Maternity Pay on Fixed Term Contract(3 Posts)
This is my first MN post so sorry that it is a bit of a complicated one and a plead for help/advice!
I am hoping someone might be able to give me some advice or direct me to where I can get the relevant advice from (without having to pay a huge amount to see a solicitor).
I have been in my current job for 14 months and am on a fixed term contract which is due to end at the end of July 2015. I am 4 months pregnant and due in early June.
I work in a College, in management not teaching, and the maternity policy states that where the length of service is 52 weeks or more (as I have) employees are entitled to 6 weeks of 90% regular earnings, followed by 24 weeks of 50% regular earnings including SMP, then 9 weeks of SMP only.
As well as 52+ weeks service, employees must return for at least 3 months. I won’t be doing this obviously as my contract ends in July 2015 but my argument is that I am not returning through choice – although I think this doesn’t count for anything.
I was told by my HR department that I would be entitled to 6 weeks of 90% regular earnings and then 33 weeks SMP (which is the policy entitlement for employees with between 26 and 51 weeks service). I was also told that how much I receive will depend on when I take the maternity pay. Having read somewhere that maternity entitlements end when an employment contract ends, I’m concerned that I won’t actually get 33 weeks SMP and will only be eligible for payments up until the end of July.
I have tried to get clarification on this from HR but they have been less than helpful and now I’m starting to panic about how we will manage on even less money than DP and I envisaged.
TIA for any advice you might have for me.
6 weeks at 90% then 33 weeks basic rate is the statutory minimum. SMP doesn't end after you leave employment, once you've met the criteria that's it.
In terms of the enhanced provision, well, either you meet the requirements or you dont. If the requirement is that you return to work for three months, then if your employment does end in July you obviously won't. But if there's even a very slim chance that you might either have your contract extended or apply for another role, you should get the enhanced, put it into a high interest account, then pay it back as and when.
From the policy it isn't clear that the 6 weeks is part of SMP and also I was worried any entitlement would end with my contract end date so thank you Flowery, that's helpful and a bit of reassurance.
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