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HELP!!!! NHS contractual maternity pay

(13 Posts)
user1495123676 Thu 18-May-17 17:26:03

Hello!!
i'm currently only an NHS fixed term 1 year contract that is due to expire 03/07/2017. I'm currently 25 weeks pregnant, because my due date is within 11 weeks of my contract finishing i am aware that i am entitled to Statutory mat pay (SMP). My issue is with the contractual mat pay.
So, i have been employed within the NHS since January 2014, with no breaks and have been on this fixed term contract since 03/07/2016.
My HR are telling me that due to not having a contract to come back to at the end of my maternity leave, i can not state that i intend to return to work with them or a different NHS employer (i do fully intend to work as i will be applying for jobs, i don't want to loose my NHS continuous service benefits)and so i am not entitled to Contractual Maternity Pay. but looking at the nhs employers terms and condition hand book, it suggests to me that i am! this is a section from the hand book...

'Fixed-term contracts or training contracts
15.42 Employees subject to fixed-term or training contracts which expire after the 11th week
before the expected week of childbirth and who satisfy the conditions in paragraphs 15.7 (i),
15.7 (ii) (a), 15.7 (ii) (b) and 15.7 (ii) (d), shall have their contracts extended so as to allow
them to receive the 52 weeks, which includes paid contractual and statutory maternity pay,
and the remaining 13 weeks of unpaid maternity leave.
15.43 Absence on maternity leave (paid and unpaid) up to 52 weeks before a further NHS
appointment shall not constitute a break in service.
15.44 If there is no right of return to be exercised because the contract would have ended if
pregnancy and childbirth had not occurred, the repayment provisions set out in paragraph
15.41 will not apply.
15.45 Employees on fixed-term contracts who do not meet the 12 months’ continuous service
condition set out in paragraph 15.7 (i), may still be entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay.'

I do satisfy all the points that are made.

Just wondered is anyone else had been in the same situation and what outcome they got...

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!

Charlotte smile

adlertippa Fri 19-May-17 10:18:03

Are you in a union? I'm NHS but on a full time contract so don't know about your situation, but the union would be the people to ask. All the best

teainbed Fri 19-May-17 10:25:50

I think you're correct @user1495123676 I had similar when I was a junior doctor on training contracts. I took the maternity pay and applied for the next job whilst on mat leave (I wasn't on a rotation). If I'd not found a job I'd have had to pay it back.

BentleyBelly Fri 19-May-17 19:56:10

I'm also on a fixed term contract. To get contractual mat pay you have to have contract long enough to cover your mat leave and a year after you return to work otherwise you have to pay the extra back plus NI contributions. So if your contract expires 3rd June 2017 it will need to be extended to 3rd June 2019 to get contractual mat pay (if you start mat leave on 3rd june). I will be taking smp and then hoping a grant comes in whilst I am away therefore extending my contract and allowing me to claim contractual mat pay as a lump sum when I return to work. Fixed term contracts are a right pain.

Snoopy30 Fri 19-May-17 20:21:54

Surely they can't say thatshock, I'm also nhs fixed term contract and was planning on ttc soon (and also planned on continuing to work there as long as they would continue to extend my contract), nowhere on the policy does it say you have to have a contract to come back to, only that you have to state you intend to come back to work!? How can they twist that!? Even with permament contracts you only need to work for 3 months after you finish maternity to have qualified so surely you don't need 1 year?
Keep me posted @User, looks like i might need to rethink ttc nowsad and possibly look for another job, although pretty much all jobs in my line of work are fixed term contracts confusedangry.

BentleyBelly Fri 19-May-17 20:28:06

I work for a university hospital trust, not directly the nhs so maybe it is different but that is my mat pay situation.

jinglebellmel Sat 20-May-17 07:36:14

Sounds pretty clear from that that they should be extending your contract unless I'm misunderstanding? Also ending a fixed term contract is legally the same as making a refund any, and when pregnant or on maternity leave they are supposed to do everything they can to avoid this - so unless they can prove there is no longer a need for your role then I think they're on shaky ground not extending while you're on mat leave.

I'd email them the paragraph you've copied here and ask them to explain why it doesn't apply to you.

Emma2803 Sat 20-May-17 08:51:08

I'm in a similarish situation where I will go on mat leave 3 months before my temporary contract ends, I will be there just over two years at this stage. One of the managers told me they have to extend my contract while I'm off on maternity leave. She specially asked when it ended and said that's good they will have to extend it, presumably as I would still be in contract when the baby is born

Snoopy30 Sat 20-May-17 09:17:36

Emma are you getting full nhs maternity pay or just SMP? I think OP is getting the contract extended but they're saying shes not entitled to full maternity pay.

Emma2803 Sat 20-May-17 09:38:54

I am assuming I would be entitled to full pay, I hope so anyway! As I will have 12 weeks left of my contract when I start maternity leave. I haven't discussed it with my own manager yet as I'm only 7 weeks. It seems very unfair if they are going to extend her contract beyond when she will have finished mat leave to not give full benefits.

lougle Sat 20-May-17 09:40:26

To my reading, that is saying that a) you are entitled to contractual maternity pay and b) you will not have to pay back the OMP if you don't have a role to return to (because they can't penalise you for not returning for 3 months if you have no right of return).

Are you in a Union?

user1495123676 Mon 22-May-17 08:38:19

BentleyBelly - No where in any policy does it say you have to have a contract to come back to, just that you 'intend' to come back to work for the NHS which i fully 'intend' to do. The NHS employers handbook blearly states that i should be entitled to contractual if i satisfy the 4 points which i do.

Snoopy30 - I have told them i intend to return to work but they are telling me as i have no contract to come back to i can't intend. I think intend is very broad word. Asked them what would happen if i was to get a job in the NHS whilst on maternity leave, i would have then missed out on contractual maternity leave... my response was 'well that's just bad luck' .

jinglebellmel - Yes, i have sent then the terms and conditions of the nhs employers handbook that apply to my situation so just waiting for a reply from them.

lougle - I am joining one, unfortunately i wasn't before and they don't tend to help unless you have been a member for four weeks.

Thanks everyone for your responses!

Charlotte smile

OhTheRoses Mon 22-May-17 08:53:35

Hmm. I think the point I that you ave three years of continuous service. Thus you have employment rights and even though your contract I fixed term you are entitled to statutory redundancy and they should have consulted about this. Therefore they should be making strenuous efforts to redeploy you whether pg or not. If they truly can't stat red, plus your full entitlement to contractual mat paid up front when you leave (and don't forget your entitlement to contractual holiday pay too).

I'd say they are on very sticky ground but I'm not a lawyer.

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