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Do I have to pay statutory  maternity pay to an employee even if she leaves the company before her maternity leave is due to start? 


The short answer is that it depends on at what stage in the pregnancy the employee leaves her employment.

An employee's entitlement to Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) is not dependent on remaining an employee (section 164, Social Security and Benefits Contributions Act 1992). A woman ‘who is or has been an employee’ may be entitled to SMP, and the conditions of entitlement can be met by a woman who has ‘ceased to work’ (section 164(1) and (2)). It does not matter if she takes maternity leave, resigns, or is dismissed for any reason including redundancy or misconduct; provided she has qualified for SMP and has "ceased work".

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My tenant is subletting my flat – how do I get possession?


Terminating the original shorthold tenancy agreement will automatically bring an illegal sublease to an end, so the normal possession procedure can be followed and any possession order or bailiff’s warrant will apply to the whole of the property and its occupants. If the sublease is legal, the landlord must terminate the original tenancy first before serving notice on the subtenant.

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Can I terminate an employee's contract who has been absent from work for a long time because of illness?


It is possible to terminate an employee's contract for illness-related absence, but employers must ensure that the dismissal is fair; it is important to follow a general process and to be aware of any potential discrimination claims that may arise.

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I’ve made an oral contract– can I enforce it?


It’s common for people to think that the word ‘contract’ applies exclusively to formal written documents signed by all the parties, but thankfully those formalities aren’t required for a contract to exist. In principle, oral contracts are just as binding as a formal written agreement. But oral agreements tend to encounter the following difficulties:

  1. Is the agreement complete – i.e. have the parties agreed to the basic arrangement?
  2. Are the terms (details) clear?
  3. Is there any evidence if one party later raises a dispute

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Contact Helix Law on 01273 761 990 or email info@helix-law.com

T: 01273 761 990
E: info@helix-law.com

Helix LawHelix Law Limited is a limited liability company registered in England and Wales. Registration Number 07845461. A list of Directors is available for inspection at the Registered Office: 1 Frederick Terrace, Brighton, BN1 1AX. Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.