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Maternity legal advice NHS - help!

(12 Posts)
JoJames Fri 14-Jan-11 17:25:33

Hi, I've just told my NHS employer I'm pregnant and they have told me I will only get 6 weeks maternity pay as I haven't worked for the NHS for 12 months. I've actually been doing my job in the same place and the same team for 20 months but the first 12 months were through an agency. The NHS trust policy says "Your paid entitlement depends, in part, on the length of your continuous NHS service. For most purposes this includes all service, whether full or part-time, in the NHS, where there has not been a break of 3 months or longer. This also includes bank and locum work where there is sufficient continuous service" The NHS agenda for change says "12.1 An employee’s continuous previous service with any NHS employer counts as reckonable service in respect of NHS agreements on redundancy, maternity, sick pay and annual leave. 12.2 Employers have discretion to take into account any period or periods of employment with employers outside the NHS, where these are judged to be relevant to NHS employment. 12.3 When employees who have been transferred out of NHS employment to a non-NHS provider return to NHS employment, their continuous service with a new non-NHS employer providing NHS funded services, will be counted as reckonable in respect of NHS agreements on sick pay, annual leave and incremental credit. It seems to me that they are choosing not to pay me my full maternity pay. Any employment lawyers out there, do I have a case and if so, what should I do - going to be a tough time if i only get 6 weeks pay, thanks for taking the time to read, Jo

Metcalfe Fri 14-Jan-11 18:23:00

Sorry you need to have been on their payroll to be entitled not paid via an agency. Unless you know of a precedents set anywhere else in the Trust.

With all the cost improvements I think you struggle to overturn their decision.

JoJames Fri 14-Jan-11 19:06:25

So you don't think this clause in the agenda for change helps my case "2.2 Employers have discretion to take into account any period or periods of employment with employers outside the NHS, where these are judged to be relevant to NHS employment." Its really frustrating, they're just using agencies and fixed term contracts to avoid their commitments. Forgot to say my contract comes to an end soon, because the government have pulled the funding, but they'll keep me on and then I have to go back to work for 8 weeks and then they said they would make me redundant - it's all crazy because they'll be no team by then, so i'm not sure where i'll go Thanks Jo

Metcalfe Fri 14-Jan-11 19:12:59

If they only pay statutory maternity why do you have to go back?

As it says its their discretion, you could try raising it via a grievance and argue it is relevant service you've nothing to loose.

Metcalfe Fri 14-Jan-11 19:13:14

If they only pay statutory maternity why do you have to go back?

As it says its their discretion, you could try raising it via a grievance and argue it is relevant service you've nothing to loose.

flowery Fri 14-Jan-11 19:22:16

They have the discretion to take other employment into account means they don't have to, so it's not about you having a 'case' legally as such.

If your contract ends soon and there is no more funding why will they keep you on, and why would you have to go back?

JoJames Fri 14-Jan-11 19:24:07

I don't know why I have to go back, that's what they told me, perhaps its something to do with the maternity pay, I'm going to try to contest this anyway. Be interested to know where your thoughts come from - are you in HR or employment law. Just want to know if its a waste of money seeing an employment lawyer. Thanks Jo

JoJames Fri 14-Jan-11 19:28:12

Flowery, sorry our posts crossed. Something to do with not discriminating against people on fixed term contracts I think, basically they will keep me on the books and then let me go 8 weeks after I go back, a bit odd. I'd rather just get 16 weeks at half pay and not go back for 8 weeks at the end. I'm preparing some questions for them so perhaps I'll know more then, any advice welcomed...thanks Jo

twinklytoes Fri 14-Jan-11 19:40:33

you should be able to negiotate to change your pay to half week amounts. I was able to do this for one of my employees, granted she had the enhanced package but it is doable.

Morph2 Fri 14-Jan-11 21:21:56

lots of us working in the private sector only get statutory maternity pay anyway, that 6 weeks at 90% and then the rest at approx £125 per week. I've worked for the same employer for 15 years and thats all i got, another friends i know works for tescos as a supervisor and she only got the same.

hairyfairylights Fri 14-Jan-11 22:09:10

Same in the third sector. Statutory only.

QueenofWhatever Sat 15-Jan-11 10:58:53

JoJames, is this information coming from HR or your line manager? It's complex and a lot of managers don't understand all the ins and outs so I would take HR advice.

Also they might need to say you need to come back for eight weeks so as not to discriminate against you, but when it comes to it they won't get you to come back IYSWIM. I'm an NHS manager not HR and that would be my view.

Are they offering the Mutually Agreed Redundancy Scheme where you work? That might help in this case, but check carefully as it's not right for everyone.

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