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School say I am only entitled to SMP and not sure why

Discussion in 'Pregnancy' started by goldentramp85, Nov 28, 2015.

  1. goldentramp85

    goldentramp85 New commenter


    I'm desperate for some help.

    I have been on maternity leave for almost a month (Starter on 2nd Nov) and received no payment schedule from the school, still. My school now tell me I only entitled to 90% for 6 weeks (Statutory Maternity Pay) even though this is the 4th year that I have worked there. I don't understand why I wouldn't qualify?

    A fellow teacher who went on maternity leave a week ago, is on the enhanced Occupational Maternity Pay at 100% for first 4 weeks plus the 50% for 12weeks etc. She received her payment schedule as she went on leave. I don't understand why I would be treated differently?

    My contract says that school use the Burgundy Book rules when it comes to leave and I have checked on the TES maternity flow chart and read the NASUWT guidelines. All say I should have more than just SMP. The school won't explain their decision to me and I don't know a) what I have done which means I fall into SMP category b) what I should do to resolve this?

    This is causing untold stress so if anyone can shed any light, I would really really really appreciate it.
    Thank you
  2. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    If the school will not explain their decision then you should consider contacting your union.
  3. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    Hello there - I'm so appalled that this seems to have happened to you without explanation, and at a time when other things absolutely should be taking precedent.

    Here's what I think I would do…
    1. Print off the flow chart www.tesfaq.co.uk - highlight where you fall… Write formally to the head with the copy enclosed politely requesting an explanation for the schools rationale for denying you your entitlement. Also inform them you are also disappointed to have not had a payment schedule. Request that a response be made within 10 working days after which you will consult your union for further guidance on your discriminatory treatment and the illegal withholding of pay.

    2. Contact your union. Inform them and ask them to raise a case in preparation for no response being forthcoming.

    3. Be canny. Innocently phone your HR department directly - I am assuming here you are in an LEA maintained school - and just curtly raise enquiry… See if that kick starts any resolution.

    Do let us know how you get on. Meanwhile… I do hope this isn't distracting from time with Goldtramp junior.
  4. goldentramp85

    goldentramp85 New commenter

    Thank you to you both. My school is academy which I checked what rules I was bound under in my contract. It says Burgundy Book.

    The HR department are what is causing the stress - they are the ones who say my pay is SMP.

    I've prepared a letter to the Head which is similar to what you have suggested but only gave them until the end of the week for a reply. It was politely worded and I phoned my school union rep on Friday. I suppose I just have to see how this week goes. I'm worried they will use this against me and deny me going onto M6 (the decision for last academic year still hasn't been made) if I kick up too much of a fuss before Christmas.

    My husband checked with his school and they reckon if I was employed by them, I am 100% right about this. The baby hasn't been born yet and we are also moving house in next 4 weeks so this is an incredibly stressful time. I hope they have just made a mistake and that the letter to the Head will turn things round.

    Thanks again. I'll let you know how it goes.
  5. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    I have caught sight of some horrible academy policies regarding maternity benefits… One I recently saw did cite 5 years!!! service before eligibility to full maternity package, and also that staff were only entitled to statutory sick pay for 3 years!!! However, irrelevant to you if they are claiming burgundy book is observed. People do need to be aware that working for an academy is very much like working for an independent employer who need not provide the concrete employee benefits many take for granted.

    Be bold and determined in this…. to withhold progression on the basis of maternity will easily lend to raising a case for discrimination… though getting them to fess up to that in concrete form (watch wording on emails/ letters carefully as many do slip…) is another matter.

    I do hope your union are supportive.
  6. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Two questions.

    1) When did the school become an Academy?

    2) Were you employed by the school before it became an Academy?

    In which case you are protected by TUPE. If you were in the school before Academy I mean.

    Best wishes

  7. goldentramp85

    goldentramp85 New commenter

    Thank you all for your comments and advice.

    I have just looked at my emails this morning and I have miraculously been sent a payment schedule - AND it confirms what I thought I was entitled to.

    So I don't know why our person who deals with salaries told me I was only getting SMP. Of course all is now resolved but have had last Friday and the weekend full of stress, plus there's a letter winging it's way to the Head in the post which is going to make me look silly... Any ideas on dealing with the fallout from that? A polite email to the Head? Or a call to the office staff (lovely people) who might be able to intercept it and destroy it?

    Thanks again.
  8. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Intercept and destroy!


    Best wishes

  9. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    People, eh? They're fallible!
  10. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    Good news. I think if one cannot intercept the letter I would email the head and politely inform them of the distress being told misinformation had caused, 'apologise' for the letter, ask them to disregard the contents as the issue has been resolved…. and perhaps just add something that admonishes you on the basis of being fuelled by hormones :p

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