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Any teachers that can help with a maternity query?

(18 Posts)
xxlau11xx Tue 27-Sep-16 21:38:59

I am currently just into my 32nd week of pregnancy and have been signed off work up until half term. My sick note runs out at the end of week 35 - the Friday just before half term starts.. Week 36 is then half term and my maternity leave is due to start week 37 (the Monday back after half term). Am I right in thinking that, as I will not have a sick note, technically I cannot be forced to start my maternity leave in week 36? I know this would be the case if my sick leave ran into week 36. Can I simply wait until the date I'm due to go on leave originally and not have to worry about a sick note through half term? As I'm not going back into work I'm a little confused about what I can do and don't want to ask the person who deals with this in work as she is already VERY judgemental about the fact that I'm off (I could do without the stress of her).

Thanks for any help anyone can provide!

chocfireguard Tue 27-Sep-16 21:48:11

I would definitely give your union a call to see what they think (I'm a teacher and have just gone back after mat leave, and the union were great when negotiating my return to work). But I think you're ok if week 36 is not covered by the sick note. You may just need to make them very obviously aware of this fact?

chocfireguard Tue 27-Sep-16 21:49:03

Also, congratulations smile and sorry to hear you're not well flowers

Whatsername17 Tue 27-Sep-16 21:54:34

I'm pretty sure they can makes us start mat leave any time from 32 weeks if we are off due to pregnancy related illness. Sorry.

Longlost10 Tue 27-Sep-16 21:56:49

can you pop in over half term and do some photocopying or something?

superram Tue 27-Sep-16 21:59:10

Your maternity leave starts at the beginning of week 36 if you are signed off-how long is your sick note for? Mine stated I could not return to work until after the baby was born so may leave would have started in half term.

superram Tue 27-Sep-16 22:00:15

What-no one can be forced to start maternity leave before week 36 no matter what their profession if they are signed off sick.

HandbagCrab Tue 27-Sep-16 22:13:49

If you're signed off sick mat leave starts week 36 as it does for all pregnant employees. Ask your Union and GP for advice as it sounds like a bit of a grey area before approaching school. Your GP might not agree you are fit for work at half term. Technically holidays don't count as sick days according to burgundy book but do require a GP note if you're not fit to work. You may need Union involvement to help clarify this with LA. If you're not covered by burgundy book you may need to speak to HR to find out where you stand. I hope you can sort it out, if it's a lot of hassle it may be less stressful to just start mat leave on week 36. Best of luck.

Whatsername17 Tue 27-Sep-16 22:13:55

I need to check my pack, but that is what it said in my last pregnancy.

Whatsername17 Tue 27-Sep-16 22:16:41

I've just looked and it is now 4 weeks before the EWC date - I stand corrected and will shut up - clearly it has changed! grin

xxlau11xx Tue 27-Sep-16 22:19:16

Thank you all.

My sick note currently covers me up to week 35 (which takes me to the Friday before half term). I would then be 36 weeks the following Tuesday. I've looked into it and know they can force me to take maternity leave if I have a sick note during week 36+ of pregnancy but I won't have one as it's half term so have that little cross over. I just didn't know where I stood. I was thinking I'd move my maternity leave date to the week before but won't if I can still get paid for half term as normal and then my maternity leave kick in the Monday everyone goes back. Sounds terrible but the pay drops so quickly when it starts!

School is closed over half term so couldn't go in anyway.

I think I'll ring the union as suggested.

I really appreciate your comments! smile

Stilldreamingofsun Wed 28-Sep-16 15:08:37

Can I please jump on here!??
I'm a teacher too but I'm planning to leave my job in June as I leave the country. My contract expires in August. I am on maternity leave now (baby due in 3 weeks). If I go back for a week end June, will I get paid for the July/August holiday. Can they object to me going back for a week knowing that I am not signing a contract for the following year?
Thank you

HandbagCrab Wed 28-Sep-16 16:10:08

You can go back when you like and be paid for it assuming it's before the end of your contract - other people accrue holidays during mat leave and tag them onto the end so see it as the teacher way of doing that smile

In terms of sick notes running out, they can demand a fit to work note if you've been off a little while. If you aren't for to work that week you'd then need a sick note which would automatically trigger your maternity leave (at Least this is what my school's hr lady thought - she said she could call the central county people to clarify if needed).
In terms of returning, I had my return to work date at day one of the summer hols in my last pregnancy so going back for the last week doubts pretty generous!

Desmondo2016 Wed 28-Sep-16 21:16:00

They can't force you to start mat until week 36 So you'll be fine if you keep your sick note as it is as you are officially back to work at 36 weeks even though you won't actually be at work due to it being half term

potentialqualms Wed 28-Sep-16 21:38:24

Depends how much you've upset them! If you're fit to work over half term, you're not off sick, so won;t be on ML. However, after a protracted period of sickleave it is usual to ask for a fit note (rather than an expired unfit to work note) to make sure you are indeed fit to be in work. I imagine if you explained the situation to your doctor he'd provide the fit note though.

Presumably it's pregnancy related sickness? If not you can't be forced to start ML. How long have you been off? If the school is still getting sickness insurance, they may prefer you to stay off sick and when you have to start ML is discretionary.

xxlau11xx Wed 28-Sep-16 21:54:54

I've been off for a week and a half so far but was in hospital for most of last week. Doctors signed me off as they sent me home. It's pregnancy related. I think I'll just go up to half term and start my maternity in week 36 - there's only one week difference after all. I'm waiting to hear back from my Union. I could do without the stress of worrying about what will happen so by moving my date, it takes that stress and worry away.

Thank you so much for all of your responses! It's really helped.

potentialqualms Wed 28-Sep-16 21:59:05

I don't think you need to do that OP. As you've only been off a short time it would normally be assumed you would return when your sick note expires, so if you want to start your ML after half term just put that in writing. The worst that can happen is they tell you it needs to start earlier and if you don't want a fight you can agree to start ML at 36 weeks then, but I don't think it shoudl come to that.

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