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Pregnancy and NHS fixed term contracts

(7 Posts)
happymschicken Mon 25-Jul-11 18:50:07

I started a much longer for job last week in the NHS. It's a six month fixed term contract but yesterday I found out I was pregnant. Obviously I'm happy to be pregnant but very unsure as to where I stand in terms of my contract.

The job was permanent originally but became temporary when my predecessor left. This is hospital policy at the moment although my manager has hinted that she hopes it will become perm again.

So what I would like to know is, if they don't extend my contract when they find out I'm pregnant can they hire anyone else on a fixed term or can they offer the job to someone else if it's made perm?

I desperately want to be able to come back to this job after maternity leave.

flowery Mon 25-Jul-11 19:44:49

They can't not extend your contract because you are pregnant. If they would have otherwise extended they should do so regardless, then cover your role just as they would a perm job.

Similarly if the job would have become permanent, your pregnancy should make no difference to that.

mousesma Mon 25-Jul-11 19:54:06

Yep flowery has it correct. If the job will still exist while you're on maternity leave then they should extend your contract.

I became pregnant while on a fixed term contract with the NHS and my contract was extended to cover my maternity leave.

happymschicken Mon 25-Jul-11 19:55:51

Thanks flowery.

My manager seems to be a force to be reckoned with and she really wanted me to take the role and I think she'll fight my corner but I do feel very vulnerable.

If I leave in Feb (ie at the end of my contract), have the babyh and then find out they've recruited someone else either perm or fixed term even though I've made it clear I want to keep the job, would I be fighting a losing battle?

happymschicken Mon 25-Jul-11 19:59:07

I know I won't get anything but SMP or maternity allowance but its having a job to come back to that crucial to me.

This baby is a complete surprise and I left a perm job to take it so obviously I'm keen to go back after the nine months.

flowery Mon 25-Jul-11 20:04:48

Presumably you will know what's happening about your job before your contract ends though? Your work won't disappear and they'll need to cover it somehow so surely you'll know what's happening to the role generally and more specifically in terms of how they are covering that role during your mat leave.

But if they terminate your employment for no reason and there is still the job there you could bring a claim.

mousesma Tue 26-Jul-11 07:21:49

You are a lot safer in the NHS in this situation then most places. As a public workplace they are very aware of employment law and it's unlikely that they will try anything underhand.

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