MNHQ here: post your pregnancy & maternity work questions here for FREE legal advice from Maternity Action

(27 Posts)
JuliaMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 15-Nov-21 10:56:33

Hello

A big welcome back to our November 2021 FREE legal clinic with a brilliant team of volunteer specialist employment solicitors and barristers, organised by Maternity Action.

Are you confused about your rights during maternity leave? Have you come back to find you're in a completely different role? Has your employer told you it's not possible to take parental leave? Are you a dad who's struggling to get your employer to understand Shared Parental Leave? Do you think you are being treated differently since becoming a parent? We've got you.

See below for the details - but if you have a worry, concern or question about anything to do with work and pregnancy, maternity, paternity, adoption or parental leave, then please put it here and hopefully the wonderful barristers and solicitors will be able to help you find a way through.

You can also take a look here to see some common questions and answers from previous clinics.

Free online advice clinic – 15 - 19 November 2021
Mumsnet and Maternity Action are teaming up to provide an online legal clinic, offering free advice on pregnancy, maternity and parental rights at work from volunteer employment solicitors and barristers who are members of the Employment Law Association.
Maternity Action reports huge demand for its advice line, especially topics such as redundancy during maternity leave, return to work and maternity pay, and on Mumsnet's Talk forums, the topic of employment rights is a hardy perennial.

The clinic will respond to this demand in a hopefully innovative way, providing free, accurate, public advice online and raising awareness of parents' rights at work. It will also enable Maternity Action and Mumsnet to identify trends and produce permanent content to address areas in which employers and workers could benefit from clear, upfront guidance.

The clinic will take the form of a 'Q&A' session on Mumsnet, with members of the public posting questions about your questions on pregnancy, maternity and parental rights at work and benefits on a dedicated public discussion thread. Specialist solicitors and barristers will take necessary additional detail via private messaging before posting up answers and advice.

The clinic will run for a week from Monday 15th November to Friday 19th November. We will do our best to provide all answers during the week but, at the latest, by the Tuesday of the following week. You can find information on where to go for more help once the clinic has ended here.

What to do if you’d like to post a question
1.If you have a question about your rights at work during pregnancy, maternity or parental leave please post it online during the week of the clinic. Please give as much information as possible but remember that this is an online forum and can be viewed by the public – including your colleagues and employer. Please don’t name your employer publicly if you are likely to be taking action against them in future. You can use the private message facility to disclose any information you would prefer to keep off the public forums.

2.Please send your name and the name of your employer by private message to MaternityActionfreeadvice so that it can be passed on to the volunteers to do a conflict of interest check. We cannot post a reply until you have sent this information by private message.

3.Once your advice has been posted online, you will have an opportunity to provide feedback. This helps us to find out whether you found the advice helpful, whether it helped you to resolve your situation at work and some information about you. All survey responses are anonymous and confidential. Providing feedback will help us to see what improvements can be made in developing this type of online free legal advice clinic. You can fill out the survey here.

Ts and Cs – please read

The advice provided to an individual poster is based only on the information provided by that poster. Advice on this thread is also particular to the individual who has asked for it and is likely to be specific to that person’s situation. A poster may have provided further relevant information by private message which will not appear on this thread. So please take care if you choose to apply that advice to your own situation - it is recommended that you first take legal advice from one of the sources we have suggested here.

Mumsnet, Maternity Action and Maternity Action's volunteers accept no liability for any loss suffered as a result of an individual choosing to follow advice provided to another poster's question on the thread.
The lawyers, all of whom are specialists in employment law, will be working as volunteers for Maternity Action in respect of the clinic. Any personal information collected as a result of the clinic will be held by Maternity Action and will be deleted after 18 months. If you wish to make a complaint about the service you received, you can use Maternity Action’s complaints policy here.

OP’s posts: |
MaternityActionfreeadvice Mon 15-Nov-21 12:21:22

Hello all, this message is just to say please PM your details to this account once you have posted on the thread. We will then be able to allocate you to one of the volunteer solicitors.
Many thanks,
Maternity Action

Harlequin1088 Mon 15-Nov-21 13:51:27

Hi there. I'm a self-employed sole trader running a small business and employee 3 members of staff on zero hours contracts.

