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Full time teacher, Maternity cover, pay issue for summer holiday

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by skychu28, Mar 12, 2016.

  1. skychu28

    skychu28 New commenter

    Hi everyone, I am currently a NQT full time teacher in an independent school for maternity cover. I have been working in this school since the day when the autumn/winter term started in 2015. The school no longer needs my service for next year therefore issued a confirmation letter saying my contract ends on the day when this academic year ends (which is officially Saturday the 25th June 2016). Therefore I will not get paid over the summer holiday.

    Officially when the contract ends I would have been teaching in school for the whole academic year and I really do think I deserve the pay over the summer holiday. Hence I wonder is there any way I can negotiate with the school for paying me until the end of August?

    Thank you for all.
  2. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    I'm sorry you're in this position, but its not uncommon. Schools frequently cannot afford to pay two salaries over the Summer, even Independents. You could try negotiating, but be prepared to be told no.

    I would advise you to look for another job - one that will let you start on 1st July. And that way you get paid for the Summer.
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    That, I'm afraid, is the very sorry situation that many people are in at the end of a maternity cover role.

    They probably have to start paying the new mother from the beginning of the holidays, prior to her starting teaching again in September, so they will not want - or perhaps will not be able - to pay double wages.

    Yes, it seems very unfair. But that's the way it goes, I'm afraid. :(

    There is very little chance indeed that they will pay you for the summer holidays. You could try asking, but there is no negotiation here - a negotiation suggests that each side has something that they could gain. They have only something to lose. :( :(

    Look at your contract, issued in the autumn term probably. It may say until 31 August, but even if it does - look at the Notice Period . . . for many maternity cover posts it is only one month, some only one week - so they could stop paying you, say, before Whitsun if your pupils are off doing GCSE and A-level exams, if they gave you notice after Easter. :( :( :(

    You need now to concentrate on two things:
    • The successful completion of your induction year
    • Getting a job for next September.
    But do ask if it might be possible to pay you over the summer. A well-funded Indy might consider it.

    Best wishes

  4. WombatStewForTea

    WombatStewForTea New commenter

    The same thing happened to me. The only difference was that I was starting a permanent post at the same school in the September so felt like an extra kick in the teeth.
    It's annoying but just one of those things.
  5. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    The only thing one can do is to try and get a maternity cover starting around Easter - that will cut across 2 school years and so (in my experience, I did a couple such) you will get paid for August. And also independent schools do, in my experience, tend to be roe generous, and will sometimes offer a full year's salary whenever the person on maternity leave returns.
  6. katykook

    katykook Occasional commenter

    I think the problem is that teachers' pay is spread over the year - they are not paid holidays as such. For example you might be on a salary of £22,000 which is paid over 12 months. When authorities organised supply teaching you got paid a daily rate which reflected how much you would be paid hourly as a contracted teacher this was why people used to think supply teaching was lucrative forgetting that supply teachers couldn't earn during the holidays. Of course now that supply is run by agencies there seems to be a free for all on daily rates with agencies creaming off their percentage. If you were contracted by the school you should get a proportion of the pay you would have received during the holidays relative to how much of the school year you have taught.
    wanet likes this.
  7. lucywig

    lucywig New commenter

    I'm sorry to say I had exactly the same experience. Did my NQT on a maternity contract and got 2 weeks notice at start of June that my contract would be terminated and I wouldn't be paid in the summer. The only saving grace is that I had have a job lined up for September but I had no pay for July and August and then paid at end of September! I tried to look for a any temporary job to put me on until September but obviously no one wanted to employ someone they thought was leaving come September! I feel really sorry for you but if your contact was like mine it will have said in the terms and conditions that your contract would be terminated when the mother you had covered stated that she was coming back

  8. skychu28

    skychu28 New commenter

    Thank you all for the replying so far. I am afraid the school worded the contract in a very vague way that no clear states on either the holiday or the length of the contract. I looked into the Burgundy book and it states that the summer term should be between 1st May to 31st August for all full-time teacher - despite I am on Maternity cover I am still a full-time on the contract. That's why I believe there should be some negotiation room.

    I think I will try to reason with the school and two-month salary really is not that big an issue for such a big independent school.
  9. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    I am afraid you are on a fixed term contract which ends when either you or the school gives notice per the terms of the contract. You are not a permanent employee.

    You can sign on for JSA during the summer holidays, if this is your situation.

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