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What length of contract might maternity cover actually be?

(11 Posts)
MarvellousMechanicalMouseOrgan Sat 08-Feb-14 10:19:55

Have an interview coming up for a job that is maternity cover. It states 1 year fixed term contract, but I dimly remember from my maternity leave that you can return before the year is up if you give notice of your return, is that right?

Trying to work out if the maximum contract length is a year, what the shortest length might be.

ilovepowerhoop Sat 08-Feb-14 10:24:46

if it states 1 year fixed term then surely the contract is for the full year regardless of whether the other person gives notice to return early. I dont think they could ask you to leave early if you sign a contract employing you for the full year

RuinedAndNotorious Sat 08-Feb-14 10:29:05

I don't know what the shortest time would be, but it does vary depending on the circumstances. A colleague and I started jobs at the same time, both on maternity cover contracts. She stayed eight months, I was still there a year later.

RuinedAndNotorious Sat 08-Feb-14 10:30:43

On my contract it said fixed term 'up to' 52 weeks if I remember correctly. So check carefully!

MarvellousMechanicalMouseOrgan Sat 08-Feb-14 11:13:22

Hhm. I'd taken 'fixed term' to mean there was no possibility of extending longer than that.

I distinctly remember 'booking off' the whole year from my job, but being allowed to return early with two months' notice. I suppose if there's no standard guidelines I'll just ask at the interview.

themessyapron Sat 08-Feb-14 11:15:29

Need to check the contract for notice periods on either side. So the terms are fixed for a year but they could give you a month or twos notice at any point.

Redcliff Sat 08-Feb-14 11:39:44

Agree - they could finish it early with notice (as on mat leave you need to give two months notice if you want to come back early they would probably give you the same notice). I think most people take a year off but some take 6 months. We tend to do 6 months with the possibility of extension .

Redcliff Sat 08-Feb-14 12:08:19

Meant to say I did a mat cover once and ended up staying for 8 years

flowery Sat 08-Feb-14 12:49:01

"I dont think they could ask you to leave early if you sign a contract employing you for the full year"

Yes of course they could, in the same way they could give any employee notice.

Yes OP the employee could give 8 weeks' notice to return early OP. But similarly they might not want to come back at all...

trilbydoll Sun 09-Feb-14 16:22:04

Also, if the pregnant person used their holiday at the end, they could have over a year off. Plus handovers at each end, you could be there 15 months.

MarvellousMechanicalMouseOrgan Mon 10-Feb-14 10:07:08

Good point about holiday. I can't decide at the moment whether I think staying longer or shorter would be better. This would be my first employed job in a long time, am usually freelance, so I'd like the security, but also wouldn't want to miss out for a long time on the better paid and more interesting (and family friendly) freelance stuff.

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