor: You would be entitled to maternity leave and if you are still in the company at the 26th week and have earned at least an average of £111 in the eight weeks leading up to the 26th week of your pregnancy you will be entitled to SMP. You would need to check if your company has an enhanced maternity policy and if that would apply to you. In terms of renewal of your contract, your contract could come to an end after a year if your role is no longer needed, but the company cannot terminate your contract purely on the grounds of pregnancy or maternity leave.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi. I am on a fixed-term contract with a University, and my contract ends while I am on maternity leave. The grant from which I was paid was put into abeyance while I am on leave to enable me to return for an extension after my maternity leave. I do not wish to return for an extension, and the administrator is saying that I must pay back the maternity pay I received because I am "resigning" from my position. My contract is coming to end and it is an extension that I am not accomodating. Am I legally obligated to return to work for an extension of a fixed term contract? Thanks!

Editor: Are you paid SMP or enhanced maternity pay? If SMP, you would not have to pay back the money if you did not return. However, if you have also been paid an additional amount on top [enhanced pay] you may have to pay this back if you do not return, depending on the wording of your organisation's maternity package. Many specify that you must return for a number of weeks or pay back the enhanced part [ie not the SMP part].

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hello
I have 2 jobs same employee I worked on a temp contract on one job, and perm on another. My temp job was covering maternity from sept-July. However I went on maternity leave in June. At this point my temp job ended and someone came to cover last 6wks. But I have no found out they r keeping the temp who covered my 6 weeks on for another year. Just upset & wondering if I should of being offered that job, because if I wasn't pregnant they prob would of offered me it?

Editor: It might be hard to prove since it was for a fixed period, ie maternity cover and presumably the person you were covering for maternity leave then decided not to come back, ie the circumstances changed. Is that the case and if so, when was this known?

Anonymous | Report this comment

hi,
I would like to know what rights i have. i was working through an agency for 2 years in the while waiting for a fixed term rolling contract. i felt pregnant and in all this time i was waiting for a contract while othes got theirs. Letters wre written to HR and they kept saying not to worry will sort this out. Now in the process i have had a baby and the company is now offering me a contract. i have spoken to them that i would like to take my full maternity and if possible to start the contract After 9 months. They have now come back to me to say oh no we cannot offer you the contract . You can go back to gthe agency and see what happens in April next year. What are my rights on this please.

Editor: They cannot not give you another contract because of pregnancy or maternity leave as that would constitute pregnancy discrimination. They would have to show that the role is truly redundant.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hello,

I am currently 18 weeks pregnant and I am wondering whether I qualify for SMP with my current employer. My current employer seems to think that I won't be, so I am looking for some clarity.

I started this job in April 2014. I was working for my current employer 2 days a week on a fixed term contract. I then applied for the permanent role (same role, higher salary, full-time, permnanent) and was successful, so I started working full-time. I did not take a break from my current employer between the two contracts.

When I work out my entitlement to SMP the 'continuous employment' rule asks whether I have been employed with the same employer for 26 weeks by the qualifying date. I will have been IF this includes the time that I was employed as a part-time temporary member of staff.

My current employer is claiming that because I was initially on a 2month temporary contract, my term of employment did not start until I started my full-time permanent position (some time in June 2014). In which case, I would not qualify for SMP as I would not have been employed for 26 weeks by the qualifying week of my pregnancy.

I guess I am asking;

Will I be entitled to SMP if I have been employed for the same employed for 26 weeks by the qualifying week, even though for the first 2 months I was on a temporary contract, and then changed to a different contract with the same employer (Same job description and title but higher salary and I became permanent and full-time).

Thanks so much!

Editor: It depends on your employment status on the temporary contract. Were you considered an employee? See http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=3752

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi there, I started my job just over a year ago and I am on a temporary contract which may get renewed. Employee maternity guidance states that in addition to a certain sum for the first six weeks of maternity leave staff are entitled to half pay for 12 weeks, if they return to work for at least three months at the end of my maternity leave. Because I am not on a permanent contract does this mean I am not entitled to this benefit?

Editor: It would depend on what it says in the employer's maternity policy. Each organisation which offers enhanced maternity pay has a different policy so you need to read the small print.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hello,
I am on maternity leave and my 12-month contract is about to end. My contract states that the job is 12 months in the first instance, after which the job description may be changed to suit the changing needs of the institution. A new Director was appointed while I was on leave, when I met him to discuss my return to work he said that they would re-advertise the post if he decides to alter the duties (though the core work will be the same) and that I would have to apply along with other candidates. What are my rights in this situation?

Editor: Our HR expert Sandra Beale says as your contract will have come to an end you would not have any special priority for this post.

 

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hello,
I started my job on 28 January 2014. It is one year fixed term contract. Now(16-sep-2014). I am 20 weeks pregnant. I would like to start my maternity leave from 1 December 2014. Am I eligible for SMP.
My manager is telling they wont be extending my contract. Could you please tell me a I eligible for SMP and for how many weeks?

