Received P45 whilst on maternity leave

(15 Posts)
Alibongo10 Thu 13-Jul-17 16:13:36

In September last year I was recruited for a maternity cover role which my contract states my contract ends when the lady I am providing cover for returns to work. (She is still not due to return until the end of this year)
In the meantime, I had unknowingly fallen pregnant myself, so my maternity leave started a couple of weeks ago. I was not eligible for SMP due to the length of time with my employer, but they did write to me granting 52 weeks maternity leave and I am claiming Maternity Allowance.
Last week I received my most recent pay slip from my employer along with a P45, stating my last working day as the day I left for maternity leave.
This came totally out of the blue, as I did not resign from my role and they did not inform me that I was being dismissed, I can only assume it is because I am on maternity leave and the lady I was covering is due to return to work before me.
They have not recruited a replacement whilst I am on leave, the rest of the team are overseeing different parts of the role between them.
I have emailed HR to ask them to provide a written explanation of why I appear to have been dismissed (this was 4 days ago and still no response).
Is this classed as maternity discrimination? As it appears I have been dismissed for going on maternity leave?

OP’s posts: |
thatstoast Thu 13-Jul-17 16:25:44

Placemarking as battery is dying and I'll come back later

TheLionQueen1 Thu 13-Jul-17 16:58:52

If you won't be receiving any further payment from the company, which presumably you won't without SMP, and the fact that your contract is due to finish before your maternity leave would be finished then what difference does it make if you have got your p45 or not? If they aren't paying you anymore then they don't need you on their payroll system so it may automatically produce your p45, which needs to have the correct last day in business (that you were paid for) to tally up for HMRC?

On saying this I could be completely wrong as by no means an expert but I would assume that if it was me, not just because you are pregnant.

Alibongo10 Thu 13-Jul-17 17:14:13

It now means I'm classed as unemployed. This means my WTC stops and I cannot accrue any holiday pay during the remainder of this year. So it has quite a big impact financially.

OP’s posts: |
TheLionQueen1 Thu 13-Jul-17 17:18:08

Ah you didn't mention you were getting WTC as well, is there nothing else you can apply for now given that they have ended the contract? Was your outstanding holiday not paid to you before, also do you still accrue it if you aren't eligible for SMP?

I would give ACAS a call for advice, they will be able to tell you very quickly hopefully!

Alibongo10 Thu 13-Jul-17 17:37:18

I can only claim Maternity Allowance and CTC so I'm down £80 a week.
Yes I can still accrue holiday, even though I'm not receiving SMP, the company even wrote to me when I handed in my Mat1B form to confirm this and that they were keeping my role open for 52 weeks
I'll give ACAS a call in the morning

OP’s posts: |
CotswoldStrife Thu 13-Jul-17 17:40:00

It doesn't necessarily mean that your employment has ended. They can still pay you if they need to, but it doesn't look like they do hence issuing the P45 now. You should still get the WTC while you get the MA - email them back again and press them for an answer.

I assume you are not planning to return to work as you don't mention that at all.

Alibongo10 Thu 13-Jul-17 17:50:31

I planned on taking 9-12 months mat leave and then deciding, I've always worked full time and I definitely want to start work again next year.

OP’s posts: |
CotswoldStrife Thu 13-Jul-17 19:31:35

But surely your contract ends earlier than that, unless the person you are covering for extends her leave - if she's due back in December that's only 6 months max, more like 5?

thatstoast Thu 13-Jul-17 19:34:08

It seems like you know your rights, which is great. You should only be given your p45 when your employment ends. Your employment should end on the date of your contract and you will continue to accrue holidays which they should pay you if you don't return.

Is it possible that the post holder has returned to work and you haven't been kept in the loop?

thatstoast Thu 13-Jul-17 19:35:59

To add, the post holder may not return and so OP's contract could be extended on that basis.

Alibongo10 Thu 13-Jul-17 19:43:58

Thanks thatstoast

I know that the postholder has not returned to work yet as we are in contact outside of work (as we are both new mothers)
Her intention is to return to work in November, she is yet to communicate her intentions with the employer

OP’s posts: |
veneeroftheweek Thu 13-Jul-17 19:55:53

If you do need to get further advice, I found Maternity Action but better than ACAS when I had an issue on my mat leave.

purplenessy Thu 13-Jul-17 20:16:35

They can't terminate you for wing pregnant. It's illegal.
You'd have to check the terms of your contract though and some legal advice would be a good idea.
For SMP they have to pay you it if you weren't pregnant when you started with them. If you were then MA is correct. If you weren't pregnant when you started, they have to pay you the full 39 weeks of SMP

purplenessy Thu 13-Jul-17 20:16:49

*being

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