I'm currently pregnant with my first child and will be claiming Maternity Allowance from the government as all of my NI contributions are up-to-date so my understanding is that I'm eligible for the full amount.

While I'm on maternity leave, my staff will be covering the business appointments etc until I return (we're in a service-based industry).

My question is this: can I still perform essential admin tasks or attend the odd meeting while on maternity leave to ensure the continued running of my business without it jeopardising my Maternity Allowance payments? Is anyone actually checking this?

Many thanks ☺️

PopT4rts Mon 15-Nov-21 15:20:31

Hello :-)

I am due to go on maternity leave early next year - This will be my second child, so am hoping to have a year off, but realistically with finances, might be more 9/10 months.

I am currently a manager at a small firm - I was able to keep my position and pay rate, and asked if I could go part time and give up some of my jobs such as evening/overtime work. I now work 3 days out of 5, and another team member covers what I gave up. Overall, my company has really looked after me and my needs as a Mother.

I don't think this is such a legal dilemma but more of a moral one. With my second mat leave after I return, I'd like to step back as manager, and allow the team member who has taken over some of my duties to step up as they also cover the work on the two days I am not in the office. I am looking for advice on how to best handle this without putting myself in any awkward positions and what legalities, if any, I'd need to consider as I think once I put this out there to my manager, there isn't any coming back from it.

I thought the best way to approach it would be to instate this team member as "acting manager" whilst on leave, and then decide fully whilst on leave, and see if new roles or a role could be created for me in my absence. This way, it'd stay between me and my manager for as long as possible without giving false hope. I think I am worried I would be shooting myself in the foot leaving a management role considering the pay and how it would look on my CV at future jobs, but equally, I don't think I am carrying on this role out as efficiently being part time and relying on team members to help.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you.

Cuwins Mon 15-Nov-21 19:17:13

Hi,
Not a problem with my employer but looking for advice as to what is allowed.
I work full time in education currently, due to time in post I will only qualify for stat mat pay. I'm planning to take a year so the last 3m will be unpaid.
However I also have a casual contract in care work. During my last 3m of maternity leave am I allowed to pick up casual shifts or as I am still on maternity leave (even though I won't be receiving any money at that point) would I get into trouble for that?
Thanks

MaternityActionfreeadvice Tue 16-Nov-21 15:40:38

Harlequin1088

Hi there. I'm a self-employed sole trader running a small business and employee 3 members of staff on zero hours contracts.

I'm currently pregnant with my first child and will be claiming Maternity Allowance from the government as all of my NI contributions are up-to-date so my understanding is that I'm eligible for the full amount.

While I'm on maternity leave, my staff will be covering the business appointments etc until I return (we're in a service-based industry).

My question is this: can I still perform essential admin tasks or attend the odd meeting while on maternity leave to ensure the continued running of my business without it jeopardising my Maternity Allowance payments? Is anyone actually checking this?

Many thanks ☺️

Dear Harlequin 1088

Thanks for your query. You can apply for Maternity Allowance (MA) on the basis of self-employment if you pay your tax through self-assessment and pay class 2 NICs. If you are employed by your business and pay yourself and staff through a payroll, with your tax and Class 1 NICs deducted at source, you may be eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay (which you can pay yourself through your payroll) or you can apply for MA on the basis of your employment.

In any event, once you have qualified for MA you can work for up to 10 keeping in touch (KIT) days without losing any MA. Government guidance on working during your MA period says: Any work you do as a KIT day, even for as little as half an hour, for example, will count as a whole day for KIT days.

You should count any work that you normally do in the course of your job for the purposes of work during a KIT day. This includes work that you do from your own home. If possible it is a good idea to arrange to do as much work as possible in one day rather than spreading it over several days. In that way you won’t use up too many KIT days when you are only doing an hour or two of work.

It is also important to keep a record of the days that you worked as you're required to report any KIT days to DWP once you've claimed MA. If you are unable to provide a record of days worked, DWP will make an estimate.

Guidance from the DWP says that the following minimal maintenance and admin tasks that will enable you to keep your business going and return to work do not count towards the ten KIT days providing you do not receive direct payment for the work:

· Carrying out necessary administration.

