The Fixer: Maternity pay problem solved

The Fixer logoHave you been left out of pocket due to poor service or sharp practice? Do you have a money problem that won't go away?

It can seem impossible to get a fair result when you are battling a large, faceless organisation alone. But never fear! The AOL Money Fixer is here to help.

This week, she stands up for the maternity pay rights of a mum-to-be with a part-time job.

Dear Fixer,
My partner and I are expecting our first child later this year. However, I only work part-time at the moment, and my employer has told me that I will not qualify for maternity pay as a result.
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This is a big blow to us as I currently earn about £300 a week. I do not know how we will manage financially once the baby arrives with me bringing nothing in at all.

Can my employer really do this? Thank you in advance for any help you can give me.

M Handley, Brighton

Dear Miss Handley,

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), which can be paid for a maximum of 39 weeks, equates to 90% of your average gross earnings for the first six weeks and £135.45 (or 90% of weekly earnings if lower) for each of the remaining 33 weeks.

To qualify, you must have been employed by the same employer continuously for at least 26 weeks before the 15th week before the week your baby is due and earn at least £107 a week. This is true for both part-time and full-time workers.

As you have been working for the same firm for well over 26 weeks and are earning significantly more than £107 a week, your employer is therefore completely wrong in saying that you do not qualify for maternity pay.

Fortunately, he has admitted his mistake after being reminded of his obligations under the Equality Act 2010 and the Part-time workers (Prevention of less favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000.

You will therefore receive maternity pay of £270 for the first six weeks you are off and £135.45 for the remaining 33 weeks.

You must, however, tell your employer when you plan to start your leave - and receive your first maternity payments - at least 28 days beforehand.

The payments will then be made in the same way and at the same time as your normal wages.

The Fixer

Whatever your financial problem, write to themoneyfixer@aim.com and The AOL Money Fixer will get on the case.

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