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contract to contract & maternity leave

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#1 MummySmiles

Posted 09 February 2013 - 08:50 PM

Hi all- posting in here due to traffic.

Have been working in the same government position since December 2011 from contract to contract (none which were broken). I am 17 weeks pregnant at the moment, which work are not aware of. I have 8 weeks left of current contract. If they extend me another 6 or 12 months (which they most likely will do as they have been doing), would i be eligible for maternity leave paid by the organisation?

My partner thinks i should take it & then inform them i am pregnant. However, i feel this is dishonest & may present myself in an undesired manner.

What do you think/ what would you do?

#2 FeralAlpacaWarrior

Posted 09 February 2013 - 08:56 PM

You would need to check your workplace agreement. And you are contractor or non-ongoing employee? At my workplace you have to be an ongoing employee for 12 months before you qualify for mat leave, regardless of how many contracts you have had.

#3 InsertAwesomeHere

Posted 09 February 2013 - 08:57 PM

I worked on contract for a uni when I fell pregnant with ds2. My contract ended mid December so I took mat leave 1 day before my contract ended. My employment agreement stated that because I was fixed term I would get paid out all my mat leave on a pro data basis. So they pay 20 wks, I'd been fixed term for 11 months so I got about 18 wks paid out in one go. It really depends what your employment agreement states though. Read it and it should tell you.

#4 Iwantitall

Posted 09 February 2013 - 08:59 PM

Ok, I have just been through this, (Qld Public service) and I was entitled to paid maternity leave until at least the end of contract, more if renewed ( I went on leave in August and my contract was ending in December, they renewed me while I was on leave)

As far as telling them before contract renewal, I don't see a problem with it as they would need a VERY good reason to take that risk when they are dealing with a pregnant women and in my experience, Govt departments just won't take the risk.

from someone who understands how "temporary" contacts work in government  happy.gif

#5 MummySmiles

Posted 09 February 2013 - 09:04 PM

I am a non ongoing employee, as are most people in the office- whose contracts just get rolled over again and again, because the person that 'owns' the permanent position, is off doing another job somewhere.

I know i will be eligible for it as i have been employed by contracts for the previous 12 months (as per in my agreement). I guess the thing i am most worried about is coming across as dishonest if i dont tell them before i sign the contract?

should i wait for a contract to be drafted, then tell them, then sign
Should i tell them and wait to be offered a contract or not

#6 Iwantitall

Posted 09 February 2013 - 09:04 PM

Also, what I did was send a confidential email to HR when I found out I was pregnant to find out my entitlements.  They are obligated to keep it confidential and as they usually don't make the decisions on who gets their contract renewed (At my work place it is my Manager who decides, then seeks approval from the Director....then HR do up the paperwork)  it would have no bearing.

#7 Iwantitall

Posted 09 February 2013 - 09:11 PM

QUOTE (ann** @ 09/02/2013, 09:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I am a non ongoing employee, as are most people in the office- whose contracts just get rolled over again and again, because the person that 'owns' the permanent position, is off doing another job somewhere.

I know i will be eligible for it as i have been employed by contracts for the previous 12 months (as per in my agreement). I guess the thing i am most worried about is coming across as dishonest if i dont tell them before i sign the contract?

should i wait for a contract to be drafted, then tell them, then sign
Should i tell them and wait to be offered a contract or not

I would tell them, like I said, they would have to present a very good argument for not renewing your contract as they just don't "go there" when it comes to pregnant women, lest it be seen as discrimination.  

(FYI for others reading.....unless you have worked on contract like this it is very difficult to understand how it works as it is COMPLETELY different to the private sector)

Edited by beljane, 09 February 2013 - 09:12 PM.

#8 MummySmiles

Posted 09 February 2013 - 09:14 PM

Thanks Beljane. I get what you are saying with the discrimination, but i was under the impression they DON'T HAVE TO renew my contract, becasue that is just what it is. Surely, they could make an excuse- ie... position no longer being continued, no need ect?

#9 jayskette

Posted 09 February 2013 - 09:29 PM

Unless you are the world's luckiest contractor and actually have employer sponsored mat leave in your contract... in which case I'd LOVE to know which agency you work for!  biggrin.gif

#10 MummySmiles

Posted 09 February 2013 - 09:32 PM

im not a contractor. I am an employee who's not ongoing - my position is renewed every 3-6 months depending on how long they extend it for.

#11 libbylu

Posted 09 February 2013 - 09:38 PM

You should look at the 'Leave' section in the contract that you would have signed when you started working there and every time you renewed.  The details will be in there.
I work for a research institute on a contract to contract basis (usually 6 to 12 month contracts). We are entitled to paid maternity leave if we have been working for more than 12 months when we take the leave and have a contract that is still ongoing.  So really, it's a matter of timing.  Because the work is project based, if there was the expectation that the role would continue then the contract would probably be renewed despite a pregnancy (they wouldn't try to make excuses to get out of it) but if the project was shorter term they would allow the contract to expire at the end of the project and not sign someone up for a new project if they were not going to be able to see it out due to a pregnancy, so it is a bit hit and miss.
I got paid maternity leave for my last child because he was born at the start of September and my contract expired at the end of December.  I won't get it for this current pregnancy because I haven't been continuously employed for 12 months...I had a break for 12 months to study and have only done 10 months.  At least I just scrape in for the government PPL.

Edited by libbylu, 09 February 2013 - 09:40 PM.

#12 Nataliah

Posted 09 February 2013 - 09:40 PM

Personally I would wait until its clear (and provable) that they plan to renew, then I'd tell. It gives less opportunity for them to concoct another reason. It's poor practice for a government department to have staff employed under non-ongoing contracts for years on end, for precisely this reason.

#13 SeaPrincess

Posted 09 February 2013 - 10:32 PM

My first baby was due in August after my contract expired on 30 June. I had been in the position for 4 years and every year I had to reapply, not just extend the contract.  My boss (also our union rep) made sure my new contract was signed on time so I could go on paid maternity leave.

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