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How long do you need to return to work to qualify for SMP after mat leave ?

(9 Posts)
Boop33 Mon 13-May-13 10:45:43


I am a teacher currently on maternity leave . My DD is 6 months old and I have just found out i am pregnant again ( ahh!). I was going to take the full entitlement of 52 weeks ( meaning I would return the beginning of OCT). My due date is 8th Jan 2014. Would this be enough time to qualify for SMP again or would i need to go back sooner..........??? I think i read that the qualifying week is the 15th week before your due date but to be honest i was confusing myself !!

Please help


LifeOfPee Mon 13-May-13 10:47:54

For me it's 3 months. It may be different for you though.

You need to look at the maternity leave policy for where you work.

Can you access the intranet or speak to someone in HR?

Boop33 Mon 13-May-13 10:53:05

Hi LOP ,

Is that different to the 13 weeks you have to work so you don't have to pay the money back ?

I have a copy of the policy that the school gave me last time but it doesn't say anything about if you are going on a second period of Mat leave. I don't want to tell anyone at work yet as i have just found out myself and i am also negotiating part-time so don't won't to compromise that in any way .


LifeOfPee Mon 13-May-13 11:06:51

I think because of the variables in your situation you might have to speak to someone to confirm your entitlements.

Do you work for a state school? Could you ask someone at the LA rather than at the school directly?

Boop33 Mon 13-May-13 11:17:24

no we are not under the LA ..I think i will contact the people that pay our wages and see if they can shed any light ! Thanks for your help though


BackforGood Mon 13-May-13 11:28:18

Ask your union. They are always up to date on things like this.
However, wouldn't you rather be there for the start of the Year in September ? It'd be very messy to start back at the beginning of October, particularly if you are finishing again at Christmas ?

ilovepowerhoop Mon 13-May-13 11:28:34

does this help? - is a pdf

you would still be entitled to maternity leave from the looks of it as you are still counted as employed during your maternity leave. Returning to work could increase any maternity pay you would be entitled to as the pay will be based on your earnings during the qualifying period so if you are not getting paid in that period your maternity pay would be reduced.

scaevola Mon 13-May-13 11:38:05

I know there are different practices for teacher, but the underlying principle is that you are counted as 'in employment' continuously during the whole of the statutory period of maternity leave. So you do not need to return to work to "qualify" - you are already qualifying as you have remained in employment.

You will need to return to work no later than the normal end of your maternity leave period though. Otherwise it would not count as continuous employment. And it will be based on what pay you are receiving in the qualifying week, so you will need to check what you would get. Being on full pay, rather than reduced level SMP could be a big difference, but you need to balance that against the cash/admin costs of childcare and how long you would take off for DC2.

Boop33 Mon 13-May-13 15:38:20

Hi ,
thank you all for your replies they are very helpful . My understanding now is this :-

I can return to work at the end of my mat leave and then leave again at Christmas as I will still have been in continuous employment for 26 weeks

I think that in order to get SMP entitlement i will need to work 8 weeks prior to the qualifying week ( which is the 15th week before due date ?!) and so therefore that will take me to the end of July which is when I think i need to return.

If i return in Sept ( which is what i would prefer to do ) i don't think i will be able to claim SMP .

Thoughts very much appreciated

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