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Dear Theo - notice period on a maternity contract

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by MrsFBrown, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. Hi,
    I'm on a maternity cover and I want to leave. I'm employed directly by the school. I've never received a proper contract giving me a notice period.
    The HR department at the school told me I have to give the same notice period as a regular teacher but that they just have to tell me when the permanent post-holder intends to come back (with no stated amount of time they need to tell me within). My HOD says the HR dept told her that in fact I only have to give one week's notice.
    I have done a maternity cover before and in that school I had a contract stating that there was a 1 month notice period on both side.
    Can anyone tell me what the actual notice period on a maternity contract is when you don't have a contract stating what exactly the notice period is?
    Many thanks X
     
  2. Had a shot at anserwing this one on supply thread although I would bow to the superior knowledge of Theo if I got it wrong
     
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Here is SupplySlave's other answer: http://community.tes.co.uk/forums/t/555690.aspx
    SS is correct that they have 8 weeks from the start of your employment to give you a contract (aka statement of conditions of employment). Insist on getting one asap.
    It is normal fair practice for there to be equal notice periods on both sides. The advice to you from the school's HR employee is not fair practice. Ask him/her to put in writing the notice period on both sides, and see what it says. You could reasonably ask for this by the end of the school day on Friday.
    You will need to get secure advice from your union, but I don't think that you need worry about being locked into the school for months. You should be able to get out a great deal sooner - unless they are suggesting that they will give you the permanent teacher's notice period of 2 or 3 months terminating on 30 April or 31 August.
    So should be good for you.
    Best wishes
    _______________________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Seminars. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews, with practical exercises that people really appreciate.
    I shall be doing the Win That Teaching Job seminar on Saturday February 25th, and also the Moving into Headship or SLT seminar on Saturday 17th March.
    www.tesweekendworkshop87.eventbrite.com
    www.tesweekendworkshop90.eventbrite.com
     
  4. Dear Theo and Supply Slave,
    Thank you so much for your replies. I feel a bit better now and shall proceed on the basis that they can't force me to stay. I have heard on the grapevine that the permanent post holder intends to return sometime in the summer term and I want to resign now so that I am free to apply for jobs starting after Easter.
    I really appreciate your help.

     
  5. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    So start looking again at the interview clickables and refresh your application skills.
    Good luck.
    _______________________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Seminars. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews, with practical exercises that people really appreciate.
    I shall be doing the Win That Teaching Job seminar on Saturday February 25th, and also the Moving into Headship or SLT seminar on Saturday 17th March.
    www.tesweekendworkshop87.eventbrite.com
    www.tesweekendworkshop90.eventbrite.com
     
  6. I am currently on a maternity contract which was initially due to expire at February half term, however we have still had no contact from the lady on maternity leave and I have been told that it is "safe to assume that it'll be Easter" when I finish. More relevant to your comment Theo, in the terms of my employment, I am required to give 2 calendar months notice to leave whilst my employers are required to give me only 1 week! Are the school doing anything wrong by doing this or simply not following best practice?

    Herr Holz
     
  7. The important thing here is how long have you been in this post and why haven't you been given a contract of employment. As we have said previously the employer legally has up to 8 weeks to provide this. If it is longer than 8 weeks then the employer is in breach of employment law already.My partner (when she was alive) was a solicitor and notice may be given by either party to the contract BUT that notice must be identical for either party. Otherwise that is an unfair contract term and is therefore unenforcable in law and could leave the employer liable to action for damages due to wrongful dismissal. In which case the theoretical compensation value is infinite but won't be more than the total salary you would have recieved up to the expected contract expiry date (as it was understood to be fixed term). Legal advice is sorely needed here - get in touch with your union (head office may be better) if you are a member.
     

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