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Occupational Maternity Pay

Discussion in 'Pay and conditions' started by frustum, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. frustum

    frustum Lead commenter

    The main point of the clause in your contract is to prevent you taking advantage of maternity leave to get another job on top of the one you're taking mat leave from. But of course it is rather different if you are already doing two different jobs. Arguably you are only being paid maternity pay on Monday-Wednesday, and so Thursday and Friday are not part of the maternity leave, but it's not recorded that way!
    The rules are very unclear on this one. I was in a similar situation, wanting to return to one job earlier than the other. In my case, the wording of the "you can't work during maternity leave" was ambiguous, as it didn't clearly state whether that was just for the employer concerned (which is what some employers state), or for any employer. Neither employer would clarify.
    It may be that you can get hold of someone with common sense at HR who will be prepared to give you some written agreement to you continuing your other job for the 2 days you're not contracted to the school.
    I eventually managed to get hold of someone at the Inland Revenue, who confirmed that whether the employer will pay maternity pay while you're working for someone else is a matter for them - the Inland Revenue don't care. So they won't say "hey, employer, she's been carrying on with her self employment". I figured at that point that they wouldn't actually know if the IR didn't tell them, and so returned on different dates. With two large employers and me being an anonymous cog, they weren't likely to notice, and if they had, I would have pointed to their complete failure to answer my questions.
    By the way, beware of assuming that you can do two days a week of work without childcare. I did one day a week (from home) from 5/6 months, and that was about the limit. Obviously people vary, but fitting work in when they're asleep is harder than you might imagine! You may need to keep the business ticking over, but do what you can to minimise what you will need to do, or look around for a childminder who might have your child for a few hours.
     
  2. Thank you so much for your answer Frustrum. I guess I really am going to have to bite the bullet and speak to them. As you say, the occupational side of maternity pay is really at their discretion. I just hope they listen to reason and realise i'm not trying to get money i'm not entitled to.

    Thanks also for the advice about childcare. I've got a few things in place which i'm hoping will work out. One of the good things about my self employed job is that I can do the hours whenever I like, so i'm hoping to do some on the weekend when my husband is around to help out. He also works from home 1 day a week so fingers crossed we'll be able to get this to work. Wish me luck!
     

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