I work full time for a company, working 37 hours and I have a second job with them in which I only work 1 hour per week teaching a fitness class. They have informed me that I will get maternity pay for both jobs for up to 52 weeks. I intend to take 39 weeks off, but would like to return to job 2 asap. Is it possible to go back to job 2 & lose the maternity pay for job 2 without it affecting the maternity pay I receive for my full-time job. I would really appreciate any advice you could offer. Also, my payroll department informed me that I received maternity pay for job 1 & 2 for 6 weeks, but after the 6 weeks I was only getting maternity pay for job 1. They advised me to speak to HR who told me my maternity pay was based on my earnings in July & August & I wouldn’t receive any more maternity pay for job 2 as it is based solely on my contracted 37 hours for job 1. Do you know if the period I receive maternity pay should be the same for both jobs?
You have already answered the first question on which I would need the answer i.e. do you qualify for SMP for both jobs? Your employer has told me that you are eligible. This is good news since this should mean that you can choose to take different times off for each job without losing any SMP. This would not be the same if you qualified for SMP for one job but not the other. The reason for this is because SMP entitlement is treated completely separately under each contract when earnings are not added together to work out National Insurance Contributions.
So it appears that you can return sooner to your fitness class than to your full-time job for which you can take the whole leave period if desired, together with some negotiated KIT (Keeping in Touch) days which you can negotiate with your employer.
In relation to statutory maternity pay where you have more than one role with the same employer, the key question is whether your employer treats your two incomes separately or together for the purposes of calculating national insurance contributions. If they treat your two roles separately, then you would receive SMP separately for each role. If they treat the two roles together, you would only receive one SMP payment based on your total earnings for both roles. You should ask your employer which of these applies to you. It seems likely given what you have said that they are treating the two roles separately for national insurance purposes but that you only meet the earnings threshold (approximately £97 per week) for the role you do 37 hours a week and, therefore, you are not receiving any SMP in relation to the second role. The 6 weeks’ pay you get for this second role might be as part of an occupational maternity scheme offered by your employer. It would be worth gaining clarity from them as to from where this originates.
In relation to returning to work early to your one hour a week role, this should be possible and should not affect your SMP entitlement as long as your employer is treating the two roles separately for national insurance purposes and as long as you were employer in both roles for the period from 15 weeks before your expected week of childbirth. If your employer is treating the roles together for national insurance purposes, this will affect your ability to return to one early whilst continuing to receive SMP for the other. Basically, if that is the case, you would not be able to come back from one early since it would be as if it was one job. You may be able to look into using KIT days to at least do some classes, although strictly speaking not “keeping in touch” for the purposes of the full time position, it would at least be keeping in touch with your employer.