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Fixed-term contracts and TTC, any advice?

Discussion in 'Pregnancy' started by freesia1982, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. Hi,
    Just after some advice if anyone can help. I was employed on a fixed-term contract (1 year) in Sept and assured that it was probationary only and would be made permanent if all was well. My HOD is happy with me and all lesson obs have been good/outstanding, I am a hard worker and spend a lot of time ensuring that the kids have well marked books and well planned lessons. A lot of staff were taken on this year and in order to ensure that backs were covered we were reminded that it may not be made permanent. My HOD is insitant that we cannot lose teachers from the dept but the head has warned that we may go on another year contract.
    I love the school and want to stay there but I want a family more. I am gutted with this news and want to know where I stand with TTC. I will happily stay there but hubby and I agree that we can't put our lives off indenfinately for fixed term contracts. We have made up our minds to start trying but need some advice with timing. If my contract is renewed in May/June and we start trying straight away and I am lucky enough to get pregnant soon what would happen? What would happen if it were sooner and they found out before renewing?
    1) Could they revoke the offer (don't think so but not sure)?
    2) Could they terminate contract earlier?
    3) Where would I stand with leave/pay etc (will be in my 2nd year in same school).
    4) Can they refuse to take me back? I was employed in place of a member of staff who left and not because of greater demand, although we have huge numbers and are the biggest dept in the school.
    I know it seems selfish planning this on a fixed term contract, but we want children more than anything. I am prepared for them to be a bit p***ed off with me, TBH I am fed up with being told one thing at interview and another thing now, even though we are short of teachers in my subject.
    Sorry for huge post, but really need some advice (any will be gratfully recieved).
    Thanks ladies xx
  2. greatfully!
    Sorry, can't work out spellcheck on here.
  3. I'm sorry but I don't know about the legality of the situation. I managed to keep a pregnancy concealed until 14 weeks if that's any help. I'm really sorry you're in this situation.
  4. I was/am in a very similar situation. Basically, as I understand it it goes like this.

    As you have been there 24 weeks you will be entitled to SMP. On top of SMP as you have been in a maintained school for over a year you will be entitled to part of the occupational pay - 4 weeks full pay then 2 weeks at 90% which I think is a bit better than SMP. After that, it depends. If when you come back from maternity you can work at the school for 13 weeks - if you have 13 weeks left on your contract - then you can get the 12 weeks half pay too. If you don't, then you won't be entitled to this bit.

    They can't withdraw an offer of employment once they have made it just because you are pregnant. But if you are in doubt - get it in writing ASAP.

    Also - they have to give a good reason for issuing a temporary contract. There is no such thing as 'probation' that is not a good reason. It should be something like - subject to staffing restructure or course numbers or whatever.

    However if you go on mat leave on a temp contract, I wouldn't necessarily expect it to be renewed - they can always make up a good reason and you get more rights once you have been there over two years so it may be in their interests to come up with a reason.
  5. Sorry about the lack of paragraphs - my MacBook eats them clearly!

    Anyway, if you can afford it, I'd say go for it. I'm about to go on Mat leave, have not been very well at all with pregnancy but wouldn't change it!
  6. Hi Ladies,
    Just wanted to say thanks for the kind replies.
    Weebecca, you always offer kind words of advice to everyone on here. Thank you for caring so much.
    VJ, thanks for advice. OH and I have decided that we can't put our lives of forever so will be getting on with it as soon as I am in the safe area (where I am not at risk of being found out as being PG before contract is extended). As you said, worst case scenario is they don't have me back from maternity leave. I don't want to work somewhere that fickle and unsupportive anyway.
    Thanks again.
    J x
  7. Hi Jens, I'm also on a fixed term/temporary contract for a year and was under the impression it'd be renewed. However due to 'budget changes' it's not being renewed. I have gotten pregnant and will start my mat leave before the end of this year, OH and I also made baby and our life our priority so totally understand where you're coming from. If you go on mat leave and during that time your contract ends - like mine will do, you can switch from Statutory Maternity Allowance to Maternity Allowance, which is the same amount of money. I contacted the benefits agency helpline about this. Good luck with everything xx
  8. Flaming typical!!!
    Sorry to hear about your situation JJF, not that it's helpful to you but it does make me feel a little better knowing that other people are in this situation. Thanks for the advice!
    As far as I know I will be renewed next year so we'll start trying as soon as I get the letter. Problem is that they may keep it temp next year due to "subject demand uncertainty". Core subject, massive dept and one of the highest A Level uptake in the school so I know thats c**p but c'est la vie! I know they can't get rid in terms of too many subject teachers so they'll have to come up with another excuse (which they seem v good at). Almost seems like they do it to try and put women off having kids.
    Hope all goes well in pregnancy and you and OH have a great time being parents. xx

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