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Qualified for maternity pay but facing a pay cut.

(8 Posts)
Siubhan Wed 19-Oct-11 14:04:40

Hi There, I wonder if anyone has been in a similar position or can offer me any advice. My organisation has been going through a long pay dispute with staff and the union. I am now facing a substantial pay cut, effective on the 1.12.11. I begin my maternity leave on the 29.11.11 and I'm due to have my baby on the 25.12.11.

My organisations maternity scheme is; weeks 1-6 @ 90% of average weekly earnings, week 7-26 @ 50% of basic salary + SMP or 90% of average weekly earnings. I understand that there is a qualifying period for maternity pay, the 15th week before the EWC. This means that I qualify on the 11.9.11 and my average earnings should be calculated from my gross earnings in the 2 months prior to this date.

My organisation are now telling me that for weeks 7-26 they will not be using this figure but will pay me based on the new reduced salarly that comes into effect on the 1.12.11. This is a significant pay reduction for me as I am facing a 15% pay cut.

I feel that my maternity entitlement should be based on my average weekly earnings in the qualifying period and not on the pay cut I'm facing?

Can anyone advise me further? Sorry if this is all a bit jumbled!

Many thanks.

flowery Wed 19-Oct-11 14:08:57

If it's their own enhanced scheme they can set whatever terms they like on it. So check the policy to see what it says about how 'full pay' is defined or how their maternity pay is calculated.

OneOf8 Wed 19-Oct-11 14:19:02

Its during your qualifying period they calculate your average weekly earnings to acheive your entitlement and average pay.

ie - if you have a bonus overtime or payrise during that time it is considered as this is the legal point in time to calculate your earnings from

This will work the same way if you face a reduction in wage.

I know this for a fact, not just confirmed by a company as had to fight for my 2nd job to get the to accept they had to pay Mat pay (as knew was second, and seperate employer) - I presented them evidence from HMRC and another employment site.

I work in employemnt law also, so knew the correct legislation I just needed the evidence as part of my greivance.

The only reason I earn above threashold at 2nd employment was due to overtime which was paid during the qualifying period (but had been worked in the 2 months prior) - had it not been for that, I would not have been entitled to the pay. As it was 2nd employer, I would not have been entitled to Mat Allowance either.

If you need more info, pm me as happy to help - pay enough in taxes to want what I am entitled to and do not like seeing other "miss out" wink

OneOf8 Wed 19-Oct-11 14:22:41

To clarify - the above (my post) is based on the enhanced scheme using your qualifying pay during the qualifying period.

I took this from your statement "...90% of average weekly earnings"

Avereage earnings unless defined in policy as taken from another point in time for the purpose of enhanced pay will come via the average earnings during the qualifying period calculation

flowery Wed 19-Oct-11 14:30:04

OneOf8 that's how SMP is calculated. There's nothing saying enhanced pay must be calculated the same way. Sounds as though the OPs employer pays statutory for the first 6 weeks, then enhances it. How they calculate the enhanced portion is entirely up to them.

OneOf8 Wed 19-Oct-11 14:40:48

Agree, Flowery - enhanced is company specific - which is why I said the statement was based on my assumption they are using the SMP calculation for average pay from what I read.

I did confirm to check the what was stated in the policy - as they (the company) should be clear on the period form which they calculate the ehanced proportion.

OneOf8 Wed 19-Oct-11 14:43:21

ps - not being snotty, so really hope it doesn't read like that! Think its great the way people share advice and guidance here!

flowery Wed 19-Oct-11 21:29:10

I think it's a bit of a big assumption tbh, and perhaps it was just the way it was phrased but your post very much came across as though you were advising that the qualifying period must be used by law for all maternity pay, not just for SMP. I realise you then qualified that by saying you were assuming the employer's policy states it uses that for enhanced pay calculation as well, but that's nothing to do with legislation, that would be their internal policy.

It sounds as though the OP is clued up on how SMP is calculated already, so the question is only whether the enhanced pay is subject to the same restrictions, which can only be answered by the policy and/or the employer.

OP have you had a look?

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