Editor: If you were not pregnant when you started and are still employed at 26 weeks and earn over £111 a week on average in the eight weeks before the 26th week you will qualify for SMP whatever happens afterwards.

Anonymous | Report this comment

hi I started my job in may this year and was given six months contract which they said may be renewable I later found out am pregnant and am due 9/1/15, am I entitled to maternity leave from the company or do I just work to the end of my contract and go. I do have my normal annual leave. please help me coz I want to know my rights as my company is small and family business, so they may paly smart on me since am not well learned on the laws here. thank you.

Editor: Were you pregnant when you started work? If not and you are still in your job as of the 26th week of your pregnancy, you will be entitled to statutory maternity leave [if you earned on average at least £111 in the 8 weeks leading up to the 26th week of your pregnancy]. If not, you should qualify for maternity allowance if you have worked for 26 weeks in the 66 weeks before your baby is due and have earned at least £30 a week in any 13-week period in those 66 weeks. You claim this from your local JobCentre Plus. If your contract is not renewed and would have been if not for your pregnancy that constitutes pregnancy discrimination.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I am on a fixed term contract which ends on 30th Sept 2014, my due date is on 9.12.14. I have been employed in this company since April 2011. Want to know if employer has a right not to renew my ocntract and if so under what circumstances. I do have a feeling he is not willing to renew my contact for whatever reason he got in mind. Also, if he decides to continue my contract for next for example 3 months, can he decide not to renew it while im on maternity leave? How does it work if my contract ends while Im on maternity?

Would be grateful for quick response as Ive only got 3 days left till the end of my contract and its stressing me out to be fair.

Editor: It depends on the reason for not renewing your contract. If it is because you are on maternity leave, this would be illegal and constitute pregnancy discrimination. Contracts can come to an end, though, for other business reasons. However, if he ends your contract and then hires someone else to do the job who is not just maternity cover that would suggest it is because you are on maternity leave.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I recently set up my own limited company. I am self-employed within it. I am the sole employee.

I have contracts with 2 separate companies, for who I carry out virtual PA work.

I took both jobs when I was 2 months pregnant, and let them know 20 weeks before my due date.

Both took the news well at first. However, now 2 months after I told them, and 2 months before I am due, I have been told that they do not want to keep me because I am pregnant, and they have given me my notice.

They had previously asked me to find someone to cover for me while I took 4 months unpaid leave, but have now changed their minds.

Is this legal????!!!!!

Editor: Self-employed workers are unfortunately not entitled to the same maternity rights as employees.  Therefore in the absence of any express agreement (whether written or verbal) with a company it is unfortunately under no legal obligation to keep your job open for you once you have had your baby. 

Anonymous | Report this comment

Could you please tell me if my boss can not renew my contract if I'm pregnant? I have been working for the company continously on a 3 or 6 months term contracts since 2011? My job will still exist if he decides not to renew my contract so he would either need to employ someone else or share my work between other employees, it would not be end of some kind of project whatsoever.
Could you please advise what my rights are and if he can refuse to pay me SMP. My baby is due in 2 months time however my contract ends today.

thank you

Editor: He cannot refuse to pay you SMP. If you are already past your 26th week of pregnancy you will qualify in any event, no matter what happens afterwards. For disputes involving SMP, contact the Statutory Payment Disputes Team on Tel 0191 2255221. If the reason for ending your contract is your pregnancy, this is discrimination and is illegal.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Could you please clarify for me my position with regards to contract rights and redundancy pay? I've been working continuously for my employer on multiple fixed term contracts for 3 years. We have been putting off 'trying' in anticipation that I will become a permenanat member of staff, however I just keep receiving contract extentions. (There's no real need for this as it's not a short term project but a full time job.). I realise that I'd be able to receive SMP but I'm concerned about the certainty of having a job to return to. If I were to fall pregnant before my contract end date could they a) legally not renew my contract even though they'd still need someone to do the job? and could they get around it by giving the job a new title and change the role outline slightly and say it's a completely new job?, b) would they need to pay redundancy pay if so?, and c) if I got (another) contract extension and went off on maternity leave, would I be entitled to the full enhanced maternity package that the company offer to permenant staff?

Editor: Our HR expert Sandra Beale says that after three years continuous service on fixed term contracts you are entitled to the enhanced maternity pay package and redundancy pay if the work comes to an end. They cannot end your contract because of pregnancy or maternity leave as this would constitute discrimination. If they changed the job name and description, but it was essentially the same job then you could still have grounds for a discrimnination case, but you would need to show it was essentially the same job.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I'm thinking of starting a new job, but want to start trying for a baby. How do I stand regarding maternity pay and leave. Will I only get SMP?

