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Pay and additional responsibilities before going on maternity...

Discussion in 'Pay and conditions' started by milly8627, Jul 28, 2015.

  1. milly8627

    milly8627 New commenter

    Hello everyone!

    I am hoping someone might be able to help me with a few questions that I have about pay at my new school. I have had a tough year! I moved to a new school last September in SLT but quickly realised that the school was not for me. It made me quite down and depressed at the time. My husband and I wanted to start a family but decided that I needed to move jobs before we even considered it.

    There weren’t any SLT jobs going mid-year so I happily moved back into the classroom at Easter. I have taken quite a pay drop at this new school however I felt it was worth it for my sanity! Then (as these things seem to happen!) I found out that I was pregnant! We are both very happy about this and I am due in December. My school have been understanding about this so far.

    My questions are…

    [*]Is it reasonable to expect to go up the pay scale in September? I have met all of my appraisal targets at my last school but don&rsquo;t have any at my new school yet. I have said quite a few times that I am happy to take on extra responsibilities and have experience as key stage co-ordinator, SENCO, NQT mentor etc etc
    [*]Is it expected that because I am pregnant that I won&rsquo;t be given additional responsibilities because I will be going on maternity? I understand that they want to give roles to people that will be there but at the same time it feels a little unfair that I am being passed up just because I am pregnant!
    [*]Lastly, when I return from maternity do I need to work the 13 weeks notice at the same school or can I move to another school straight away within the same LEA? I am not planning on doing this but I might need to consider it if it is better financially.

    Thank you in advance for any info/advice you can give me!
  2. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    Hi and many congratulations!

    In brief:

    1) Whether or not you go up the pay scale in September will depend entirely on your new school's pay policy. As you know there are no longer any common rules. I believe you could make a convincing argument on the basis of evidence of the previous year's targets having been met and evidenced - but there's no guarantee.

    2) If the reason you are given no additional responsibilities is your pregnancy and impending maternity leave, this would be a discriminatory act, contrary to the provisions of Equality Act 2010. You may wish to familiarise yourself with the protection afforded to woman who are pregnant or on maternity leave via:


    3) As for notice - it all depends what your contract of employment says! (I assume we are talking notice to avoid having to pay back contractual maternity pay?) You are otherwise free to give whatever contractual notice you are bound to give while on maternity leave. Daisyslot will be along at some point and I dare say you'll get a more helpful answer from her!
  3. milly8627

    milly8627 New commenter

    Thank you GLsghost for the info!

    I will need to see what they say in September at my appraisal regarding the pay side of things.

    The head has already said that he was going to give me an SLT role to cover someone going on maternity but then I would be leaving a couple of months later myself. I completely understand this decision but I don't want to not be offered anything just because I am going on maternity. If they were to give me any additional roles it would also be more reason for my pay to go up.

    It just seems a little frustrating that I worked hard in my last school to fulfil the appraisal targets (that were very high!) and this not to be reflected in my pay. In hindsight I should have pushed for new targets when I started here and then would have had more evidence to back up my reasons to progress up the pay scale.
  4. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    It's worth repeating this information again and again:

    If you can get an illicit recording of your Head repeating his comment above, or something like it, you have very strong evidence of discrimination. No, it is not illegal and illicit recordings are automatically admissable in discrimination cases. I take along a mini recorder to workplace meetings in which discrimination is the issue all the time and have been advised to do that by our specialist employment support team! (If you then broadcast the recording to the world, you could fall foul of data protection legislation. If you keep it to yourself and use it as evidence only, a judge is likely to see the recording as proportionate and reasonable.)
  5. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Notwithstanding all the advice about your rights and the legalities, it may be worth thinking about whether you would really want to take on the extra responsibility for the last couple of months of your pregnancy, knowing that the role will have been handed back to the original postholder by the time you return. Okay, so maybe it would feel like a foot in the door, but whoever takes over when you go on maternity leave will also get their foot in the door, and you can't prevent that. You might do better to leave it, and apply for any SLT post that arises later on the basis of your prior experience - your head obviously recognises that you have that, and probably also realises that you may look elsewhere if you don't get any management opportunities fairly soon after you return. Doing the job for a couple of months isn't going to make a big difference, and if you have tough pregnancy, there's potential for it to have a negative effect (I'm not talking about if you're off school, but if you are tired and don't do the job to quite your normal high standards - people won't necessarily know that you'd normally do it better).

    By all means pursue the discrimination case (which is strong if you can get the evidence of the change of mind), but do just consider whether it is worth it.

    Whatever happens, you should make it very clear that you would be interested in any SLT posts that might arise at a later date: supposing the postholder steps down on their return, and you are still on maternity leave, you are entitled to be informed of the opportunity to apply for the post.
  6. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Actually, slight correction needed to the last paragraph. Heads can make any appointment they like, without advertising, so I guess that means that if they decide to do that, there is no opportunity of which you must be informed. However if the post is advertised in school while you are on maternity leave, and you are not informed, that would be discrimination. And if they just made the appointment without advertising and without considering you, they would need to be able to show that the reason they didn't consider you was nothing to do with you being on maternity leave.

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