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Does anyone know about maternity pay/allowance if you have a fixed term temporary contract?

(14 Posts)
used2bthin Sun 09-Oct-11 19:40:02

My contract is temporary in that it is only until december but is very likely to be renewed so it is very possible I could be in this job if I had a baby just with my contract extended. Would my employer have to pay my mat pay/SMP? or would I just get maternity allowance? Kind of prefer it if it was mat allowance as am concerned that my employer could decide not to renew my contract if I got mat pay through them.

flowery Sun 09-Oct-11 19:45:23

Whether your contract has an end date or is permanent makes no difference to your eligibility for SMP. It's about length of service and how much you earn. So as long as you're employed for 26 weeks by the time you are 25 weeks pregnant and earn enough you'll qualify.

Your employer will get most of your SMP back from HMRC, or more than 100% if they are a very small business.

If your contract would usually be renewed but your employer decides not to because of your pregnancy that would be illegal discrimination.

Uglymush Sun 09-Oct-11 19:45:39

If you have been employed (temporary or perm) for the appropriate amount of time before your due date then they will have to pay you OMP(if they do that) and SMP. Sorry I can't remember the length of time you have to be employed for. Becareful they don't try and force a day break in service to avoid this! Check out for more answers

used2bthin Sun 09-Oct-11 19:57:26

Ah I see thank you. Not a small organisation but my contract is only till december so they are under no obligation to extend it but I have been told verbally that my manager will try to extend dec-april but ultimately would be legally ok to not do so I'd imagine since it could just be a budget thing.

I want to leave as early as poss and won't be returning would I have to pay back SMP do you know?

flowery Sun 09-Oct-11 20:10:07

No, you never have to pay back SMP. If the employer offers any enhanced maternity pay they can put more or less whatever terms they want on that, and most specify that you have to return for a set period or pay it back. But SMP is yours once you've qualified for it, even if you leave employment before you've received a penny.

used2bthin Sun 09-Oct-11 20:21:49

OK thank you that is good. Think from that link that the earliest I can leave is 11 weeks before the baby is due.

hayleysd Sun 09-Oct-11 20:25:54

I was made redundant in the December when my maternity pay started but because I qualified for smp they still had to pay it til the September I just didn't get the 6 weeks full pay they offer to people returning after.

used2bthin Sun 09-Oct-11 20:53:35

Thanks that sounds like what I'd get then and tbh the full pay isn't much more than SMP for me as am part time. I wonder what would happen, say if I left or my contract wasn't extended in Dec and I was pregnant but not yet 26 weeks anyone know?

Grevling Sun 09-Oct-11 23:22:55

You'd get Maternity Allowance paid by HMRC direct.

LoveBeingAMummyAgain Mon 10-Oct-11 07:47:14

My contract expires in march and I had ds 4 weeks ago. Mat comes to me via usual way of getting paid and will continue to do so even if my contract is not extended.

Twittwooo Mon 10-Oct-11 20:55:22

I'm in a similar situation usedtobethin - I'm on a temporary contract which has an end date about 6 weeks after I would be planning to go on maternity leave. I believe I'd be entitled to SMP for the full 9 months, even though the contract would have ended long before then. Can anyone clarify this? I'm not sure if my organisation offers any extra mat pay, but am I right in thinking I would only be entitled to this until the contract end date and would get the SMP of £120ish a week thereafter? I'm worried about the break in contract thing Uglymush, do you think they would get away with this? I'm in my second year of employment in the same place and each year have had a one year contract. I highly doubt they would renew my contract again only to get maternity cover in, but do you think I would have a case if they didn't do this? It's all very confusing, isn't it?

used2bthin Mon 10-Oct-11 21:03:32

Thanks for the replies, I thought I had to work to minimum of 26 weeks to get anything so that is reassuring-I am finding it hard work atm with DD who has SN and keep thinking of either changing jobs or leaving early. I like my job but it is hard to make it flexible.

I don't understand the break in contract thing-is the mat leave the break in service? Twitwoo are you planning on returning to work or would you if you could?

Twittwooo Mon 10-Oct-11 21:11:48

I think the break in service thing is something a company might do to ensure you didn't have 26 weeks continuous service prior to maternity leave - very sneaky I would say! I need to check all of this out properly, but it is a worry for me as budgets are being cut all over the place where I work. I would probably return to work if I could, but it's early days at the moment so I'm not completely sure. It's a shame you can't make your job more flexible used2bthin - would it be feasable to talk to your employer before making the decision to leave?

used2bthin Mon 10-Oct-11 21:20:03

Ah thank you I see so that would only be if I was off work or not there before 26 weeks. Similar to you with budget cuts, its tough at the moment and it took me a while to get this job but I won't be able to return to it so will have to rethink the whole career plan anyway I think.

I feel my employer is fairly flexiable about appointments etc I just have so many and due to being on a temp contract I have been wary of putting them off renewing it iyswim. I may need to talk to her though as have several coming up and my parents are struggling with the amount of childcare they are doing too tbh. I only work part time but all appointments seem to end up on my work days!

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