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Pregnancy and termination of contract

(9 Posts)
TheBreadstick Thu 18-Aug-11 14:47:21

Hi All, just wanting to canvas opinion/advice on this matter.

I have worked continuously for the same employer since March 2010, first on an annual contract from March '10 - March '11 and then on a new contract from March '11 to present. My current contract is due to end on 31st December 2011, but for all that I am aware they are intending to renew this subject to funding for the project I work on being made available.

I have recently found out that I am 6 weeks pregnant and am concerned what the implications of telling my employer will be. If my dates are correct I will be 25 weeks pg by the time my contract ends.

Firstly, when is the latest I can tell my employer that I'm pg (hopefully after funding is secured for the project I work on)

Secondly, can they decide not to renew my contract regardless of funding?

I should say, I have a reasonably good relationship with my employer and I feel that I am a valued member of staff here.

Bread x

pamplemousserose Thu 18-Aug-11 14:49:27

Go on as normal, don't tell them about your pregnancy until the contract is renewed. Are you in a union?

TheBreadstick Thu 18-Aug-11 14:52:15

Thanks Pamplemousse, no - not in a union. Not sure which one I would join - I work for a social enterprise and charitable trust in the marketing department.

Bread x

dooscooby Thu 18-Aug-11 15:26:21

Hi there
I can't give you a concrete answer but perhaps some things to think about...

When you have your 1st docs appt they should given you a book about pg and it gives you some useful info in there - you can write in your dates on a chart and it tells you when you need to tell your employer by. I have a feeling it's actually 25 weeks, although I reckon trying to hide a pg that long would be hard going tbh - you could prob manage to 15 (i did and no-one guessed) or maybe a bit further.

Does your current contract make any mention of mat leave/pay? I work for a charity on a fixed term contract and it makes absolutely no mention of it. If not, then you'd only be looking at stat mat pay, although I'm not sure how you would be fixed for this given your contract expires before you might wish to start mat leave (you'd be fine if they renewed it though). I'm sure the same book tells you the earliest time point that you could start mat leave/pay, which might be useful to know in case they don't renew.

Anyway, I've not been very helpful as I'm currently trying to get clarity on my own situation too - you could try CAB to get a bit more armed with info. For now at least I'd keep quiet, but if you think you're valued perhaps consider being honest with them later in the day and seeing if you could come to some kind of deal - perhaps you'd be willing to come back earlier if they renewed your contract (saving them mat cover) or perhaps they could extend your contract to cover up to your mat leave if nothing else (they will get the stat mat pay back from the gov so it's no massive loss to them).

Ellypoo Thu 18-Aug-11 15:31:50

Can I suggest that you post this in Employment Matters - there are a couple of people on there who are really knowledgable on these sorts of employment law issues - good luck though, and congratulations on your pregnancy!!

TheBreadstick Thu 18-Aug-11 15:42:54

Thanks ladies ... also now in Employment Matters ... god, I'll find the right board one day! grin

Bread x

ciwi Thu 18-Aug-11 15:44:07

I think you will need to check your employers maternity guidelines, where I work if your contract expires between week 29 of pregnancy up until 15 weeks after the baby is born they have to extend your contract to allow you to take mat leave but they don't have to take you back after mat leave. I am asuming that if your contract expires before week 29 they do not have to extend or renew it so if I were you I would try and get another contract first. I am not sure if this is the case everywhere but it is in my organisation. can you get a copy of mat leave guidelines?

TheBreadstick Thu 18-Aug-11 15:49:33

Thanks ciwi

The only maternity guidelines I have are in my employee handbook and relate to maternity pay - it simply says "the Trust follows statutory maternity pay guildelines."

I'm thinking it might look a bit suss if I start asking HR for a full set of maternity guidelines! grin

Bread x

ciwi Thu 18-Aug-11 16:26:50

true, we can look them up on the computers so it's easier to do on the sly grin
I am in the same boat and not sure if I will get proper pay or not, if not it's really cr*p. I have worked since I was 17 and never claimed anything! I am going to try and get my contract renewed, they have said informally it will be extended but need it in writing really. Hope you get things sorted x

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