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I am 15 weeks pregnant and my company has just announced a restructure and redundancies. They have put out requests for voluntary redundancies and in my current position there are 7 people to 4 available positions and I am seriously considering voluntary redundancy. The release date has been given as the 31st March and therefore I will still be employed with the company 15 weeks before my due date. If I was to put in my request for voluntary redundancy would I be entitled to claim SMP as well as my redundancy package? Also the company pays contractual maternity pay of 90% of pay for the first 6 weeks and 50% of pay for a further 12 weeks. Would they have a legal entitlement to pay this on top of SMP if it’s stated in my current contract?
Payment of SMP is based on earnings and length of service. As long as you have 26 weeks continuous service with your employer at the 15th week before the EWC (Expected Week of Childbirth) then you will qualify for SMP. If you lose your job after that qualifying point, whether through voluntary or involuntary redundancy, your employer is obliged to pay you SMP after you have left. This will not affect your redundancy payment. If you leave before the qualifying point then your employer would not have to pay you SMP, but you might be able to claim it from the state and would need to contact the DWP. Regarding the contractual maternity pay that is in your contract, if it stated in your contract that this paid on top of SMP even in situations where your job is lost, then if your employer tries not to pay this, then you might have a claim for breach of contract. However, if there is no mention of it at all in the contract, then you are unlikely to continue to benefit from it once you are made redundant. Hope this helps. Good luck!
Whilst every care has been taken in compiling this answer, WorkingMums cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific legal advice.