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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Satisfied Customers: 13214
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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I'm writing to you in hopes you'll be able to help me or at

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Hi,I'm writing to you in hopes you'll be able to help me or at least guide me in the right direction.
I'm working for a big global clothing retailer that even pandemic like covid 19 wasn't able to shake its earnings. I am a Deputy Store Manager of one of its stores here in Ireland and I have been hired on 18th February 2019. Retail, especially with such big profits can be a cruel and exhausting place to work (7days a week work, sometimes 14-16h a day).
However, it's a job and I'm used to it at that stage.
My worry is that when I started, I got my managerial contract where one of the things stated there was, I needed to work full 2 years before qualifying for a maternity leave. When I signed it, I never consider having problems with it as as busy as I was pursuing my career, I didn't plan on having kids for those 2 years anyway. However things have changed, my husband and myself are 2nd youth as they say, around and over 40s and due to circumstances that accured this year (few deaths in the family, our age and doctors advising on hurring up, house fire, unplanned pregnancy and then miscarriage) we have decided to try for a family of our own. And now I'm pregnant. 3 months in. I haven't told anyone at work about it yet as I'm afraid they will disqualify me straight away and leave without maternity pay. As per contract I'll be over 2 months short on being with the company 2 years. I've seen people being dismissed for less.
I do understand if it's not the exact case you would normally represent but could you please advise me on what to do next or how to secure or even if its possible to secure my maternity leave?Kindest regards, *****
JA: Have you discussed the termination with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: No, cause I'm afraid what they might do. They would never tell you till its too late. I could be told in December that I do not qualify for maternity leave after all.
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: Full time employee
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: In the contract that I signed it states that I have to work full 2years in the company to qualify for maternity leave. Due to circumstances in 2020, I'll be short to fulfill that by over 2months

Hello, I’m Ben, a UK lawyer and will be dealing with your case today. I may also need to ask some questions to determine the legal position.

Sorry, I just realised you are in Ireland. I will opt out for others

1. Dear Monika, the first thing you need to realise is that statutory maternity leave does not require you to have worked for two years for an employer in Ireland for you to be entitled to it. So, you should realise that this retailer has not given what you are entitled to in your employment contract. So, the first thing you need to realise is that you are entitled to maternity leave irrespective of whether you have worked for two years for this retailer or not.

2. Under Irish maternity leave law you are entitled to take up to 26 weeks maternity leave and you will be entitled to Maternity Benefit payment during this time from the Irish state. Here is a link to guidance which sets out what your statutory leave entitlements in Ireland are. These apply no matter what your employment contract provides and whether you have been working more or less than two years for this retailer.

3. Maternity Benefit if paid at the rate of €245 per week for all the 26 weeks.

4. If you require any further clarification, I will be happy to help. Thank you for using the website. Please Rate or Accept the answer using the buttons at the top of the screen as otherwise your Expert remains unpaid by the website.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you very much for your response. I should have explained it better, my apologies. What the contract states is, to be guaranteed my benefits from work, on top of social welfare maternity, I'm required to work full 2 years. Otherwise I'm entitled to only social benefits without employer paying up to make up my contracted salary.
5. Dear Monika, I regret to say that any additional contractual benefits which might be available to you if you work two years cannot be obtained if you haven’t worked that length of time. The law only guarantees certain rights outside of the contract I regret to say. Full pay is not one of them.
Buachaill, Barrister
Satisfied Customers: 13214
Experience: Barrister 17 years experience
Buachaill and other Republic of Ireland Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you very much for all your help. Appreciate it.
Kindest regards,

6. You are welcome. Best wishes.