· Accepting work which is due to start after your return to work and after your MA ends.

· Carrying out essential maintenance to your website or equipment.

· Responding to correspondence requesting information as long as it does not relate to work to be carried out before your return to work and before your MA ends.

· Keeping essential formal qualifications and licenses up-to-date.

· Keeping skills at an acceptable level. This should not include formal paid-for training.

· Preparing for work arranged before your MA period starts but to be carried out after your return to work and after your MA ends.

Once you have worked for more than ten days you will be disqualified from receiving Maternity Allowance but a decision-maker at the DWP will decide what period of disqualification is reasonable depending on the number of days you have worked. For example, once you've worked for ten days, if you carry on working for one day a week for a short period, you should only be disqualified from 1/7th of your weekly MA payment. If you are disqualified from the rest of your MA you should seek further advice about appealing the decision.

I hope that helps.

MaternityActionfreeadvice Tue 16-Nov-21 16:01:55

Cuwins

Hi,
Not a problem with my employer but looking for advice as to what is allowed.
I work full time in education currently, due to time in post I will only qualify for stat mat pay. I'm planning to take a year so the last 3m will be unpaid.
However I also have a casual contract in care work. During my last 3m of maternity leave am I allowed to pick up casual shifts or as I am still on maternity leave (even though I won't be receiving any money at that point) would I get into trouble for that?
Thanks

Dear Cuwins

Thank you for your enquiry. Firstly, it's important to check whether you are entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) in both jobs. You should give your MATB1 maternity certificate to one employer, ask them to take a copy, and then give it to your other employer and ask them to work out if you qualify for SMP.

You can get SMP from one or both employers if you have at least 26 weeks continuous employment by the 15th week before your expected week of childbirth (EWC) and you earn at least £120 pw in the 8 weeks (if paid weekly) or 2 months (if paid monthly) before the end of the 15th week before your EWC. Your continuous employment in your casual job is still regarded as continuous if you are unable to work because of pregnancy or illness. If you get this casual work through an agency, you are still regarded as being in continuous employment if you were available for work but your agency were unable to offer any work.

If you are unable to qualify for SMP in your casual job but you were employed in your care job in the 15th week before your expected week of childbirth, you can continue to do care work for this employer throughout your SMP period without it affecting your SMP and during your unpaid maternity leave period.

If you are not employed in the casual job in the 15th week before your EWC you can work in your care job before the birth without losing your SMP but after the birth your SMP will stop if you work for the casual employer or any other new employer. Once your SMP has ended you can work in your casual job or any other new employer during your unpaid maternity leave period.

It's important to note that you should always check your contract to see if there are any provisions in relation to taking on second jobs and to notify your employer if you are required to.

I hope that helps.

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Cuwins Tue 16-Nov-21 16:36:01

Thank you. Can I just check I'm understanding: I won't qualify for SMP through the casual job as I earn less than the £120 a week min from it- (it's very occasional work). However I was employed in the casual role more than 15 weeks before my due date. So I am allowed to work any shifts I want there during my maternity leave? Regardless of if it's during the paid period or not?
Thanks

Dizzttc Tue 16-Nov-21 17:37:08

Hi,

I sent my manager a list of hospital and midwife appointments i had coming up and was told they would move my shifts into another day or i could make up the hours lost by adding them onto the end of my shifts. Is this correct as I believed you were entitled to time off to go to appointments and then head back to work etc

SallyAny Wed 17-Nov-21 06:25:09

Hi, I was employed from nov 30 to October 21 as a teacher in a school. I warned over £120 per week and was employed during the qualifying week. My school have sent me the maternity allowance claim form and say that it’s up to me to claim it. I’ve said that I’m eligible for SMP but they can’t get through to HR and don’t seem able to pursue the matter. Meanwhile I’ve had the baby and have not been paid this month. I don’t know where to turn…. Any advice?

amc8583 Wed 17-Nov-21 17:16:48

I work in retail and am on an 8 hour contract. I have been on furlough (when all non essential retail was closed on 80%) and back to work when retail opened. I have been with the same company for just over 2 and a half years. I wanted to know if I qualified for statutory maternity pay when I have been working more than my contracted hours (often over £120 a week, but not always.) Do I have to have strictly been earning £120 per week or can my monthly pay packet accumulate an average of £120?

