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SMP pay in advance can I find new job ?

(10 Posts)
DalidaPP Tue 20-Oct-09 22:45:38

hi

I will be on maternity leave when my company issue redundancy letters to my whole department before doing that they are offering me a lump sum that include the complete SMP (39 weeks)

I would have to sing a compromise agreement for that which means they will make me redundant before my maternity leave starts so I will be able to look for another job as soon as I want, the question is: Can I get another job whenever I want even if I have been paid the whole SMP? I understand that if i get a new job my SMP will stop, now I am confused if they pay me in advance the SMP would I have to get back whatever will be remaining of the SMP by the time that i get a new job?

Thanks for your help

MrAnchovy Tue 20-Oct-09 23:15:56

If they are offering you a lump sum then it might be the equivalent of the SMP you would get, but it won't actually be SMP. So yes you can get another job and it won't be affected.

All this is subject to what it says in the compromise agreement of course. As part of the lump sum payment the company should pay for you to have decent advice from an independent solicitor: ask them to confirm this and go and find one to protect your interests. Your solicitor will explain to you the implications of the compromise agreement, one of which is probably that you will not actually be dismissed because your position is redundant.

I can see why they would want to do this, but I can't see any real benefit for you unless you really want to go back to work (for another company) early. So they should offer you a good incentive (ie extra money) to make life easy for them.

flowerybeanbag Wed 21-Oct-09 09:07:27

Have to disagree with MrAnchovy I'm afraid. It's perfectly possible to pay SMP in a lump sum in advance, and just because they are doing that doesn't mean it won't be SMP. You can't sign away your rights to SMP for a start, and even if you could, your employer would be daft to ask you to do so and pay you a separate sum instead, because then they would't be able to reclaim the amount from HMRC. If it's SMP they get all or most of it back.

So it will be SMP and you are right that if you get a new job SMP must stop so it ought to then be paid back.

But ask your solicitor all about this, as MRAnchovy says your employer will need to pay for one to check the agreement for you. One option might be that although the payment is SMP, you could potentially put something in there so that in the event of you getting a new job, thereby no longer being entitled to the SMP that has been paid to you, it kind of 'converts' into an ex gratia payment. I don't know how possible that would be but your solicitor should be able to advise you.

Also no reason to think that the compromise agreement won't say redundancy, perfectly usual to have a comp agreement in the event of redundancy and it doesn't mean the reason for dismissal isn't redundancy.

flowerybeanbag Wed 21-Oct-09 09:09:29

I'm assuming the amount is unlikely to be much anyway - presumably your intention is to actually take at least some maternity leave, so it would only be if you start a new job earlier than 39 weeks that it would be an issue.

DalidaPP Wed 21-Oct-09 09:58:04

Thanks for your comments.

If they don't include on the agreement that note that flowerybeanbag says, about me getting a new job job it wouldn't be beneficial to me as I am not receiving any money extra they are just paying the SMP in advance, holidays for next year, 1 month notice and legal fees just up to £250 which is exactly what they would have to pay once my maternity leave finishes.

I though it could be good because I could get a new job earlier 4 or 5 months after my baby is born but now it doesn't look good option in addition if they pay me a lump sum now that would put me on the high rate band for tax purposes which means I would have to ask for a tax back once the fiscal year finishes. (time consuming and could take long)so am I right to think that this is something that is not beneficial to me? it would be just for the company as if i don't accept this the other option they said I have is wait until my maternity leave finishes and the will keep me posted if any vacancy comes out during this period if not I will be redundant anyway at the end of my ML.

Thanks again

MrAnchovy Wed 21-Oct-09 10:05:17

Thanks Flowery, you are right as always - I am talking rubbish.

But general principles are not very helpful here, it is the detail of what the employer is proposing that is important and DalidaPP your solicitor will be able to advise you on this when she has seen the draft compromise agreement.

flowerybeanbag Wed 21-Oct-09 10:10:48

Absolutely, detail is key. DalidaPP you are right there may be no advantage in you accepting SMP as a lump sum rather than in ongoing amounts. If you would be redundant anyway then you can't necessarily expect any advantage to be offered just because you are signing a compromise agreement, but it sounds as though that's not necessarily the case so you do need to see some advantage as you say.

Really important you get a solicitor if you haven't already so that you can make sure the agreement is advantageous to you and covers all your points of concern.

DalidaPP Wed 21-Oct-09 10:41:11

Thanks I haven't seen the agreement details as they want me to confirm first that I am interested in that option, for them to write the agreement down, I haven't a solicitor yet as I heard they cost more that what the company is willing to pay for so I was just trying to clarify some concerns before say yes because anyway after that I will have to find a solicitor as it is one of the companies requirements for the agreement.

flowerybeanbag Wed 21-Oct-09 10:43:48

You don't lose anything by saying you may potentially be interested depending on the terms of the agreement, so go ahead and do that.

£250 as a limit for legal fees isn't much I agree. If you find it impossible to get someone decent to check it for that amount, you should ask for more.

DalidaPP Wed 21-Oct-09 11:00:39

Thanks Flowery you are always so helpful I will do that

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