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Maternity leave and cover


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Me again! Our staff do like to keep us busy!

Got a member of staff due a baby in September. I think it's likely she'll finish work end of July (term time only) and start leave after the summer break.

We will need to have someone cover her leave.

My question is this, when can you employ someone to cover maternity leave? Does the mother have to have already started her maternity leave? 

It would be handy to get someone in after May half term for example but would that be too soon?

I'll give ACAS a ring tomorrow just for guidance.

Honestly the week I've had I'm going to train for a career in HR...and I'm only a 'volunteer'

Thanks All

C x




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Just to add...can anyone share the wording they use on a fixed term contract for someone covering maternity (start date, end date, notice period etc) all other terms remain the same.


Really need to get a HR advisor on board.



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Hi C,

It's up to you when the member of staff starts, I've found it useful for a brief period of cross over when the budget allows to make the transition smooth but if this spans the summer then the group of children may have changed completely. We are a maintained setting so are held to their T+C's regarding contracts but we have a maternity leave contract which allows for a 30 day notice period to tie in with the maternity leave returner having to provide a months notice of their intention to return.

Don't know if this helps.

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  • 1 month later...

Another question...

Member of staff is starting their leave in September (so won't be returning after summer hols -term time setting)

We are going to start the Maternity cover from 3rd September (new term, new children etc) but as for the end of their temporary contract should we put this at end of term (July 2019) or the day after member of staff returns 2nd September 2019.

Would be fairer to let them get paid over the summer holidays wouldn't it?? 

Not planning on recruiting just yet but wanted to draft contacts etc before I get busy doing my own work. 


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I think it depends on how their contract is worked out and whether they have their hours annualised. If you are term time only but are paid equally each month then she definitely should be paid for the holiday as it will have been included in the original calculation. If they are temporary contract it will depend on what the original contract says. Sorry if I've got the wrong end of the stick!

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Thanks Rebecca. We haven't even got to drawing up a contract yet It will be a temporary contract, with a fixed end date.  

Staff are term time only but pay is spread over the year. 

I guess my question is do we end their contract on 24th July or 2nd September..... I think 2nd September would be fairer so they get a bit more pay and are employed for a whole year.

Maybe I will check with our payroll lady








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They'd still get a pay in August though? As it's split across the year.

Most our staff are parents and I suppose I'm being nice in wanting them to get a wage over the summer break.

I have thought about it and IF the person on leave decided not to come back but didn't tell us until the summer holidays, we could lose both members of staff so think I'll end the cover in September....


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I follow the same principle that you have in schools where a year fixed term would be 1st September to 31st August. Especially as others have said because we split payments equally over the year so people get some pay in holiday months. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi All...me again

A fellow committee member suggested perhaps using an agency for the maternity cover. Just wondering if anyone has any experience or advise.

I have recruited permanent staff for our setting but never temporary and as chair (and a volunteer, working mum of two) I'm not sure I'll have tons of time over summer to recruit/interview etc.

I know costs work out higher so maybe it's not the best option just wondering if you actually have to interview/provide a contract for agency staff? Or is it all done for you.



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Morning C1403,

I've never used an agency before as I've always been put off by the rates they charge!! O.o

This agency is the only one I've heard of and they say that they interview candidates and then send you the recommendations: Tigerlily . Their terms say that they charge £2000 to find someone for a 7-12 month contract. 

This is another one I've found after googling,  Tinies but they don't display their costs, which always worries me!

If you send the advertisement to me I can put it up on FSF, or you can do it yourself from here

Good luck :)

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