Also, I read somewhere that my husbands job has a bearing on whether I am eligible for staturory maternity pay. He began his new job in July of this year. Does this have a impact on what I can claim? (If anything at all?)

Thank you very much.

Noideawhatimdoing12 Thu 18-Nov-21 11:09:14

Hi
I work on the nhs bank and I'm confused as to whether I am eligible for smp.
In my contract I am a worker but my payslip states my employers name and they calculate and deduct all my tax/national insurance. I'm on a 0hours contract but always earn well above the min amount per week. I satisfy all the conditions of smp apart from being unsure as I'm a worker. Is there any clarification for this?

Many thanks

MaternityActionfreeadvice Thu 18-Nov-21 11:30:54

Just a polite reminder to request that you PM us with your full name and the name of your employer. This information is only used to perform a conflict check and is not logged or used in any other capacity.

Without this information, we are unable to allocate your query to one of our volunteers which means that you will not be able to get a response to your query.

Many thanks.

MaternityActionfreeadvice Thu 18-Nov-21 12:01:37

Cuwins

Thank you. Can I just check I'm understanding: I won't qualify for SMP through the casual job as I earn less than the £120 a week min from it- (it's very occasional work). However I was employed in the casual role more than 15 weeks before my due date. So I am allowed to work any shifts I want there during my maternity leave? Regardless of if it's during the paid period or not?
Thanks

Dear Cuwins

Yes, as you were already employed in your casual role in the 15th week before your expected week of childbirth, you can work in your casual job both before and after the birth without it affecting your maternity leave or pay from your main employer. Hope that clarifies it.

MaternityActionfreeadvice Thu 18-Nov-21 12:37:15

SallyAny

Hi, I was employed from nov 30 to October 21 as a teacher in a school. I warned over £120 per week and was employed during the qualifying week. My school have sent me the maternity allowance claim form and say that it’s up to me to claim it. I’ve said that I’m eligible for SMP but they can’t get through to HR and don’t seem able to pursue the matter. Meanwhile I’ve had the baby and have not been paid this month. I don’t know where to turn…. Any advice?

Dear SallyAnn

Thanks for your enquiry. If you gave your MATB1 maternity certificate to your employer they should have looked at whether you have qualified for SMP. If they consider that you have not met the qualifying conditions they should return your MATB1 and give you an SMP1 form which states why you haven't qualified for SMP so that you can claim Maternity Allowance.

It sounds as if you have qualified for SMP. You are entitled to SMP if you meet all 3 of the following conditions:

1. you were employed by the same employer for at least 26 weeks by the 15th week before your expected week of childbirth

2. you were still employed in all or part of the 15th week before your expected week of childbirth, and

3. you earned on average at least £120 a week in the 8 weeks/2 months before the end of the 15th week before your expected week of childbirth.
Unfortunately you can only use your gross earnings during this period for working out entitlement to SMP. Are you paid in term-time only and could this have affected your earnings in the relevant period? If not and you are paid the same every month and have earned over £120 pw on average it sounds as if your employer has refused your SMP incorrectly.

How to resolve it

If you haven't yet given your employer your MATB1 maternity certificate you should send it in as soon as possible. Your employer cannot pay SMP without it but they can accept the MATB1 up to 3 months from the start of your SMP period. I would suggest contacting your HR and/or payroll department to ask why you have not been paid and if they think you have not qualified ask them to provide an SMP1 form. You can also let them know that you will be contacting HMRC (see below) if you have not heard within a week.

All employers can recoup the cost of your SMP from HMRC so I suggest sending them this link: www.gov.uk/recover-statutory-payments

If your employer has refused SMP incorrectly you can telephone HMRC Statutory Payments Disputes Team on 0300 322 9422 and ask for a formal decision. It would be helpful to have your payslips available for the 6 months before the birth of your baby so that HMRC can advise you fully. If HMRC decide that you are entitled to SMP they will order your employer to pay it and will pay it directly if your employer refuses or cannot pay.

