Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
What specific queries do you have about this matter?
I want to know what rights I have in terms of negotiating my contract.
I also want to know if my employer has to give me a new contract by a certain date
When you say negotiating your contract, what do you mean exactly? What are you hoping to achieve?
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
I do not want to be demoted to my original position or salary
ok let me get my response ready please
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.
Thank you for your help
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