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Help with HR maternity policy

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I started my new job with a new NHS trust on 15th April 2019. Looking at the maternity policy, how long do I have to wait before I can start to try for a family in order to qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay? (SMP) Or in other worlds, when is the earliest I can fall pregnant and still get the benefits of SMP from my new job?

Thank you.

Unfortunately it won’t let me include a photo or post a link to the policy however the wording says:

‘Employees are eligible for the SMP scheme if prior to the 15th week (qualifying week) before the Expected Week of Commencement (EWC) they have:

- At least 26 weeks continuous service with (blank) NHS Trust
and
- Average earnings in the 8 weeks up to and including the qualifying week have not been less than the lower earning level for National Insurance purposes.

Length of service within other NHS employers will not count to qualify for this scheme.

Comments

  • PrettyKittyKat
    PrettyKittyKat Posts: 1,270 Forumite
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    I think that is standard wording as I work in a non-nhs job and that is the wording for my job too. I looked into it when starting a new job also. The EWC is the expected due date week, so to be on the safe side I counted 16 week before. So if when you are 24 weeks pregnant you have been working for the company for at least 26 weeks you will be eligible as long as the earnings are high enough to pay national insurance.

    As you've been working for them since 15th April I would say you are able to start trying straight away!
  • GlasweJen
    GlasweJen Posts: 7,451 Forumite
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    TURP wrote: »
    I started my new job with a new NHS trust on 15th April 2019. Looking at the maternity policy, how long do I have to wait before I can start to try for a family in order to qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay? (SMP) Or in other worlds, when is the earliest I can fall pregnant and still get the benefits of SMP from my new job?

    Thank you.

    Unfortunately it won’t let me include a photo or post a link to the policy however the wording says:

    ‘Employees are eligible for the SMP scheme if prior to the 15th week (qualifying week) before the Expected Week of Commencement (EWC) they have:

    - At least 26 weeks continuous service with (blank) NHS Trust
    and
    - Average earnings in the 8 weeks up to and including the qualifying week have not been less than the lower earning level for National Insurance purposes.

    Length of service within other NHS employers will not count to qualify for this scheme.

    Most NHS trusts will have a better scheme for "long service" wouldn't you be better holding out for that? I know if I fall pregnant tomorrow I'd get 8 weeks full pay, 18 weeks half pay plus the SMP on top and then 13 weeks of SMP only before going unpaid for the last 13 weeks. To qualify for that I needed 12 months service, hardly "long service" at all.
  • TURP
    TURP Posts: 3 Newbie
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    Thank you both for your replies. It’s just a bit of a mind field when you read it and I wasn’t sure of the difference between SMP and OMP?

    GlasweJen I’ve worked as a nurse for over 8 years but I don’t think they count other NHS Trusts as continuous service unfortunately.
  • Comms69
    Comms69 Posts: 14,229 Forumite
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    TURP wrote: »
    Thank you both for your replies. It’s just a bit of a mind field when you read it and I wasn’t sure of the difference between SMP and OMP?

    GlasweJen I’ve worked as a nurse for over 8 years but I don’t think they count other NHS Trusts as continuous service unfortunately.



    Any gaps in that between employment?
  • TURP
    TURP Posts: 3 Newbie
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    A gap of 4 months back in 2014 when I went travelling but other than that, no gaps since.
  • justme1985
    justme1985 Posts: 102 Forumite
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    That counts as continious service then. Taken from the handbook:
    An employee’s continuous previous service with any NHS employer counts as reckonable service in respect of NHS agreements on redundancy, maternity, sick pay and annual leave.
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