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maternity pay letter arrived yesterday but employment was terminated today. where do I stand?

(13 Posts)
Grockle Sat 11-Jun-16 15:11:51

I have a complicated situation where I was working for someone but being paid by a payroll company. My maternity leave was approved and the letter arrived yesterday saying that I will have 39 weeks Mat pay. All fine.

Then today, I got a text from my employer saying she is removing everyone from payroll and using an agency instead. Where do I stand re maternity pay? I don't start til the end of next week.

I don't have a written contract (it was an informal arrangement initially although contracts were supplied but employer threw them out - it was a much more official role than we originally thought). I have pay slips etc.

AntiHop Sat 11-Jun-16 15:19:53

You could try calling the Maternity Alliance helpine for some advice

AntiHop Sat 11-Jun-16 15:20:29

Sorry Maternity Action not Maternity Alliance.

AugustaFinkNottle Sat 11-Jun-16 15:23:19

When she says she's removing everyone from payroll, does she mean everyone is sacked or simply that she's getting an agency to sort out pay? If it's the former, she's acting totally illegally and, if she thinks she's avoided liability by throwing out the contracts she's completely wrong.

Are you in touch with other employees, and have they had the same text? I would suggest you get together to instruct specialist solicitors to spell out to her what her legal obligations are.

flowery Sat 11-Jun-16 15:43:36

First thing to say is that once you have qualified for SMP from your employer you get it even if your employment is terminated.

Secondly it's not actually clear what has happened. Were you employed by this company, or employed by an agency or umbrella company or similar?

If you were employed by the 'main' company she may or may not be able to dismiss you, depending on how long you've worked there and some other factors, but at the very least she will need to give/pay you notice.

But as I say, at the moment it's not clear whether you were employed by them or another company or what she's intending doing.

notapizzaeater Sat 11-Jun-16 15:45:52

So she's sacked the entire workforce and is using agency workers from now ?

underrugsswept Sat 11-Jun-16 15:49:39

If you've been on site and working you've both entered into an implied contract IIRC. I work in a similar fashion and my payroll company are the ones who employ me (technically) so my maternity pay came from them. I think you have to be working for 24 continuous weeks before you're entitled to pay but assuming you've met that, I don't think it's an issue. Your payroll company are you employer, the person you're working for is your client. At least that's how it works for me.

Grockle Sat 11-Jun-16 18:28:41

Augusta & notapizzaeater, basically she's sacked us (her only 2 employees were me and DP). She's going to be using an agency & their own staff so she doesn't have to deal with responsibility & pay etc.

Flowery - we were employed by her but paid through a payroll company. Does that make sense?

Payroll company make it very clear that we are not employed by them and contracts are with my 'friend'

AugustaFinkNottle Sat 11-Jun-16 18:57:28

As pointed out, you qualify for maternity pay anyway. If you've been working there for over two years, you could also claim damages for unfair dismissal.

flowery Sat 11-Jun-16 19:02:54

How long have you and DP worked there?

Grockle Sat 11-Jun-16 21:44:53

I've been doing it for about 2 years. DP has only started recently.

notapizzaeater Sat 11-Jun-16 22:41:15

Your dp probably hasn't got any comeback but she has to pay you SMP. Have you legal cover with your house insurance ?

Grockle Sat 11-Jun-16 23:00:36

We're not worried about DP, his role was secondary and he works full time For someone else anyway. It's just ensuring my maternity pay isn't at risk.

My employer knew everything before but I've endured she has it all in writing now. She's in the midst of a massive meltdown and I think is having MH issues but she's behaving very oddly - this evening, she's asked me if I'll work for her between now and my Mat leave. This is after her telling me she's firing me confused I'm not sure what she thought my response would be.

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