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Occupational maternity pay

(9 Posts)
nicola1982 Thu 25-Apr-13 14:18:08


First post on here and am looking for advice re: my rights to occupational maternity pay. I'm a primary teacher who started working at a school in November 2012 which I found through an agency. The head teacher offered me a permanent job before Christmas and said she would interview me during the first week of January. Unfortunately she was unwell and wasn't at work for most of the month. My interview was subsequently moved to February, when I was made permanent.

Today I have been notified that I won't qualify for my local authority's occupational pay, that I would have needed to have been employed from the end of January for it to have been approved. I don't qualify for SMP as I joined the school whilst already 4 months pregnant which I understand but feel pretty pissed off that I now won't receive any occupational pay ( 4 weeks at full pay minus SMP and then 8 weeks at half pay, again minus SMP).

Does anyone have any advice? Could I challenge my school to move the date of my employment back to January? It doesn't seems fair that I miss out on any pay because the head was unwell and so couldn't interview me. I was in school doing the work of a class teacher for 3 months at a very low agency rate as it is so really need the money and am panicking at how I will now have to survive on maternity allowance!
Any advice would be appreciated.

BabyHMummy Thu 25-Apr-13 14:20:10

I would speak to your union rep as they are more likey to be able to help. Although if you are planning to go back after then rocking the boat may not be your best option.

nicola1982 Thu 25-Apr-13 14:37:08

Thanks for your reply. I've already started my maternity leave as due in 2 weeks so difficult to contact union rep. I am going back so anxious about upsetting the school. It's a tricky one!

givemeaclue Thu 25-Apr-13 14:45:10

Unfortunately I don't think you can challenge this. The head teacher doesn't set the maternity pay rules , aassuming state school. It is unfortunate though, presumably you got pg when on agency books? So you wouldn't have had any expectation of getting occ nmaternity pay?

You can still contact your union rep whilst on maternity leave. Also check whether you are eligible for maternity allowance

nicola1982 Thu 25-Apr-13 14:50:32

No, you're right. When I first joined I had no expectations of receiving a penny in occupational pay and I realise I'm very fortunate that I have a job to go back to. However, had I been interviewed when planned I would be receiving the money. I do qualify for MA which I know is better than nothing but some way off what I could have had!

Thanks for the advice.

givemeaclue Thu 25-Apr-13 14:53:40

Worth a call to union rep just to check whether they could help you to look into whether any discretion could be applied or whether any precedence has been set

LadyMedea Thu 25-Apr-13 15:53:42

For most occupational schemes I'm familiar with you don't qualify unless you get pg after (or at nearly the same time) as starting. So I'm surprised that moving it by a month would make a difference.

If it does then you might try and push the fact that you were really offered the job in January but it couldn't be done officially until later. Tough sell though.

nicola1982 Thu 25-Apr-13 16:49:58

Yes, I know. I was surprised too. Just had confirmation that they will change the date and I will receive pay for the period I had anticipated. Panic over! Thanks for all your replies.

BabyHMummy Thu 25-Apr-13 20:02:02

Congrats!! That is great news!!!

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