Editor: If you are not pregnant when you start the job and are still in it at the end of your 26th week of pregnancy and earn an average of at least £111 a week during the eight weeks leading up to the 26th week of your pregnancy you will get SMP. You could get contractual maternity pay on top of this if you have an employer who pays this. You would have to check this out with each individual employer.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Can you help... I was working in a company for over 5 years and decided to take another position on a 9 months fixed term contract materity cover which is due to end, I don't know if the person is coming back or not - baby is due 4 months after the end date. Where do I stand if she comes back ?

Editor: What was the agreement with regards to the contract? eg was it a secondment from your original role?

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I have worked for the NHS for 5 years and I took over a position covering 12 months maternity leave for a friend which finished May 2015, I have been told my contract has been extended to March 2016 however I am expecting May 2015 and would like to take 12 months maternity leave, what are my rights of using all the maternity leave available (52 weeks) if my contract finishes before May . Would they have to find me another position somewhere else in the hospital for me or after my contract ends would I end up unemployed ?

Editor: Can you explain a little more about your status with regard to the maternity cover? Before you did this were you on a rolling contract for a specific role? Are you on secondment to cover for maternity leave?

Anonymous | Report this comment

I am not sure where I can reply to my previous email regarding mat pay in the NHS.

I am entitled to 52 weeks maternity pay in the NHS however my contract will finish 2 months prior to the entitled maternity leave therefore makes me think am I only allowed to take 10 months?

Previously I was on a permanent contract then I got another job (1 yearly contract)in the same department (higher band) to cover maternity leave, not seconded. My contract should end march 2015 but now They want to extend it to match 2016.

Editor: Everyone is entitled up to 52 weeks maternity leave, but pay is a different thing and you are talking about enhanced pay. You would have to find out from your HR office as every organisation operates a different policy on enhanced pay and it would depend on what it says in their particular policy.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi,

I am on a fixed term contract due to finish end July next year. I am planning to try for a baby now which would be due if sucessfull sept/oct next year.

I understand that I should qualify for SMP but my project is coming to an end at the end of July. Does the employer have to keep me employed until I want to take SMP or do I have to take it early ie. from the start of Aug? Also If my contract has ended would i accrue holiday time/pay as a perminant employee would?

Editor: It depends on the reason for terminating your contract. If there are legitimate business reasons for your contract coming to an end, you would usually be paid your SMP in a lump sum in your final pay packet and all leave accrued up to that point. If, however, your role is continuing your contract cannot not be renewed due to pregnancy.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I'm sorry I don't understand. My project is finishing. I was on a fixed term contract for the first 12 months, then they extended it for a further 7 months (end July).

I was under the impression that if you have been employed for over a year you are entitled to the same benefits as a permanent employee. If I were a permanent Employee then I would accrue holiday pay during maternity leave, will this not be the case here? Would it make any difference if I take the maternity leave before the end of the contract?

Also if they pay the leave in one lump sum then it would not be spread out over 2 tax years so I would be taxed on all 39 weeks in the first tax year.? Also if I am payed a lump sum and my contract is ended then what is to say that I don't get a new job elsewhere within the 39 weeks?

Many Thanks.

Editor: If you contract ends your annual leave would stop accruing as soon as you were no longer employed. You can claim back any overpayment of tax in any one year and if you started a new job before the end of your 39 weeks you would have to pay back any SMP for the remaining weeks.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Thanks,
Would I have to pay back SMP if I start work at Self Employed or set up a Ltd Company?

Editor You can do self employed work without losing SMP so that would be fine.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Thanks,
Would I have to pay back SMP if I start work at Self Employed or set up a Ltd Company?
I assume I would also not qualify for keeping in touch days?

I also have a second weekend job for which I am employed and should get a proportion of SMP, does this mean that I would need to not work any days from the end of July until my due date for my weekend job?

If were permanently employed I would choose to take maternity later so they were both at the same time.

Thanks,

Editor: If you qualify for SMP for the second job you can start and end your maternity leave at different times without the other SMP being affected. You can do self employed work without SMP being affected. You would not get KIT days for the first company if you are no longer employed by them during your maternity leave. KIT days are to keep in touch with the employer from whom you are taking maternity leave.

Anonymous | Report this comment

hello pls i am currently working and due in march, but my new visa i applied for wont allow me to work though its still in the home office, once it comes out, and am already on maternity leave, will my payment stop?

Editor: What payment are you talking about? How many weeks pregnant are you?

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi. I wonder if anyone could help?
I started a job earlier this year, it is 12months maternity cover, March this year to march next year. I've just found out I am pregnant. Will I still be entitled to maternity pay my company? The 12 month contract finishes in March but I'm not due the baby till the may.....will this mean no pay for 2months or will I be entitled to something?
Thank you

Editor: If you were not pregnant when you started the contract and will still be there after the 26th week of your pregnancy and earned an average at least £111 in the eight weeks before the 26th week you will qualify for SMP, whatever happens afterwards. You can choose when you want the SMP to start, but it doesn't usually start more than 11 weeks before the due date.

Anonymous | Report this comment

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