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Maternity pay nightmare

(15 Posts)
justhayley Wed 14-Sep-11 19:51:16

Hiya I am 8 weeks pregnant and am trying to get some advice regarding maternity pay and leave.
I work full time for a franchise company, I have worked for the company for 5 years however I only became a full time member of staff earlier this year when I got promoted to manager.
However my boss is a bit of a nightmare.(take a bit as the biggest understatement of the year). He took over the franchise in December 2011 and neither myself or any of the staff members have any kind of contract in place.
He does not pay sick pay or holiday pay, which i only found out when another member of staff had to take 2 weeks sick with a doctors note and didnt get a penny she was so upset with the situation and other rubbish like this she left. I am affriad that he will not even consider Maternity Pay.

At this early stage he is not aware of my pregnancy.

Do all employers have to pay maternity leave or as I do not have a contract is he able to say that if I can not work I cant not get any money? If this is the case is there any sort of govenment maternity funding?

I do not want to leave my job,as my plan is to buy the franchise off him in the next few years, however of course if I m going to be left without any money when i need to take maternity leave then I need to start thinking about looking for another job.

The company I work for is international and the biggest fitness franchise in the world, however the particular franchise that I manage is small and im not sure what my rights are if any regarding maternity and a contract.

Lastly if i do have to leave my current job would it be totally wrong not tell tell a new employer that i am expecting for a while so i can get maternity leave and pay?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks ladies,
hope your all having nice sick free days smile

Hayley x

MixedBerries Wed 14-Sep-11 20:02:24

I'm no lawyer but I'm pretty sure that your employer is acting illegally by refusing sick pay and so on. But that doesn't really help you as you're unlikely to want a lawsuit on your hands!
Anyway, Directgov is pretty useful on this. This page tells you all about SMP. If your employer won't pay it for whatever reason then they have to fill out a form so you can claim Maternity Allowance from the state. This is £128.73 a week or 90 per cent of your usual wage (whichever is lower). More on Maternity Allowance here
It may also be worth contacting citizens advice who are fantastic at dealing with queries like this. Your rights to maternity leave and pay are pretty strongly upheld in the UK so I'm sure you'll get something from somewhere. Good luck and let us know what happens...!

hairylights Wed 14-Sep-11 20:07:54

You're entitles to statutory sick pay ... If a company decides to pay over and above that is their choice nuttiest is no obligation.

You are entitled to 28 days paid leave a year (Inc bank holidays)

A contract is in place if you work for a company, whether a written contract is provided is neither here nor there.

If you meet the criteria which you can read about here then you are entitled to statutory maternity pay.

hairylights Wed 14-Sep-11 20:09:51

Nuttiest was meant to read "but is"

hairylights Wed 14-Sep-11 20:12:37

[ statutory sick pay]]

entitlement to paid holidays

justhayley Wed 14-Sep-11 20:14:02

Thank you smile will check that site out. To be honest i think he is probably being illegal with a few things. Hes a bit of a wheeler dealer and when it comes to money likes to cut corners. Its so frustrating as its a fantastic company to work for and after 5 years i dont want to leave but since hes taken over its been really unstable. I know that 2 of the younger newer members of staff are still on job seekers and getting cash in hand (he doesnt know i know this) and one of the other girls is getting below minimum wage and he said he wont tell the tax man shes working the hours she is for housing bennefit or something.
Iv only recently taken over as manager but dont have any say on what goes on with the wages. Although he pays me properly im always on edge with him as i never know if one month he's just decide to pay me less money.
Iv put up with it so far however now i have or will have a baby to think about in 7 months i need some security.

I am trying to get contracts in place for myself and the girls that i work with so we know where we stand and would love to report all his dodgey dealings, however because I plan to buy the franchise off him in a year or so I dont want to get on his bad side or get the place closed down. And i dont think i stand much of a chance getting him to agree with cotracts.

I think Citezens advice is a good shout - not only about my maternity but the whole situation has to come to an end really.

Thanks x

hairylights Wed 14-Sep-11 20:14:12


statutory sick pay after four days I'll

susey Wed 14-Sep-11 20:14:28

Hiya, you need to have a good read of the relevant section of And secondly, don't confuse maternity leave and maternity pay, treat them as two concepts in your head. You're entitled to 52 wks maternity leave, but what maternity pay you're entitled to depends on how long you worked there/your employment status.

justhayley Wed 14-Sep-11 20:15:39

thank you hairy lights - your messages came through when i was typying lol.

hairylights Wed 14-Sep-11 20:16:08

Personally, if I were the manager in a company that was doing this stuff, I would be seriously worried about my culpability in all of this.

hairylights Wed 14-Sep-11 20:18:19

Good luck! And do use the directgov site it's really useful for proving what is legal! The employment issues section on here is also good for getting advice - flowery is a well respected HR specialist.

RickGhastley Wed 14-Sep-11 20:18:26

Just to add that it makes no difference whether or not you have a written contract of employment, so don't let your boss fob you off with that.

nilequeen Wed 14-Sep-11 20:20:29

Did you realise that your boss is entitled to, and should, claim back your maternity pay from HMRC? He'll get at least 92% of it back and if he's a small business he can claim the money up front to prevent cash flow problems and may even be entitled to compensation.

If you tell him this, surely even a prick like him won't grudge you maternity pay.

justhayley Wed 14-Sep-11 20:25:07

I am really worried!! iv made the area director aware of what is going on and they are looking into him and the way he attempts to run his business, but nothing seems to be happening at the moment. Whats ironic is my Fiance up until last week worked for tax fraud and advised me to at least get something in writing showing that I have tried to put a stop to all the crap thats going on since the new owner took over, which i have done, but because I want to buy his company if I do really push things he wont sell it to me. Iv been uming and arhing what to do for a few months but now im expecting its really pushing me to want to get everything in order - dont particuly want to be fighting a legal battle right now but I need to protect myself and my bump!

justhayley Wed 14-Sep-11 20:30:05

thanks rick! Thats good to know.
Also Nilequeen maybe when i tell him i'll start with this so i dont freak him out!
Your right he is a prick but hes a prick with a business i want otherwise i would have walked out months ago baby or not!

Thanks so much everyone, feel so much better now, I had a vision of me having a baby and not having a penny to pay for it! Youv all helped put my mind at rest
With the mums net Army onside i will feed my baby lol

and hey when i get to take over if you all want jobs you know where I am smile

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