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Sacked for being pregnant - do we still get Maternity Pay?

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Sacked for being pregnant - do we still get Maternity Pay?

edited 15 October 2012 at 3:00PM in Old Threads
4 replies 2.5K views
mikerousemikerouse Forumite
8 posts
edited 15 October 2012 at 3:00PM in Old Threads
My partner was (we allege) unfairly dismissed solely for becoming pregnant. We have a solicitor dealing with action against the former employer.

On the day my partner was dismissed she was told that she would still get her Maternity Pay. She was sacked at 27 weeks, a few weeks after informing her employer in writing with details of her last day and providing the Maternity Certificate. She also informed verbally at 12 weeks, so it wasn't a surprise.

My partner is now 34 weeks along and would have started her maternity leave this week. She is worried that she will not get her SMP.

Who pays the maternity pay? Does it come from the former employer's bank account or direct from government? How would we know that the former employer has put the necessary paperwork through to government to start the process?

DirectGov says:
"If you are entitled to SMP and you are made redundant or you leave your employment after the start of the 15th week before the week your baby is due but before the start of the 11th week, SMP will start from the beginning of the 11th week before the week your baby is due."
On that basis the 11th week before baby is due would be Week 29 for us. DirectGov says benefits are paid every 2 or 4 weeks. Well, we are 5 weeks beyond the 11th week before baby is due and haven't seen any money.

Replies

  • CAB_National_RepresentativeCAB_National_Representative Organisation Representatives - Private Messages may not be monitored
    220 posts
    mikerouse wrote: »
    My partner was (we allege) unfairly dismissed solely for becoming pregnant. We have a solicitor dealing with action against the former employer.

    On the day my partner was dismissed she was told that she would still get her Maternity Pay. She was sacked at 27 weeks, a few weeks after informing her employer in writing with details of her last day and providing the Maternity Certificate. She also informed verbally at 12 weeks, so it wasn't a surprise.

    My partner is now 34 weeks along and would have started her maternity leave this week. She is worried that she will not get her SMP.

    Who pays the maternity pay? Does it come from the former employer's bank account or direct from government? How would we know that the former employer has put the necessary paperwork through to government to start the process?

    DirectGov says:
    "If you are entitled to SMP and you are made redundant or you leave your employment after the start of the 15th week before the week your baby is due but before the start of the 11th week, SMP will start from the beginning of the 11th week before the week your baby is due."
    On that basis the 11th week before baby is due would be Week 29 for us. DirectGov says benefits are paid every 2 or 4 weeks. Well, we are 5 weeks beyond the 11th week before baby is due and haven't seen any money.

    Hi Mike - we'd recommend contacting your local bureau and as quickly as possible. This can be a complex area and our advisers have access to a specialist team for such matters. When you do, be sure to let them know that you've already instructed a solicitor to handle the (alleged) unfair dismissal. It is possible that the solicitor can request the necessary evidence from the former employer that everything has been put in place for the SMP to be paid.

    We hope this helps.
    Official CAB Representative
    I am an official representative of CAB. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to questions on the CAB Board. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. If you believe I’ve broken any rules please report my post to [email protected]expert.com as usual"
  • Update for anyone else going through this.

    We spoke to CAB who initially referred us to Maternity Action who explained that we would need to potentially go through HMRC who have a Statutory Payments Dispute Team.

    Their website says we should ask the employer for an explanation, however given that we are not on talking terms it seems like we should ask CAB to write a letter for us.
  • terrywterryw Forumite
    4.4K posts
    Part of the Furniture
    ✭✭✭✭
    Perhaps a letter to the HMRC team advising that you have not received any explanation from the employer despite the mat form being handed in and dates agreed.
    "If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools"
    Extract from "If" by Rudyard Kipling
  • terryw wrote: »
    Perhaps a letter to the HMRC team...

    After CAB sent us to Maternity Action who sent us back to CAB we've taken Terry's advice and have sent a letter and evidence to:

    Statutory Payments Dispute Team
    Room BP 2301
    Benton Park View
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    NE98 1YS

    They need to know my partner's national insurance number and all the details of the company in question. We also provided the letter my partner sent to her employer, the maternity certificate, and anything else we could find that might help them reach a decision.

    Strikes me though that there's not a lot behind the "statutory" part of maternity pay other than the word. Doesn't appear to be any checks being made to ensure employers are meeting their obligations. Not sure what could be put in place, just saying that it all seems rather 'voluntary' depending on the mood of your employer at the time.
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