I'm new to all this so not sure If I'm posting in the right thread so apologies if I'm not. I'm 14 weeks pregnant with my first child (and very happy) I started work on the 30th July when I was 5 weeks pregnant, I'm on a contract until July 2013 but the baby is due 21st March so I won't be staying for my whole contract, does anyone know whether I would be entitled to maternity pay from my work? I'm thinking once I leave to go on maternity then I won't be coming back coz my contract would of finished so not sure if I'm entitled to anything? Hope that kind of makes sense!! Thanks for your help xxx
The rules around this are quite complicated, but if you have 26 weeks' continuous service with that employer (I assume when you say you're on a contract, you mean a fixed term contract) by the 15th weeks before your due date, you are entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay, even if your contract expires while you are off.
As Fliss says, though, you will probably be entitled to Maternity Allowance if you are not entitled to SMP.
Worth checking your employer's staff handbook as well. Maternity policies are typically poorly drafted and so you may even strike it lucky and be entitled to a bit of company maternity pay.
Thanks BonaDea it does seem very complicated, you would think they would make this a little easier, I will have a chat with my HR lady, I just wanted to see if I could figure it out first so I know I'm not being messed about with, thanks again x
In my experience HR departments are very good at telling you what you're entitled to. I had an hour long meeting in which we discussed my maternity pay, pension contributions, childcare vouchers etc, and went through a year planner right through to 2014 (when I should be returning to work) so that I knew exactly what to expect. Mind you I work for a rather large company
It's such a minefield, especially when shorter term contracts are involved! Hope you get the support you need, but your HR department should know everything. Congrats btw!
But basically, if you started work when you were 5 weeks pregnant you won't be legally entitled to SMP - to have 26 weeks continous service by 15 weeks before the due date, you need to have been working for the employer before you got pregnant. It's still worth talking to your HR lady though, as some companies do go above and beyond the legal minimum with regard to maternity leave and pay.
You may however be eligible for Maternity Allowance - the page I linked to above also gives further links to guidance about Materity Allowance.
I'm due 22 March and self employed so I know about Maternity Allowance. You can get it if you've been paying your National Insurance class 2 contributions and the DirectGov links will tell you how long you will need to have been paying it to qualify. It might be worth talking to the HMRC National Insurance people if you weren't working before you started this contract as you could backdate payments to the beginning of the tax year to be sure you qualify.