Changing jobs while pregnant - maternity pay(9 Posts)
I'm a little confused about statutory maternity pay. I'm currently TTC but have been applying for jobs at the same time. I have a three month notice period so if all goes well I could be pregnant and starting a new job. In terms of statutory maternity pay does the 26 weeks continuous employment have to be at the same company?
If I wouldn't qualify for SMP, would the new company be required to keep my job open for me and, if so, for how long?
You'd be highly unlikely to get SMP from employer but you'd get maternity allowance from the government which is £139 a week. I was 6 weeks pregnant when I started my job and this is what happened to me
You only get SMP if you are with the same employer that you were with immediately before getting pregnant (the wording is different but basically boils down to - you must have been working for them on the first day of your last menstrual period before getting pregnant and still be working for them when you go on leave
If you change jobs or lose your job during your pregnancy but have been in employment for at least 26 weeks during the 66 weeks leading up to your due date you get maternity allowance which is a similar amount but there is no element based on your normal salary.
Whichever of these you get, or even if you get neither, they are entirely separate from your right to maternity leave. For that your length of service doesn't matter so long as you give them notice by 15 weeks before your due date (25 weeks pg). Your employer must take you back into the same job so long as you take no more than 39 weeks in total. If you take 39-52 weeks they don't have to keep the same job open but can transfer you to an equivalent job.
"Your employer must take you back into the same job so long as you take no more than 39 weeks in total. If you take 39-52 weeks they don't have to keep the same job open but can transfer you to an equivalent job."
No. The 39 weeks is the maternity pay period- it has nothing to do with entitlement to return to the same job.
If you return at or earlier than 6 months, you are entitled to the same job. If you take longer than 6 months off you are entitled to the same job or if this is not reasonably practicable, a suitable alternative on the same terms and conditions.
Thank you! I was mainly worried about the job being held open, so it's good to know that that's separate from SMP
Hello. Does anyone know if the same rules apply if you get pregnant on a fixed term contract? I.e. If I take a 12 month FTC and get pregnant once I've started it (am not pregnant now), would they still have to have me back afterwards if I did get pregnant and go on leave? Sorry for hijacking!
No because the contract will have ended. If you want to return before the end of the 12 month contract then they have to take you back, although only until the end of your contract. If however the contract is with an existing employer and you have over two years service they should try to find you a suitable alternative role. If there is no suitable alternative then you would be in receipt of statutory redundancy pay I believe.
You would still get SMP if you were already working on the FTC when you get pregnant but they have no obligation to give you a job beyond the date of the original expiry of the FTC. You might be able to fight it if an employer has a habit of hiring people for a year at a time on a rolling FTC which you would normally expect to be renewed. If you can show that it was likely that the contract would be renewed if you hadn't got pregnant and non-renewal was due to the pregnancy then that would be discrimination. However, many FTC jobs are linked to specific events that it would be ridiculous to have someone coming back to a year later because the event is now done and dusted.
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