If you have not met the qualifying conditions for SMP, you should claim Maternity Allowance immediately as claims can only be backdated for 3 months.

If you work for a local authority school you may also be entitled to occupational maternity pay and I suggest asking your school and/or local authority for their maternity policy to check the terms and conditions.

I hope that helps and that you're able to get your maternity pay soon.

MaternityActionfreeadvice Thu 18-Nov-21 14:05:16

amc8583

I work in retail and am on an 8 hour contract. I have been on furlough (when all non essential retail was closed on 80%) and back to work when retail opened. I have been with the same company for just over 2 and a half years. I wanted to know if I qualified for statutory maternity pay when I have been working more than my contracted hours (often over £120 a week, but not always.) Do I have to have strictly been earning £120 per week or can my monthly pay packet accumulate an average of £120?

Also, I read somewhere that my husbands job has a bearing on whether I am eligible for staturory maternity pay. He began his new job in July of this year. Does this have a impact on what I can claim? (If anything at all?)

Thank you very much.

Dear amc8583

You are entitled to SMP if you meet all 3 of the following conditions:

1. you were employed by the same employer for at least 26 weeks by the 15th week before your expected week of childbirth. You have met this condition as you have worked for your employer for over 2 years and you were still employed during your furlough periods.
2. You were still employed in all or part of the 15th week before your expected week of childbirth, and
3. you earned on average at least £120 a week in the 8 weeks/2 months before the end of the 15th week before your expected week of childbirth. This is based on your average gross earnings during this period. Unfortunately it's a fixed period and you can't use earnings in any other period.

If you were on furlough during some or all of this period (8 weeks/2 months before the end of the 15th week before your expected week of childbirth) and only receiving 80% of your normal pay, your employer should use the pay that you would have received had you not been on furlough, not your reduced furlough payments.

The following calculator may help you work out whether you can qualify for SMP: www.gov.uk/maternity-paternity-calculator but the most important thing is to give your employer your MATB1 maternity certificate and ask them to calculate your entitlement.

How to claim SMP

You must give your employer your MATB1 maternity certificate by the 15th week before your expected week of childbirth or as soon as possible. They cannot pay SMP without it but they can accept the MATB1 up to 3 months from the start of your SMP period.

If your employer refuses your SMP they should provide you with form SMP1 stating why have not qualified. If you think they have refused it wrongly you can telephone HMRC Statutory Payments Disputes Team on 0300 322 9422 and ask for a formal decision. It would be helpful to have your payslips available so that HMRC can advise you fully. If HMRC decide that you are entitled to SMP they will order your employer to pay it and will pay it directly if your employer refuses or cannot pay.

If you have not met the qualifying conditions for SMP, you should claim Maternity Allowance: www.gov.uk/government/publications/maternity-allowance-claim-form

Your partner's employment/earnings will not have any impact on your entitlement to SMP or Maternity Allowance but if you want to transfer some of your maternity leave/pay to your partner, your partner will also need to meet the qualifying conditions for entitlement to shared parental leave and pay. This is a complex system and there's more information available here: www.gov.uk/shared-parental-leave-and-pay

I hope that helps.

MaternityActionfreeadvice Thu 18-Nov-21 14:18:44

Noideawhatimdoing12

Hi
I work on the nhs bank and I'm confused as to whether I am eligible for smp.
In my contract I am a worker but my payslip states my employers name and they calculate and deduct all my tax/national insurance. I'm on a 0hours contract but always earn well above the min amount per week. I satisfy all the conditions of smp apart from being unsure as I'm a worker. Is there any clarification for this?

Many thanks

Dear Noideawhatimdoing12

If you work for an employer or agency who pays you through PAYE and deducts any tax/National Insurance that you have to pay, you can claim SMP as long as you meet the qualifying conditions.

Most NHS 'banks' are agencies so strictly speaking you are an agency worker and you are eligible for SMP (as well as any sick pay and holiday pay you qualify for) from the agency/bank.

To qualify for SMP you must have been continuously employed for at least 26 weeks by the 15th week before your expected week of childbirth, you must still be employed in all or part of the 15th week and you must earn at least £120 per week on average in the 8 week/2 month period before the end of the 15th week before your expected week of childbirth.

