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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50150
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I have worked in my present job months. I'm 8 months

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I have worked in my present job for 10 months. I'm 8 months pregnant and have a letter confirming my pay whilst on maternity leave etc. Now, 2 days before I go on leave I have just received another letter basically saying that they have made a mistake, I now wont be paid, have to be employed with them for at least a year and sorry for the mistake. Can they do this? Where do I stand? My due date is 18th July.

Hello what does your contract entitle you to in the circumstances?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben, thank you for replying so quickly. I,m not sure I'm entitled to anything apart from time off I've had for antenatal appointments etc. I'm trying to find this out at present as I've been told different things

So nothing to do with enhanced maternity pay or company maternity pay?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben, I've had a good talk with HR at work. They say again they're sorry but there's nothing they can do. My contract basically says that I'm not entitled to anything because I've not been with them for a year yet. Yes they have maternity pay, enhanced maternity pay, but it's all to do with how long I've been there. So, because of this I feel forced into debt now as obviously I've a mortgage to pay etc and will be very short of money.

Thank you. Your rights in this situation will really depend on what is in your contract as that would be the master reference as to what you are entitled to in your employment. I understand that the employer has given you a different figure but errors do happen and you would not generally be entitled to profit or take advantage of what was a genuine error by them. The reference to that would have been your contract – if the contract clearly gave you a different entitlement to what the employer advised you you would get, then this should have been challenged. Not only that but it also provides an argument for them that the information they gave you was a genuine error because it clearly does not match what is in the contract. If the contract was silent on the subject or it matched the entitlements you were given, then your argument would have been stronger but when there is a clearly different entitlement under contract compared to what you were told by them later on, then if this was an error, the master reference would be the contract which is what defines your contractual and legal rights in the workplace. It I unfortunate but as mentioned errors can and do happen and as long as they are corrected and you are advised of what the correct entitlement is and that matches what is in your contract then they can correct their initial error.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the options you have to challenge this further, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Ben. It's as I thought. Probably worth mentioning that I did question all this at work though back in Apil/May time. Thought it was then lovely receiving a letter from them saying I'd be paid after all. I'm now on maternity leave and am going to have to talk to the bank etc. Great.

Yes I understand it is a difficult position. You can still try and challenge their decision by raising a formal grievance with the employer - you have nothing to lose by doing so and yo never know what the outcome may be. You can also appeal their decision. However, if that is rejected then you should think carefully before you consider any legal action because I would say it will be a risky thing to do

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
they are really my two options then, grievance or to appeal. It seems unfair really as it sounds like a long haul and I'm stressed already over this without adding any more I guess. So much for my job looking after my well being etc. Thought they had a duty of care to their employees?

yes they have a duty but that does not mean paying you for something which you are not legally or contractually entitled to

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Ben for answering my questions. Rather than listen to all sorts at least I've got proper rightfull answers. I guess although it's not a nice thing to have happened it has. Now to move on I guess and put it behind me and look forward to my new family member soon. Luckily my family are very supportive so will just have to re-adjust my priorities. Thanks Linda.

you are welcome, glad at least you know your legal position, even if it i not the answer you were hoping for. All the best