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P/T temporary annually renewed contract and maternity?

(14 Posts)
AliceWhirled Mon 13-Jun-11 20:33:42

Does anyone have any words of wisdom on this one?

I'm employed paid by the hour, part time on a contract that is renewed every year. My hours vary week to week, and year to year.

If I got pregnant, am I entitled to mat leave? And if so, on what basis? And do they have to keep a job for me?

I can't work it out as my hours are essentially annualised, so how would they work out that to pay for that element? And they would have to get someone in on the same basis as me to cover for me, so do they have to then give me my hours back?

If anyone knows, I'd really appreciate the advice, as this is utterly stressful at the moment.

MovingAndScared Mon 13-Jun-11 20:37:23

how long have you worked there? and have you asked them directly or do they not know either?

RobynLou Mon 13-Jun-11 20:46:22

the amount you get for the first 6 weeks is based on what you earn during a specific few weeks during your pregnancy - they average those weeks and you get 90% of that amount.
I worked extra hours during those weeks to get more statutory mat pay.
after that you get the rest of the 9m paid leave at a rate which is about £120-something or if 90% of your earnings in those 'qualifying weeks' is less than that then you get 90%.
you have to ear an average of over £80-ish I think it is in order to qualify for smp. I qualified for it 1st time, but this time I didn't get enough work in the qualifying weeks so got mat allowance instead.
with MA you don't get the 90% for the first 6 weeks, you just get the £120ish amount for the whole 9m (or 90% if it's less). but you only have to earn over £30 a week to qualify and you can pick your qualifying weeks - you can pick your highest earning weeks over the year before you go on leave. MA is claimed through the job centre the other is done through your employer.
you need to work out what's best for you - I get more with MA than if I'd just scraped through the amount to qualify for smp, due to being able to pick my highest earning weeks.
look here www.direct.gov.uk/en/MoneyTaxAndBenefits/BenefitsTaxCreditsAndOtherSupport/Expectingorbringingupchildren/DG_10018741

AliceWhirled Mon 13-Jun-11 20:48:06

It's 2 years in Sept. I've not asked them because I don't want them to then get shot of me. They are a big organisation so I think they must know. The people I work with directly, who are great, won't know. But I imagine HR will, but I think to them I am pretty disposable.

AliceWhirled Mon 13-Jun-11 20:50:08

Thanks RobynLou. So you don't think I'm entitled to their vastly superior employer scheme then?

RobynLou Mon 13-Jun-11 20:50:16

if you've been there 2 years then you'll def get something, just depends on how much you earn during your qualifying weeks whether is SMP or MA.

RobynLou Mon 13-Jun-11 20:51:43

ah well, that's down to their discretion.
have you gone through your contract with a fine tooth comb?
only way to find out that is to ask them unfortunately.

AliceWhirled Mon 13-Jun-11 20:53:06

Don't really have a proper contract as such. Just some pilfering letter thing.

Any idea on the keeping a job for me bit? That's the bit that really makes me cry sad

RobynLou Mon 13-Jun-11 20:53:16

can you get a male colleague to quiz HR about it so they don't know who needs to know?!

RobynLou Mon 13-Jun-11 20:55:20

I'm really not sure about that, I know that I'm on a pt casual contract though and they have to keep my job for me. I'd get in touch with the CAB, they'd be able to help.

AliceWhirled Mon 13-Jun-11 20:56:16

I'm the only one in my area on my type of contract sadly so would be obvious. Maybe I could track a man down through the union and get them to ask. Or even just anyone from the union I guess. Thanks for the idea.

AliceWhirled Mon 13-Jun-11 21:04:59

Looking on the CAB website, it is pretty unequivocal that all employees have a right to return, and looking at the contract thing although I'm casual I think I am an employee.

Of course they would let me return with zero hours, but they'd surely be skating on rather thin ice...

MovingAndScared Mon 13-Jun-11 21:37:30

If you are in the union getting them to ask v good idea - if you have been 2 years you should have some rights I think but again ask the union -and if they are not helpful ACAS helpline would be my next step

AliceWhirled Mon 13-Jun-11 21:54:25

Ta movingandscared. I vaguely asked the union, but they were so horrified with various other things it kinda got sidelined. Will ask them again more specifically.

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