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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48743
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I am on a maternity cover position, but have just become pregnant

Resolved Question:

I am on a maternity cover position, but have just become pregnant myself. The person I am replacing is due back at work early next month, and I want to know what rights I have about negotiating my contract. My employer does not know that I am pregnant. I have been employed full time with the company since September 2012, and on the maternity cover position since February 2013. I have a contract of employment for my original position, but only a letter from my employer stating that I am in the maternity cover position giving the date I started and my salary. There is no end date on this letter. I have been asking my employer to give me new conditions, but they have been avoiding my requests, and I do not expect to hear from them until after the person I am replacing returns.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

What specific queries do you have about this matter?

Customer:

I want to know what rights I have in terms of negotiating my contract.

Customer:

I also want to know if my employer has to give me a new contract by a certain date

Ben Jones :

When you say negotiating your contract, what do you mean exactly? What are you hoping to achieve?

Customer:

I am not certain as to what my position with the company will be when the person I am replacing returns. I have been told by my employer that I will be offered a new position, but nothing has been put into writing

Customer:

I do not want to be demoted to my original position or salary

Ben Jones :

ok let me get my response ready please

Customer:

thank you

Ben Jones :

You will have few rights to demand you remain in a position that is similar to the one you are currently doing. A maternity cover position is obviously going to be of a temporary nature – the sole reason for doing the job is that you are providing cover for someone who is on maternity leave and once they return the need for this cover would no longer be required. It does mean that the person covering would usually be slotted back into their old substantive post, unless something different was agreed at the start. As you were obviously not doing the cover on a permanent basis (after all as mentioned it is just cover), you cannot demand that you now have permanent rights to the post and should be allowed to remain on its equivalent terms.


 


Another issue is if you were not actually made any promises about what would happen to you at the end of the cover, such as no promises on returning to your old job. In that case, the risk exists that if your original job is no longer available, the employer may have to offer you a suitable alternative position or even consider making you redundant. It does depend on the status of your old job and also on whether you were guaranteed a return to that position.


 


In any event, you should not be treated detrimentally just because you are pregnant. So for example, if your old job did exist, or there was a suitable alternative, you should not be denied the opportunity to take these up just because the employer finds out you are pregnant. As you do not have an obligation to inform the employer about your pregnancy until the 15th week before the baby is due, you can delay telling them until you have resolved the next job you do, to ensure there is no unfair treatment due to your pregnancy.

Customer:

Thank you for your help

Ben Jones :

You are most welcome. Please take a second to leave a positive rating for the advice I have provided as that is an important part of our process. Thank you and feel free to bookmark my profile for future help:



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