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Renewing my contract at work

(21 Posts)
CatFaceCrayola Mon 14-Apr-14 15:49:58

I have worked in a school since September and was hoping to be asked back next year. There has as been general speculation that I will be asked back in September but nothing official has actually been said.

I'm 4/5 weeks pregnant and want to tell the headteacher ASAP (after easter holidays) but I'm worried that my news and the fact that I'm going to be off work so long will mean I don't get asked to return in September. Is this likely to happen?

KitKat1985 Mon 14-Apr-14 15:55:24

To clarify CatFace, I'm assuming you're just on a one school-year temporary contract at the moment? In which case they have no obligation to offer you work next year, and if I'm honest, I'd be wary of telling them yet in case it puts them off. xxx

icklekid Mon 14-Apr-14 16:05:21

I agree with kitkat I would wait until 12 weeks at the earliest (unless you are unwell and need to) to see if they are going to extend your contract. It is unlikely they would do so if they knew you would be on maternity leave for a large part of it...?

CatFaceCrayola Mon 14-Apr-14 16:40:05

Bugger! I think my head will already be suspicious of something going on as I emailed her in a panic asking for her mobile number as we were contemplating announcing super early but then didn't

KitKat1985 Mon 14-Apr-14 17:02:14

To be honest CatFace, I think you should prepare yourself for the fact that the school won't offer you another years contract once they find out you are pregnant, as they are under no obligation to, and from their perspective it won't make financial sense to offer to pay you another years work when you won't be there a lot of the year (and then additionally having to pay out for someone else to provide cover for you whilst you are on leave). I'm not saying that to be mean or to upset you, I just think you should prepare yourself for it. Sorry. I wish you the best of luck with your pregnancy. xxx

CatFaceCrayola Mon 14-Apr-14 17:26:42

But what on earth will I do with no job? PANIC

Sparkle9 Mon 14-Apr-14 17:36:33

Don't tell the school until you are further along. You could instead have a conversation around the idea of 'I've seen some jobs advertised but would prefer to stay here...' And see if a job offer is forthcoming.

KitKat1985 Mon 14-Apr-14 17:54:49

www.mumsnet.com/jobs/maternity-pay-and-allowances

You may find the link above useful CatFace. I think you would still be entitled to maternity allowance even if your contract wasn't renewed, although I can't be 100% sure.

At the moment I would strongly advise staying quiet at work about being pregnant and see if a job offer for next year does indeed come up. Although of course if they do offer it to you, you're going to obviously at some point have to tell them the situation and just hope they keep the job offer open, but just be prepared for the fact they may well not do. I'm sorry. I know it's hard. I work in the NHS and a lot of people I work with are on temporary or zero hours contracts at the moment, and unfortunately the protection you get when you become pregnant, sick etc, is very poor compared to having a permanent job. I truly hope things work out for you and wish you the best of luck. x

squizita Mon 14-Apr-14 18:05:38

Unfortunately, if you are on a one academic year contract, then I am afraid your contract will run out before you're elegible for maternity support and your working relationship with the school will lapse unless renewed. It isn't like a 'rolling contract' where you carry on after the date, when you sign up, you sign up from September-July and have to apply (even if it's just a nod and a wink) for a new job - it's a contract of work for 1 year similar to in the media, construction etc' (especially if via an agency). They are often designed to cover maternities or for young teachers who want the freedom to move on - but unfortunately some schools use them if their budget next year is uncertain.

So as others have mentioned, it would be worth holding on to tell them. And perhaps negotiate a permanent position as you will get far more protection!

Sparkle9 Mon 14-Apr-14 18:09:14

If the head does make a verbal job offer then you should ask for it in writing, even an email, to cover you.

CatFaceCrayola Mon 14-Apr-14 18:13:11

I'm currently thinking I might cover up the panic email by saying "I've seen some other jobs I could apply for but wanted to talk to you before applying". I guess this would be more likely to get me an answer of whether I'm being reemployed

I Hate lying though! The thought of lying is making me feel sick!

KitKat1985 Mon 14-Apr-14 18:17:32

I think that idea is a good one. Since you're only 4/5 weeks you can easily just tell a little fib later down the line and say you didn't know you were pregnant at this stage and were looking at other jobs as your work situation was uncertain, as that's entirely plausible. xxx

CatFaceCrayola Mon 14-Apr-14 18:32:15

Deep breath. Deep breath.

Sent head an email

icklekid Tue 15-Apr-14 05:31:43

I don't know when your due- too early to work it out but if you don't get a renewed contract perhaps you do need to look at other vacancies. Obviously they will ve frustrated when find out your pregnant but if your worried about not having a job after baby would be a solution...

Waffles80 Tue 15-Apr-14 06:40:31

Are you in a union? If so, please contact them to establish what your maternity rights are - most produce really clear guidelines and will advise over the phone. If your contract is renewed, the duration of your employment should enhance the maternity pay you receive. I agree with the others about not mentioning that you are pregnant yet and ensuring all offers etc are on paper. Your head won't think it's strange that you've asked for clarification now - anyone on a yearly contract would be thinking about their options for the next academic year at this stage of the current year.

Congratulations to you too - lovely and exciting news.

CatFaceCrayola Fri 18-Apr-14 15:07:54

I have an email reply saying I still have a job in September. Although I'm now dreading having lie about being pregnant!!

livingzuid Fri 18-Apr-14 16:43:32

I'm not a teacher but was in a similar position. I have hg so had no choice but to tell work about my pregnancy and my contract did not get renewed.

You have to think of what is best for you in these situations I think. Legally you are under no obligation to say anything and waiting till 12 weeks and after your scan is sensible as anything could happen before then - you might even find something permanent elsewhere.

I have now found a great job when 31 weeks pregnant and they are happy to wait five months until I start.

An enlightened employer will work with you to keep a good staff member and pregnancy should not be an issue. I've hired pregnant women because I'd rather have them for six months than someone shite for six years (not saying I'm enlightened but it's just life that women get pregnant and employers need to deal with it and not discriminate).

Sadly there are too few understanding employers around. Just as they look at the bottom line so should you (cynical hat on). I wouldn't try to be noble and do the right thing, although I understand r why you want to tell them so early because you are conscientious and want to prepare everyone, particularly relevant in teaching. Even so, they still have six months to prepare if you say at 12 weeks.

If they needed to get rid of staff then you just become another headcount that could go for the chop at any time. Sad to say, but it's better to be selfish smile

livingzuid Fri 18-Apr-14 16:49:27

Oh and congratulations on the pregnancy and the September confirmation of employment smile

I meant to also say, I freaked about the money thing as I stopped work at 17 weeks. It was actually a blessing to be able to rest at home and not work as this has not been an easy pregnancy. Somehow we have managed financially. I am sure you will have a lovely pregnancy though, and good luck.

CatFaceCrayola Fri 18-Apr-14 20:34:57

Thank you livingzuid.

here's hoping all will be well. And I guess whatever happens, we will get by

CatFaceCrayola Mon 21-Apr-14 13:19:51

I'm now thinking....will I even want to go back to work after mat leave???

I have no idea!

Money wise, based on average childcare costs I'll only be getting £300ish a month after childcare.

When will I have to make these decisions?!

Casmama Mon 21-Apr-14 13:29:51

You don't have to tell your work until 15 weeks before your due date although you may well be showing by then!

You will normally be assumed to be taking a full years mat leave unless you give 8 weeks notice of an earlier return to work. If not returning then your normal notice period before your return date will be required.

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