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Statutory maternity Pay- Employer says cannot pay

(61 Posts)
user1479748167 Mon 21-Nov-16 17:27:31

Statutory maternity Pay- Employer says cannot pay


I joined my current company in mid of March. My baby’s due date is 15/11/2016. I informed my employer about the pregnancy in June. I was verbally assured and informed that I would get 100% SMP. I also received the written confirmation letter in October confirming my maternity leave start date as nov and I would get 100% SMP.

I planned all my finance based on the payment that I would get during my maternity leave.

Suddenly, I received one more letter on my due date and say that I am no longer eligible for the maternity pay as per government policy. I read the government rules and just came to that I am not eligible. My company says that I should have joined the company in February to receive the full payment.

I clearly see that my company violated two government rules.

“ …………..Your employer must confirm within 28 days how much SMP you’ll get and when it will start and stop.
If they decide you’re not eligible, they must give you form SMP1 within 7 days of making their decision and explain why…………..”

If I knew this before, I wouldn’t have joined this company. I wouldn’t have put more hardwork and weekend work for this company.

Is there anyway to get reasonable pay during my maternity leave?. I don’t think I can live on allowance of 120GBP/week. Do you think that I got strong case to request for the maternity pay?

Thank you,

dementedpixie Mon 21-Nov-16 18:16:55

Do you mean they offer enhanced rates or just statutory? If you don't qualify then you aren't eligible and it would have been the same wherever you would have started working. Is it maternity allowance you need to apply for now?

Arfarfanarf Mon 21-Nov-16 18:18:28

You should phone acas and see if they can advise you.

JennyOnAPlate Mon 21-Nov-16 18:20:35

No I don't think you have a strong case. You don't get maternity pay if you're already pregnant when you start a job, that's just standard.

Have you applied for maternity allowance?

Bluntness100 Mon 21-Nov-16 18:20:43

I'm sorry, but unless you're thinking of taking them to court, I'm unsure what you can do here, they are saying they made a mistake and won't pay, I don't think how strongly you ask them will change that.

LIZS Mon 21-Nov-16 18:23:03

If you were already pg when you joined you won't be entitled to Smp.

Nottsangel2015 Mon 21-Nov-16 18:27:01

Maternity allowance is basically the same amount as smp except with smp you get the 6 weeks at 90% so aside from those first 6 weeks your not really loosing anything, you have to have been working for a minimum of 26 weeks at the point of being 15 weeks before due date so you were never going to be entitled. Obviously your employer made a mistake stating you would be but legally you are not entitled so not really sure how you can argue to be honest and it's probably not worth it as it's the same amount as maternity allowance anyway x

Nicketynac Mon 21-Nov-16 18:32:37

Are you in a union and do you work for a big company or organisation? You could consider taking a grievance about them not following correct procedures, which might get you something but as people have said above, the right to SMP is determined by law and if you are not entitled then you can't get it.

user1479748167 Mon 21-Nov-16 18:36:25

As per my company policy, I supposed to get 100% of my monthly pay as SMP for 6 months. Huge difference between allowance and SMP.

dementedpixie Mon 21-Nov-16 18:38:26

Does it have the same eligibility criteria though? Normally have to have been there a minimum amount of time to qualify

pinkunicornsarefluffy Mon 21-Nov-16 18:38:47

I thought Maternity Allowance paid at the same rate as SMP? So you should get the same money, providing you earned enough to qualify.

or were you expecting enhanced employer SMP ?

Sadly this shows the need to research everything thoroughly when you start a new job. The government website is very clear on what you need to do to qualify.

YerAWizardHarry Mon 21-Nov-16 18:39:07

100% of your monthly pay isn't SMP, that is an enhanced package. If you were already pregnant when you joined it would be highly unlikely you'd be entitled to any enhanced package from any company

AnchorDownDeepBreath Mon 21-Nov-16 18:40:00

Presumably the policy also says that you need to have been employed there before you were pregnant, though? You can't pick and choose which bits of the policy will apply unfortunately.

pinkunicornsarefluffy Mon 21-Nov-16 18:40:40

sorry, cross post there. I can see there is a huge difference there, but your contract must state that you need to meet Government guidelines or something?