As an agency worker/NHS bank worker you are still regarded as being continuously employed for 26 weeks as long as you remained registered with the agency throughout this period and you were available for work. Any weeks in which you didn't work because of pregnancy or because no work was available will not break your continuous service.

How to claim SMP

You must give your bank/agency your MATB1 maternity certificate by the 15th week before your expected week of childbirth or as soon as possible. They cannot pay SMP without it but they can accept the MATB1 up to 3 months from the start of your SMP period.

If your bank/agency refuses your SMP you can telephone HMRC Statutory Payments Disputes Team on 0300 322 9422 and ask for a formal decision. It would be helpful to have your payslips available so that HMRC can advise you fully. If HMRC decide that you are entitled to SMP they will order your agency to pay it and will pay it directly if they refuse or cannot pay.

If you have not met the qualifying conditions for SMP, you should claim Maternity Allowance: www.gov.uk/government/publications/maternity-allowance-claim-form

I hope that helps.

MaternityActionfreeadvice Thu 18-Nov-21 15:31:31

PopT4rts

Hello :-)

I am due to go on maternity leave early next year - This will be my second child, so am hoping to have a year off, but realistically with finances, might be more 9/10 months.

I am currently a manager at a small firm - I was able to keep my position and pay rate, and asked if I could go part time and give up some of my jobs such as evening/overtime work. I now work 3 days out of 5, and another team member covers what I gave up. Overall, my company has really looked after me and my needs as a Mother.

I don't think this is such a legal dilemma but more of a moral one. With my second mat leave after I return, I'd like to step back as manager, and allow the team member who has taken over some of my duties to step up as they also cover the work on the two days I am not in the office. I am looking for advice on how to best handle this without putting myself in any awkward positions and what legalities, if any, I'd need to consider as I think once I put this out there to my manager, there isn't any coming back from it.

I thought the best way to approach it would be to instate this team member as "acting manager" whilst on leave, and then decide fully whilst on leave, and see if new roles or a role could be created for me in my absence. This way, it'd stay between me and my manager for as long as possible without giving false hope. I think I am worried I would be shooting myself in the foot leaving a management role considering the pay and how it would look on my CV at future jobs, but equally, I don't think I am carrying on this role out as efficiently being part time and relying on team members to help.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you.

Dear PopT4rts

Thank you for your query. My understanding is that after your first maternity leave you returned in your management role but on a part time basis and with a reduction in duties which are covered by a team member on your non-working days. Following your second maternity leave, you expect that you may return after 9/10 months and you are thinking about stepping back as manager and allowing the team member who covers your duties on your non-working days to take on the role.

You need to be aware that on return from maternity leave your legal right is to return to exactly the same job on the same terms and conditions as immediately before the start of your maternity leave. This would mean returning to the managerial role that you currently carry out 3 days a week. If your employer is unable to keep the same job open for you, for example, if there has been a reorganisation, they must provide you with a suitable alternative role. A suitable alternative role should be suitable for you in terms of your skills, experience and seniority and on very similar terms and conditions.

If you want to change your days, hours or place of work you can make a flexible work request to ask for any changes you need but this would still be in relation to your current managerial role. However, if you were to suggest that you no longer want to continue in your current managerial role your employer is not obliged to find you alternative work at another level or to find you another role in the business.

At this stage I would suggest keeping your options open until after you have had your baby and you're further into your maternity leave as circumstances may have changed in a year's time. You can reassess the situation a few months before you intend to return so that you have plenty of time to discuss it with your employer. Remember also that you will need to give your employer at least 8 weeks notice if you intend to return to work early i.e. if you don't wish to take the full 52 weeks of maternity leave. At that stage you could ask your employer for a discussion about your role, whether you can return to a role without managerial responsibilities and whether they have another suitable role for you.

