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NHS Fixed-Term contract maternity leave query

(6 Posts)
Swintons Tue 29-Sep-15 15:35:29

I work for the NHS (7+ years continual service) although at the moment I am on a fixed-term 12 month contract. Myself and my partner would like to start trying for a baby next year and due to the uncertainty of continuing to work within the NHS after this contract ends we would like to try to time conception so I can still receive NHS Maternity pay (I am not naive about how unlikely this is to actually happen but its worth a shot!)

I have read AfC in-depth (!) and as I have the necessary continuing service (and I can satisfy all other contractual commitments relating to maternity leave if I were to conceive) the only other stipulation that I need to fulfil is that "the contract will expire after the 11th week before the expected week of child birth" to ensure that my contract can be extended to cover 52 weeks of maternity leave (as per AfC). Here is where I need advice!

My contract is due to expire on Wednesday September 7th 2016 so presumably I need to be at least 29/40 by this date to qualify but i'm unclear as to how pregnant i can be to still quality for AfC contract extension? AfC states Maternity Leave can be started from 29/40 but I’m unclear if this will apply in my case due to the fixed term contract?

Does anyone have experience of NHS Maternity Leave on a Fixed-Term contract that can offer advice? Any secondary calculations of my window of (contractually perfect) conception are more than welcome too as ive confused myself!

I hope at least some of that makes sense! Thank you in advance.

mariefab Tue 29-Sep-15 17:27:54

Regardless of any NHS/AfC terms; the mere fact that you currently on a fixed term contract doesn't void the statutory requirement for you to be given at least a 7 weeks notice period.
It could be longer because, if your current role is no longer required at that point, your employer will still need to see if there is any other suitable employment that they can offer you before making you redundant.

Swintons Tue 29-Sep-15 23:07:26

Thanks for your reply. I don't think I explained what I meant very well at all (too much Googling today!).

When I said "the contract will expire after the 11th week before the expected week of child birth" I actually meant that my contract states that my fixed term will automatically be extended to cover a full 52 weeks maternity leave if I am at least 29/40 at the planned end date of my current fixed term. So I need to count backwards to work out when conception time would be to ensure I am at least 29/40 on 07-09-16.

I have used an online calculator which gave me 6th March 2016 which seems about right. No TTC after that date...but now need to work out the earliest TTC date. Argh!

Also unsure as to where I stand with starting maternity leave prior to my contract ending. I know I would be entitled to SMP but I'm trying to get to the bottom of this NHS Maternity Leave first!

I think I'm Just going to have to bite the bullet and speak to HR!

mariefab Wed 30-Sep-15 14:44:58

Were you on a permanent contract before September 2015?
Does your fixed-term contract include a clause stating that your notice period will commence on a date 7/8 weeks before 07/09/2016?

Swintons Wed 30-Sep-15 15:20:26

I was on another fixed term NHS contract prior to this one starting on 7-9-15. I had a two month gap between jobs but the NHS doesn't deem that a break in service so I have 7+ years continual service.

My contract is so generic. It contains no mention of Maternity Leave but stated they are rwauired to give me 1 weeks notice for every year of continual service (7 weeks, 8 in November).That's why I don't know if I follow standard AfC protocol or not.

FindingNormal Wed 30-Sep-15 16:01:54

Whereas a4c does overarch with stuff- you'll need to look at your trust's individual maternity policy to get your answer. Some aspects are discretionary which your policy should clarify for you. There may also be entitlement to maternity allowance if you don't satisfy the criteria for the lovely generous omp for the nhs smile x

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