Eligible for enhanced mat pay on fixed term contract?

(9 Posts)
geeup Sat 05-Nov-16 08:10:20

Hello. I have been trying for a baby for nearly 18 mths. It hasn't happened so I have been avoiding changing jobs as my current job has good enhanced mat leave.
However, as I accept it may take me a long time (if ever) to have a baby, I am currently considering leaving my permanent position to take a fixed term contract on much better money.
The new firm also have an enhanced mat leave policy which seems to say it pays if you have done 24 weeks service by EDD. Bearing in mind I'm not pregnant now, this seems like I'd be eligible if I did get pregnant during the contract but I'm not sure how this works. Would they only pay me for the time remaining on my contract or would it extend beyond that for the full years mat leave? Thanks so much to anyone posting.

chanie44 Sat 05-Nov-16 08:24:47

When you are on a fixed term contract the employer has two options: the contract ends when it ends (if you are entitled to smp, you would retain this). Alternatively, they could extend your contract to cover your maternity leave.

In my organisation, we rarely do the later.

You will also need to consider whether you would be entitled to occupational maternity pay if your contact expires whilst on maternity leave. Many companies expect you to return to work for a certain period of time after maternity leave in order to keep the occupational pay.

geeup Sat 05-Nov-16 09:48:05

Thanks chanie. The company i'm looking at state that if you have been working for the firm for at least 26 weeks at the qualifying date, which I would have been, you will receive enhanced pay for the first 18 weeks of your maternity leave. (I wonder what happens if some of those weeks are after the contract has expired though). For these 18 weeks they will top up SMP to match the equivalent of your weekly pay. The first 6 of these weeks of enhanced pay are paid at whichever is the highest of the following:
1.90% of average earnings in the 8 week period before the qualifying date or; Normal Monthly salary
But I can't work out how that would work after your contract expires? Thanks for your thoughts.

LIZS Sat 05-Nov-16 09:58:03

Are you sure qualifying date is the same as edd. Usually it is based on the weeks used to calculate the Smp which is around 18-24 weeks.

LIZS Sat 05-Nov-16 10:00:49

https://www.gov.uk/employers-maternity-pay-leave/eligibility-and-proof-of-pregnancy

Qualifying Week is defined as 15th before edd.

MaverickSnoopy Sat 05-Nov-16 10:05:24

Once the contract expires enhanced pay ceases and you continue to receive smp until your smp entitlement ends. Of course the employer may extend your contract in which case you would continue to receive any enhanced pay that they might offer.

mrsplum2015 Sat 05-Nov-16 10:26:09

I had this exact experience and didn't get the enhanced, only smp.

flowery Sat 05-Nov-16 11:42:55

You should get the enhanced while you are still employed but obviously not after your employment has ended, so if that happens during the enhanced maternity pay but it will stop. You'll continue to get SMP anyway as you get that after employment if you've qualified for it, but enhanced pay will only apply to employees, not ex-employees.

Are you sure there's no requirement to return to work for a certain period of time in order to avoid paying the enhanced bit back?

geeup Sat 05-Nov-16 11:47:36

Ok that seems to make sense. It's so hard knowing what to do. Take a better job with more money but risk no enhanced mat leave or stay where I am but accept I might never actually use the mat leave. Tough. Thanks for all your advice.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now