TTC in a fixed term role(3 Posts)
Feeling quite alone in this so hoping someone has experience. I'm TTC at the moment so new to maternity issues in general, but right now thinking my options are pretty bleak. Grateful if anyone with experience or employment law knowledge can help!
My situation: I work full-time and on a decent salary, good benefits etc but due to 'budget issues' my employers have never been able to offer me a full-time contract. I've worked for them for over a year. Essentially while the status quo is good, they could terminate my current contract very easily without a redundancy situation. They never extend it by more than a couple months at a time
I'm pretty sure that this means if I get pregnant now, I run the risk of being let go before being able to apply for maternity leave, and I would essentially then be unemployed and claiming maternity allowance at best.
Is this correct, or do they have some duty to me having kept me on full time for over a year? I guess the real rub is that they would probably want to get rid of me if they even got a whiff of me being TTC, because they're tight on budget and have had to make a tricky case to keep me in the first place.
I recently had a miscarriage which was horrendous with work because I couldn't even hint at what had happened, and had to put on a brave face and cope in that way that contractors and other people in my situation have had to do since time immemorial - while perm staff on my team whinge and moan about minor ailments and get given loads of time off and WFH while I'm expected to show up and struggle on.
I'm really unhappy in this situation, but don't really have time to find a new job, work through the probation and rack up maternity leave when I'm approaching 40.
I do have some small time freelance gigs on the side, but they wouldn't be enough to tide me over. My partner earns more than I do and could certainly take care of the family on his own wage, but being an older first-time mum I am used to being independent and DO NOT want that, unless it was a very temporary thing.
Can anyone at least tell me this is doable? I'm trying to save as much as I can.
Once you've been there two years, you are entitled to redundancy pay. The fact that your employment is described as fixed term doesn't change that.
As long as you are earning enough, if you're still employed by 15 weeks before your due date, you qualify for 39 weeks statutory maternity pay from your employer, even if your employment is terminated after that. As long as you were employed at 15 weeks before due date, you could leave employment a week later and still be entitled to SMP.
If your contract is not renewed or your employment is terminated because of your pregnancy, that's unlawful discrimination.
Also, unless your employer offers enhanced maternity pay, maternity allowance is the same as SMP, except for the first 6 weeks when it's the normal statutory rate rather than 90% of pay. And unlike SMP, Mat allowance is non taxable. So you might not be much worse off if you do have to claim it.
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