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Baby due before I start new job

(13 Posts)
pinkfrog15 Sat 24-Sep-16 21:18:52

Hi - I have an interview for a new job which is due to start in January. I am pregnant and due early December. I am aware I won't qualify for maternity pay but would I still be entitled to take a period of maternity leave and start the job after that?
I already have a job and will be on mat leave in January. I don't want to start the new job as I'll lose my entitlement to smp. I would plan to do both jobs going forward.
Thanks for any advice!

Evergreen17 Sat 24-Sep-16 21:26:11

Mmmhh not an expert but if you dont want to start in January depends on them needing the post to be covered by January or they can wait a few months.
But not as maternity leave since you wont be pregnant anymore by the time you are due to start. It seems like a very weird time to start a new job though, how much maternity leave were you planning on taking?
They will realise you are pregnant at your interview hmm

pinkfrog15 Sat 24-Sep-16 21:48:01

It's only doing a few days a month so shouldn't be too difficult for them to accommodate. Agree it's crap timing but it is a move I've been looking to make for a while. I would be willing to start in January if it wasn't for the smp issue.

lougle Sat 24-Sep-16 22:17:39

No, I don't think so. You have the legal right to take Statutory Maternity Leave regardless of length of service (for Statutory Maternity Pay you must have 26 weeks service by the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth). However, the qualifying condition is that you are an employee.

You will not be an employee of the new company if you haven't yet started working for them. You will just be a member of the public. So you won't have any right to take maternity leave.

flowery Sun 25-Sep-16 10:26:20

Yes you can't take maternity leave from a job you haven't started yet.

ICancelledTheCheque Sun 25-Sep-16 15:05:49

Technically speaking you have no legal right to maternity leave with your new employer (but you may qualify for SMP from your previous employer).

However, arguably it could be discriminatory for them to refuse you a period of "maternity leave" (or rather, to insist on a particular start date when you would ordinarily be on leave). If your new employer insists on you starting on a particular date (when you are on maternity leave) then that could give you a claim for unfavourable treatment due to pregnancy and maternity. There is no justification defence in those circumstances so I think it would be legally difficult for your new employer to insist on that without you having a potential claim against them.

Of course your new employer may also have a maternity policy that allows a period of leave, whatever your length of service.

(I'm an employment lawyer)

insancerre Sun 25-Sep-16 15:14:42

So you intend to accept a job but won't be able to start when the company would want you to?

Won't they just give the job to someone else?

Pythonesque Sun 25-Sep-16 15:22:41

I think you will just have to be up front with them and explain that you will not be available to start the job until X, but would very much hope that they will be able to accommodate that. Or some such. Good luck.

Agree that starting a "few days a month" job whilst still on maternity leave from your main job may have annoying consequences around your maternity pay. Although, depending on how long you are off, it could be that at a certain time point losing SMP would be compensated by starting a new part-time job and you'd benefit from a staged "return to work" effectively.

pinkfrog15 Sun 25-Sep-16 15:26:01

Thanks - that's helpful. It is a public sector board appointment for a couple of days a month. I'm not sure what the status of the position would be but I understand, from what I've read, that I would lose my right to smp if I take it. I had been hoping it would be on a self-employed basis but I don't think that's possible.
I guess I'll maybe just have to ask them as I can't face going through a tough interview proces if I'm going to have to turn it down anyway!

JacquettaWoodville Sun 25-Sep-16 15:31:56


Although OP wouldn't be entitled to mat leave from the new job, could she start the new position without losing mat pay from her main job as she's not claiming two lots of SMP

Alternatively, could she volunteer for the first few months of the second position and do it unpaid?

flowery Sun 25-Sep-16 19:20:24

Jacquetta if you start working for a new employer while on maternity leave your SMP has to stop.

If the new job would pay less than SMP then she could ask to do it on a voluntary basis until her SMP runs out. It would be up to the new employer as to whether they would do that or not.

JacquettaWoodville Sun 25-Sep-16 23:41:20

Thanks, flowery.

OP, how long would you need to delay the start for?

pinkfrog15 Mon 26-Sep-16 19:56:33

Hi all - I had a discussion with the public appointments office today. They told me being pregnant is not a barrier to being appointed. As being a board member is different to being an employee, I would apparently not lose my right to smp if I started the role whilst on mat leave. Thanks for all your input.

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