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SMP while on fixed term contract - do I qualify?

(9 Posts)
Cheeser Mon 01-Aug-11 10:08:47

I have a question regarding maternity pay and really hope someone can help me.

I am currently on a fixed term contract – which runs from 20th June 2011 to 1 July 2012. DP and I would like to start TTC and I’m looking in to what maternity pay I’d get. I wouldn’t qualify for the enhanced package as I won’t have been here long enough so ignoring that for now.

The mat policy (to receive SMP) I’ve got from the work intranet states that I have to have 26 weeks service by 15 weeks before the expected due date to receive SMP. My question is, if I got pregnant now I would be due round about the 16th June, so if I left my contract early would I still get SMP? As it’s a temp contract I’m not bothered about the ‘going back to work’ issue as that clearly doesn’t apply, but would I still get the SMP? I can’t seem to find anything on any government sites that say anything about contracted employment. What happens if I get pregnant in say a month’s time, and the baby’s due on 16th July? I will have left here by then, would I still qualify? How long is my ‘window of opportunity’ in which to get pregnant and get SMP? I've read a few sites talk about the 'date of qualification' which seems to be this day on which I've been here for 26 weeks and have 15 to go until due date. Also that I have to earn enough, but this is definitely the case.

It says in my contract that this is a “temporary position” but I assume that doesn’t make much difference? I have a three month probation period in which my notice period is two weeks (on both sides) and after three months it increases to three months' notice (on both sides). Not sure if this is relevant.

It’s really confusing. I am tempted to ask HR but I’m still in my three month probation period and don’t want to rock the boat (although I know legally they can’t dismiss me on this basis)

Hope someone can help smile

loveme2 Mon 01-Aug-11 11:13:32

I'm abit confused reading your thread.But i think what you are asking, is if your contract ended before your SMP started would you still qualify.
I think you still have to be in your contract to qualify..i.e. if your SMP stared on june 30 2012 you would still be in your contract,so would qualify.But if it was due to start july 20 2012 you would all ready have ended your contract so wouldn't qualify.
HTH

Cheeser Mon 01-Aug-11 14:17:32

thanks loveme2 - can you remember where you got this information from? I really need solid sources to make sure I make the right decision (and back it up if I need to). Everything I've read points to the fact that I would be covered after I left, so long as I was there on that magic date (although everything I've read hasn't mentioned contracts so I really don't know). Your message has worried me a bit!

loveme2 Mon 01-Aug-11 22:54:16

Is this any help here

loveme2 Mon 01-Aug-11 23:31:50

I don't know if this is any help but when i went on ML the last time,i had been away on sick leave for 2 weeks.They worked my SMP out using my sick pay so i got less than if i had been at work.
So i was still contracted but i was away sick and still got SMP.

LoveBeingAtHomeOnMyOwn Mon 01-Aug-11 23:42:57

Hi the direct gov website has a calculator thingy you can pop all your dates into and it works it out. My contract is due to finish 6 mths after ds is born however they will still be responsible for paying, as they would if I handed my noticed in before I even had ds (as I understand it!)

rubyhorse Mon 01-Aug-11 23:57:03

I definitely think that you should have a good look at the DirectGov website. Even if you don't qualify for SMP, then you may still qualify for Maternity Allowance (MA). To qualify for this, you need to have been employed for 26 of the 66 weeks before your expected week of childbirth, and to have earned more than the earnings threshold for 13 of those weeks. The threshold is currently something like £30. MA is currently 90% of your average gross weekly earnings or 128.73 (whichever is the smaller). HTH.

Cheeser Tue 02-Aug-11 08:05:05

Thanks everyone. I actually phoned ACAS yesterday (a union specialising in recruitment law and practice, i think) and I was told that I would be eligible - in fact, even if my last contracted week at work was during my 15th week to go (so about 27 weeks pregnant) I would still be eligible even though there'd be a gap between me leaving and having the baby.

Thanks for the link to the direct.gov site too - I had already looked at this but hadn't seen the personalised bit, that's really helpful (and confirmed I'd be eligible too). My main question was whether or not as a contractor I'd get the same rights but the man yesterday assured me I will, that's why there's no distinction made on the govt websites between contractor/perm employees, an employee is an employee when it comes to this.

So, thanks everyone - looks like we'll be fine! grin

LoveBeingAtHomeOnMyOwn Tue 02-Aug-11 21:45:13

Good stuff grin

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