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Statutory Maternity Pay as Supply Teacher - Continuous service in school hols?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by Smiley80, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. Hi

    I'm wondering if anyone can help me with this query. We're planning having a baby soon and I'm going to be doing supply again for the next academic year. I've been working for several agencies but paid through Key, an umbrella company, who are therefore classed as my one employer (UK based). I've been working for them since end of February and I've worked every week except school holiday weeks since then.

    I've read all about SMP rules and entitlements on all the relevant websites (need 26 weeks continuous service etc etc) and read lots of old posts on here but I still can't get an answer to my particular query:

    If the agency has no work to offer me during school holidays (and I'm particularly thinking about the 6 week summer hols here) will I still be classed as having continuous service?

    What I'm wondering is whether I will have to start building up continuous service weeks again from September if the 6 week holidays classes as a break in continuous service. Does anyone know the answer to this from their own experience? (I know it says in the rules that if the agency don't have work to offer it doesn't class as a break but the summer is a long period so I don't know if this is still the case). Also, do the 26 weeks continuous service include school holiday weeks or is it 26 weeks excluding the school holiday weeks? (And therefore more weeks are needed in total to be entitled).

    If anyone has experience of successfully claiming SMP from their agency/umbrella company, could you please let me know the answer to these queries? Any advice is gratefully received as I'm reluctant to let my employer know about a planned pregnancy!
  2. Well I really admire your optimism! As temporary workers we are not entitled to these sort of benefits. We are the ultimate flexible labour we have no rights under the contracts we work under. If you sit and read them it clearly points out that the agency, who ultimately you work for, no matter how the pay-roll is structured, has no responsibility towards you whatsoever. That's why temporary labour has benefits (to the employer, obviously not to us!). Umbrella organisations are just really a way for an agency getting out of paying NI contributions on your behalf. I'm sorry but you certainly wont be getting any maternity pay. However, you will be able to claim some from the Government. I'm not an expert so you will need to contact your local benefits office for the correct information. I do have the sneaking suspicion that it might not be very much though! Good luck with the pregnancy!
  3. becky70

    becky70 Occasional commenter

    I did supply directly for schools and therefore paid by the LEA. However, the LEA did not class me as an employee as regards continuous service - I was trying for a baby at the time so checked all this out. I don't think your agency will pay you maternity pay BUT there have been people who have got it from agencies.
    I worked out that what I would have got is Maternity Allowance - think you get this via the Job Centre (def not through your employer) - it's about £120 a week. Good luck with ttc.
  4. becky70

    becky70 Occasional commenter

    I'd also add that maternity benefits from a contracted post are loads better so if there's any chance you could get a contracted post first then start ttc I'd do that. I tried for a baby while on supply because I was too old to wait and since been down IVF route so I do realise that sometimes you have to just get on with it!
  5. You will get SMP through Key, I qualified for it through them and it was a very easy process.

    I thought I might have some problems but I didnt. Just submit your MatB form to them with a letter of request and they will calculate the amount for you. It will be 90% of your earnings, so as an agency worker this will be your averaged earnings over the qualifying period. It is a good thing that you go through Key and not ISS as I have heard that you dont qualify for SMP with them as they are based in Sark (something to do with NI contributions).

    The continuous service aspect is a non-issue really. In my 25 week qualifying period I had a half term holiday and another 2 weeks of holidays. I also had a number of other non-working days (due to illness and not being offered work by my agency). Key didnt query them at all so I assume that it is a non issue. I had been working through Key on and off for the previous year however. As you are not pregnant right now just hold off on getting pregnant until after the summer holidays so that you average earnings are not reduced by the 6 week holiday break.
  6. ILovePhonics

    ILovePhonics New commenter

    I also receveived SMP through Key while working as a supply teacher.(mostlylong term work)
    Read my post in this thread:
  7. I also work for My Key Pay but do they have to be your main employer in order to claim matternity allowances with them or you just simply need to work for them??
    ISS is my main employer but my agency does not get me a lot of work now so I am going to change and put another one as my main employer.
    I am only paid by My Key Pay when working for one agency . I know you can have many under this umbrella but you need to wait till Tuesday to be paid. May change it now and add few other agencies.
  8. Koteczek1,

    Are still doing supply?

    How many days do you usually get per week?


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