It is sad that they misinformed you, but I don't know where you would stand legally on this. As suggested by PP, I would ring ACAS tomorrow.

ceeveebee Mon 21-Nov-16 18:52:50

SMP is 90% of salary for 6 weeks and then 33 weeks at £130
The 100% for 6 months you are referring to is not SMP, it's an enhanced package that your employee has chosen to give but if you were already pregnant when you started, you won't qualify for it

user1479748167 Mon 21-Nov-16 19:22:09


I spoke to ACAS. I also mentioned that I dont want to confront my company. They advised me to inform company and raise grievance . ACAS also mentioned that company should pay enhanced SMP as per contract until I qualify for allowance in another 2-4 weeks as they violated the rules. They asked me talk to local legal advisers.

GreenTureen Mon 21-Nov-16 20:35:28

As per my company policy, I supposed to get 100% of my monthly pay as SMP for 6 months. Huge difference between allowance and SMP

Unless they're absolute idiots (which with an enhanced package of 6 months full pay I doubt they are) they'll have it written in that you have to have been there for X time (my company is 2 years for the enhanced mat pay) or at the very least that you had to have started working before you were pregnant.

I don't think you have much of a chance op, not at all.

mamatiger2016 Mon 21-Nov-16 20:47:17

Most companies who offer enhanced maternity pay will only pay this once someone has hit 2 years service

Sorry OP but you're being completely unreasonable expecting full maternity pay for 6 months if you have only been working there less than a year.

You can apply for Maternity Allowance which is the same amount as SMP as you won't be eligible for SMP from work given your start date and due date.

It's unfortunately a case of suck it up buttercup

ClarissaDarling Mon 21-Nov-16 20:54:04

Wow! Don't know anywhere that's offering such a generous mat package- 100% for 6 months?!

user1479748167 Mon 21-Nov-16 21:58:21

Some blue-chip MNCs offer 6 months pay. You will qualify as soon as you complete the probation period. In my case, they removed the probation and made me as perm employee from day 1. I have rechecked the offer letter and other documents. There is nothing mentioned about 2 years. I am not expecting 6 months pay. If they are following rules, they should have done it from day 1 and they should have informed me about not paying SMP within 7 days of my notification as per government rules. It would have been helpful to compare other offers. Since, they informed very late, I lost 11 weeks of maternity allowance so far. I just read one more government rule that SMP and maternity allowance can not go together. In this case, they should have paid SMP for the 11 weeks for failing to inform me on right time. As ACAS recommended, I will be going via legal route.

flowery Mon 21-Nov-16 22:07:31

You are not entitled to SMP and it would have been easy to check that before starting work with this employer.

You have mentioned 100% of pay for 6 months. This is not SMP, it is your employers enhanced maternity pay scheme, and they get to set the terms and conditions for that. It would be highly unusual to qualify for enhanced maternity pay so early in employment, but the maternity policy should be clear on who it applies to. Have you checked the maternity policy?

ClarissaDarling Mon 21-Nov-16 22:12:32

So you work in finance/stock exchange? Not something I know about as nhs. But... There's a whole section about it in my contact which I made sure I read! Do you have yours to hand to read?

Ta1kinpeece Mon 21-Nov-16 22:18:37

If you are already pregnant when you take a job you are not entitled to SMP
thats a basic point of law

if your employer chooses to pay lots extra, that is their choice but you have to accept their rules

AnchorDownDeepBreath Mon 21-Nov-16 22:20:06

I think ACAS have advised you well - I would get legal advice before you do anything else, especially raising this with your company.

Bluntness100 Mon 21-Nov-16 22:25:22

I think as you on one hand say you need the money and on the other hand say you are going to spend a fortune on suing them your posts are not logical.

Look up uour legal rights, read your contract, have they complied? If so, then stop throwing threats around.

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