Whilst you are on leave, you are still the manager, albeit on maternity leave, and it is up to the business to decide how they wish to cover your leave e.g. by offering it to the team member on a full-time basis or recruiting externally for all or part of the role. If the current team member who covers the role 2 days a week takes on the role full-time during your leave they can call this individual 'acting manager' or make no change to their title. This could be a good development opportunity for them or anyone new to the business but you still retain the right to return to the role 3 days a week at the end of your maternity leave unless you decide to resign from that role or your employer is able to provide you with a different role without management responsibilities. Again, if you stepped down from the role, it would be up to your employer to decide how to fill it, either by keeping your maternity leave cover arrangements in place or recruiting externally.

I hope that helps in considering your options.

Whatelsecouldibecalled Thu 18-Nov-21 17:53:52

My works performance management cycle runs October to October. I took a years mater out leave with my first baby returning to working in March 2021. My performance cycle targets were set March to October. Will this count as a full cycle or half a cycle? In order for me to move a pay band I have to indicate two years (2 cycles) before I want to move. I want to know if my March - October cycle will count as a full cycle or if I will have to wait a other half a cycle?

Matt2311 Fri 19-Nov-21 02:26:59

I’m currently on maternity leave and just before going on maternity leave I saw an internal role that I wanted to apply for. I spoke to my manager who discouraged me from applying saying I wouldn’t know how I’d feel about returning to work until after I’d had the baby. I didn’t apply at the time but was told I would be kept informed of any further positions in that team. On the Maternity form I completed for HR I also requested to be kept informed of similar roles. I also spoke to the hiring manager and explained that I was interested in moving to his team and would like to be kept informed if any roles coming up. I have now seen that the job has been readvertised as they didn’t fill it in the first recruitment round. I wasn’t informed of this at all but applied anyway before the application close date last week. I then received an email from the HR adviser managing the recruitment asking me when I’m planning to return from maternity leave but not offering me an interview. The hiring manager has also now requested a catch up call next week but again I’ve not been offered an interview and I’ve seen that they have readvertised the job again with an extended application deadline.

I’m not sure what to do next. Should I contact HR to ask why I wasn’t informed of the role and why I’m not being offered an interview?

Noideawhatimdoing12 Fri 19-Nov-21 07:29:09

Hi thank you for answering my question about being a worker and smp. Another quick one if that's OK.

I'm also employed in another role in a different company which also qualifies for smp.

Do I apply for smp through both employers or how do I choose which one to claim smp through? I earn the same amount and have worked for them both for the same length of time?
Thanks

MaternityActionfreeadvice Fri 19-Nov-21 09:40:43

Noideawhatimdoing12

Hi thank you for answering my question about being a worker and smp. Another quick one if that's OK.

I'm also employed in another role in a different company which also qualifies for smp.

Do I apply for smp through both employers or how do I choose which one to claim smp through? I earn the same amount and have worked for them both for the same length of time?
Thanks

Dear Noideawhatimdoing12

Yes, you can definitely get SMP from more than one employer if you meet the qualifying conditions in each role. You need to give each employer notice of the date you want to start your maternity leave/pay by the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth or as soon as possible afterwards.

Each employer must see your MATB1 maternity certificate in order to calculate and pay your SMP so I suggest giving your MATB1 to one employer and asking them to take a copy and return it to you, then giving it to your other employer.

If you meet the qualifying conditions for SMP in each job you can get SMP from each employer. You can also start/end your maternity leave/pay at different times in each job if you want to. I hope that works out for you.

Whatelsecouldibecalled Fri 19-Nov-21 13:44:29

Hi. I have just sent a pm with my details.

I have another question

We conceived our first child via ivf. We are currently considering another child and therefore further treatment. The clinic are currently requesting that we isolate the entire treatment and if we caught covid during treatment time the whole cycle would be cancelled but the full cost of the cycle would still be charged (around £5k!)

I work in education so cannot take leave. Can I request to work form home if viable during this time? I teach a practical based subject. What are my rights? Pregnant women currently at my workplace are permitted to work from home in the third trimester due to covid risk. Does this also apply to me? Thank you

MaternityActionfreeadvice Tue 23-Nov-21 15:59:28

Dizzttc

Hi,

I sent my manager a list of hospital and midwife appointments i had coming up and was told they would move my shifts into another day or i could make up the hours lost by adding them onto the end of my shifts. Is this correct as I believed you were entitled to time off to go to appointments and then head back to work etc

Dear Dizzttc

Thank you for your query.

