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Fixed Term Contract - Resignation

Discussion in 'Pay and conditions' started by LauraDaniels, Jan 8, 2020.

  1. LauraDaniels

    LauraDaniels New commenter

    Hi there,

    I was hoping someone would clarify my notice period.

    I am on a Fixed Term Contract to cover Maternity Leave and I have a 6 month probationary period - I started in September.

    In reference to my notice period, it simply states, 'your terms and conditions of employment will be in accordance with the 'Burgundy Book'. I have checked on this, and am aware of the usual resignation deadlines, however it states that....

    “Teachers” means all teachers (including head teachers) who work in schools or
    in centrally managed LEA services and who are remunerated either on a full-time
    basis or a part-time basis, other than:
    (b) those employed on a temporary basis either for a period of one term or
    less or as substitutes for permanently appointed teachers absent for
    reasons such as secondment, prolonged illness or maternity;

    I am looking to leave as soon as possible, so will this be Easter or will it be less?

    Sorry if this seems obvious!
  2. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    It is usually a shorter resignation period for maternity cover posts - because the teacher might change their return date with only three weeks notice. Notice periods are normally the same in either direction. Is there anything about what the probabationary period means?

    I think the first thing to do is to ask them what the notice period is on your contract.They may just have forgotten to add in a bit about the notice period to take account of it being a maternity cover. If they say it's the usual, you might query whether that means they will be giving you the same notice if the teacher decides to come back earlier than originally expected.

    Your union will probably be able to advise.
  3. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    I think the Burgundy Book is confusing on this issue, as it is on many others. After the part you quoted, it says Those teachers falling within category (b) of paragraph 1.1 above shall be covered by all sections of the document, except paragraph 4 of section 3 - unless there is no other stated notice provision within their contract. OK, so we look at paragraph 4 of section 3 and it is about notice given by the school. But then, paragraph 2.2 above that says that those resigning their appointments should give the notice period specified in paragraph 4. My own interpretation would be that the notice period should be less, but how much less I cannot say, and I know that others think differently. And if this interpretation were right, it would be bad news for those on contracts like yours, as schools could give notice to end the contract near the end of term.

    It is common in maternity leave contracts to have a clause that the contract ends if the person on leave returns early. But this is not the same as the school having discretion to terminate early.

    My advice would be to see what the school says, and consult your union if there is an issue. You might be able to agree something without a fuss.

    By the way, I am puzzled by the six month probationary period, which is meaningless if there is no shorter notice period attached.

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