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Maternity allowance - fixed contract

Discussion in 'Pregnancy' started by Bluebellpettle, Nov 8, 2017.

  1. Bluebellpettle

    Bluebellpettle New commenter


    I am after some advice on maternity allowance please.

    I left a permanent contract in an Academy in order to relocate, I am now in a 1 year fixed term contract in a new school- ending August 2018. I am in my thirties and my OH and I have discussed trying for a baby for a number of years now and I always delayed due to work and wanting to buy a house first We currently have a house purchase going through- hence the relocation to somewhere more affordable. I had to find and take another job to ensure we would get the mortgage but the reality is I have fallen out of in love with teaching and would like to retrain in the future. Being a woman I also need to factor in having a baby too! I already spoke to my union and know I would not be entitled to maternity pay as my contract ends in Aug 2017 ( I thought of trying for a Sept/Oct/Nov baby). But to be honest I've waited to so long to have children I can't imagine myself wanting to rush back to work after 6 months and would likely want to leave anyway and therefore be faced with paying the maternity back ( is my understanding).

    SO my question is, what would I be entitled to if my contract ends in Aug 2017. I am worried that we won't be able to manage on SMP as I am I am currenlty on the upper pay scale and used to a good wage. I don't want my maternity leave to be plagued by money worries. Would I be missing out by not waiting to see if they will make me permanent first before trying for a baby?

    thanks in advance for your advise
  2. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    If you are in a position to begin maternity leave before the end of August 2018 (I presume you meant 2018), then you would be entitled to SMP - 6 weeks at 90% pay and then £140.98 for 33 weeks. As I understand it, you get that even if your contract ends the day after you start maternity leave. The employer reclaims it from the government, I think, so they're not out of pocket. You can start maternity leave eleven weeks before due date, so a due date before mid-November would allow that.

    No point in worrying about the extra "occupational maternity pay" if you don't intend to return. (If you do qualify, but don't intend to return, you don't have to take it in the first place.)

    If you don't qualify for SMP, you would still qualify for Maternity Allowance - £140.98 for 39 weeks. For that, you need to have been teaching for 26 weeks of the preceding 66, or something like that - so you'll qualify for that even if the due date ends up well into 2019.

    If your contract becomes permanent, then a due date at least 15 weeks after you have been there for a year would mean you'd qualify for the Burgundy Book pay. If you don't go back, that's no gain, but if, for instance, you wouldn't mind going back from the May half-term until the end of August, you would then gain the extra maternity pay, plus 13 weeks full pay, all for doing 6 weeks teaching!

    So, option 1: go for the autumn, assume you'll be on just SMP/MA. Option 2: delay and aim for after Christmas, on the off-chance your job becomes permanent. If it does, you'd have the option on returning if you wanted, even if only for a shortish while; if it doesn't, you would still qualify for Maternity Allowance, so no huge difference.
  3. Bluebellpettle

    Bluebellpettle New commenter

    Thank you, that makes it so clear and yes I did mean Aug 2018.

    Can I ask, if I didn’t return to teaching - do you have to pay back all pay minus SMP allowance?

    I’m just worrying that I’ll lose out on money that we’ll likely desperately need with the mortgage and hopefully a baby! I know we’d manage, but who wants to scrape through with a newborn.

    Thanks for you reply. I’ve fo my head around it much more now
  4. Bluebellpettle

    Bluebellpettle New commenter

    Hello again, sorry but I read your post again. When I spoke to my union, they said that I wouldn’t be eligible for maternity pay once my contract ends in Aug. Therefore even if maternity leave started before end of Aug 2018 I wouldn’t get paid as after that I’d be out of contract... or is this wrong?

    Just to clarify if I didn’t get it- all I would miss out on is 6 weeks 90% pay. As it would go down to SMP amount then anyway?
  5. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    My understanding was that you would get SMP even after the contract ends. This link and this one suggest that's the case, although the maternity leave would have ended (so you would not be continuously employed, for instance).

    But if the union are right, you would get the MA anyway, so yes, it is only the 6 weeks 90% pay (minus the SMP) that you would miss out on.
  6. Bluebellpettle

    Bluebellpettle New commenter

    thank you for your reply.. Thats not as bad I was initially thought then!
    A bit frightening actually adding up maternity pay though- its not a lot is it!

    Thanks again

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