I understand that you have been told by your employers that your shifts will be moved to another day or you can make the hours up when you are attending your hospital and midwife appointments. You have queried whether you are entitled to have time off to go attend these appointments or whether you need to make this time up.

In response to your query, by law you have the right to have reasonable time off with full pay for pregnancy related anti-natal appointments. This includes hospital appointments and midwife appointments that fall within your normal working hours. The time off that you have should be paid.

This applies as long as you are an employee or an agency worker (with at least 12 weeks in the same placement).

My advice to you would be to raise this with your employer informally at first to see if the matter can resolve amicably. If not, you can take it further with your employer and, if necessary, claim any loss of pay in an employment tribunal. We have further information on how to resolve disputes with your employer and time limits for raising it with ACAS here: maternityaction.org.uk/where-to-go-for-more-help-legal-clinic/

MaternityActionfreeadvice Tue 23-Nov-21 16:01:38

Matt2311

I’m currently on maternity leave and just before going on maternity leave I saw an internal role that I wanted to apply for. I spoke to my manager who discouraged me from applying saying I wouldn’t know how I’d feel about returning to work until after I’d had the baby. I didn’t apply at the time but was told I would be kept informed of any further positions in that team. On the Maternity form I completed for HR I also requested to be kept informed of similar roles. I also spoke to the hiring manager and explained that I was interested in moving to his team and would like to be kept informed if any roles coming up. I have now seen that the job has been readvertised as they didn’t fill it in the first recruitment round. I wasn’t informed of this at all but applied anyway before the application close date last week. I then received an email from the HR adviser managing the recruitment asking me when I’m planning to return from maternity leave but not offering me an interview. The hiring manager has also now requested a catch up call next week but again I’ve not been offered an interview and I’ve seen that they have readvertised the job again with an extended application deadline.

I’m not sure what to do next. Should I contact HR to ask why I wasn’t informed of the role and why I’m not being offered an interview?

Dear Matt2311

Thank you for your query.

The key thing here will be to understand why you have not been offered an interview. Assuming this role is commensurate with your skills and abilities, it does seem odd that you have enquired about this role multiple times and yet do not seem to get a straight answer about your application whilst the role keeps being readvertised.

The law can provide some protection in this area. However, this protection would only apply if the reason you are not being offered an interview for the role is because you are on maternity leave or have a child. The law states that an employer must not discriminate against an employee because she is pregnant or on maternity leave with regard to promotional or other work opportunities. For example, it would be discriminatory for an employer to turn down an application, or discourage an employee from applying for a new role because she is pregnant or on maternity leave. However, if there is a legitimate reason why you are not being offered an interview which is unrelated to your sex/pregnancy/maternity, the law is unlikely to help you here. The first step is therefore to understand your employer’s position as to why you have not (as yet) been offered an interview.

I would suggest that you have the call with the hiring manager as offered and ask them directly about your application and its progress (and it would be worth following up this conversation in writing). If you are not being offered an interview, ask them to confirm why. If the answer you are given to this question is vague, don’t be afraid to ask for specific examples of what they are talking about. If the hiring manager is finding it difficult to explain to you why you are not being offered an interview, that might suggest it is more likely that the reason for this is potentially discriminatory. If the answer you are given is not satisfactory (or you do not believe it to be true), I would recommend speaking with HR at that point. I would explain to them that you are concerned that the reason you are not being offered an interview for this role is because of your pregnancy and maternity leave and see how they respond.

If you do not receive a credible explanation for why your application is not being progressed, and if you believe that this is because of your maternity leave, you would have a potential legal claim against your employer for pregnancy/maternity discrimination if you wished to go down that route. You can contact ACAS to register for early conciliation to see whether they can resolve the dispute and finally bring an employment tribunal claim if you cannot resolve matters. Please be aware that there are strict time limits which operate for bringing claims to the employment tribunal. Generally speaking, you have three months less a day from the date of what you are complaining about to contact ACAS if you want to go to the employment tribunal afterwards (or think that you might want to do so). I would therefore recommend that you do this sooner rather than later – you do not need to wait for a response from your employer to do this if no response is forthcoming.

I wish you all the best.

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