Working during maternity leave: ask the expert

I’m currently on maternity leave from my main employer, receiving SMP and enhanced MP from the company. Twice a year, I teach as a visiting lecturer for a local university. I’m not a permanent employee, rather employed contract by contract. I do not qualify for SMP through the university. My main employer is aware of my second job and has no issue with it. It so happens that I was employed by the university during the qualifying period (I.e. in the period preceding 15 weeks before EWC). I’m due to commence another teaching module and as my employment with the university will technically have ended and recommenced in the interim period, is there a chance of me jeopardising my SMP from my main employer by taking up the visiting lecturer role in October?

Your SMP will not be jeopardised if you can show that continuous service with the university is implied during the interim period between contracts.  There is existing case law on this subject in relation to educational establishments but I believe it is related to a relatively short gap between the summer and autumn terms.

From the information you have provided I feel continuous service would be difficult to prove in your case and you could jeopardise SMP with your main employer by taking on a new contract with the university.


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