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Maternity contracts - make sure you ask this question

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by supply slave, Jul 9, 2011.

  1. Will the contract be honoured if the teacher returns early? Many contracts have a clause written into them saying they can terminate the contract with little or no notice. I was lucky that the school had not done this and so have to honour the remainder after they tried to terminate with just one days notice.
     
  2. By law the person on maternity leave needs to give 8 weeks notice of returning to work so this shouldn't really happen. My first ever job was a 2 term mat cover and the teacher never came back for the rest of the year so they kept me then made me permanent and I was there 7 yrs til I relocated. When I was on maternity I had to give notice in writing. I was not teaching at the time but my grien was and she had to inform governors with requests for part time so some people may nit come back full time and you could get a job share too.
     
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Many maternity contracts state a reduced notice period, instead of the normal half a term it may be just 4 weeks.
    And that 4 weeks may be just before the summer holiday, so the new Mum gets the holiday pay, not you.
    There is actually very little that you can do about this, I'm afraid. A school cannot afford to pay both of you, and the returning teacher is very much within her rights to choose a return date that gives her the best financial deal.
    Anyone would!
    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 Workshops. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews, with practical exercises that people really appreciate.
     
  4. My maternity contract was 1 week's notice on either side. The great thing was I was able to use this to my advatage too. You don't have to wait the full half term before giving notice, so remember it does give you felixibility too. The person on maternity cover is supposed to give the school 8 weeks notice of their return date, unfortunately, some schools do not pass this on to the person doing the maternity cover until the last minute - this is the part I feel is wrong, but this is a reflection on individual schools imho.
    You have to ask yourself though, do you want a job or not? And a maternity cover is better than nothing and is a foot in the door. I looked for a post for after Christmas as the person I was doing maternity cover for said they were coming back in Feb. They had said this all along but changed their minds and came back at Easter - this actually left the head with a difficult predicament as I gained a post in January elsewhere until August, which was better for me in terms of pay.
    As Theo says, the person on mat leave has these rights. Some schools manage it better than others. My school kept communication with me open, but I was given different end dates by the outgoing head and the new incoming head in September which had to be clarified. The school I am going to this September has employed someone on a fixed year contract as they wanted the same person in front of the kids for the year. The maternity person is doing PPA cover and then this will be picked up by someone doing a mat cover or a fixed term supply as this is less disruptive to a whole class.
    The best way I found to manage a maternity cover was to take it but also be honest with the school that I would be applying for other posts (either perm or longer fixed term contracts) most heads will understand that you need employment and they understand the difficulty of maternity contracts.
     

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