Is it worth working for thirty quid a week?

(59 Posts)
worthitornot Tue 05-Mar-13 13:42:07

I'm due back to work soon from maternity, I've asked for time off over the summer as I can't afford to pay for summer clubs for my 6yr old and for my baby to go to the childminder.

When I go back to work I'll clear less than £30 a week - not including petrol for commuting and all the quids here and there for school fundraising and things like that. My husband earns reasonably well so I doubt we'd get benefits etc, and to be honest it's not so much the money, just the futility of it all. I'm sure there must be so many people giving up jobs they like because working isn't economically viable.

I get the impression work isn't overly happy about me being off over the summer but are prepared to go with it, which I'm grateful for, but they don't realise I would be PAYING to work if I came back during the summer. I think it would all grate less if I didn't know they'd been unable to find anyone to cover my role for the amount they pay me so had got someone in on a higher salary.

I don't want to give up work because I fear when I'd be able to go back in a few years, I'd be pushing 40 and unemployable - but right now it's a tempting option. I guess I need to ask for a raise.

Sorry for the rant, just wanted to get it off my chest. I'll prepare to be flamed by people saying I should be grateful for what I've got!

how much is wrap around care anyway, before school and after school club?
or how much are holiday clubs?

BlueberryHill Tue 05-Mar-13 14:17:34

Holiday clubs for me vary between £18 - £25 per day, latter price is for a full day. After school £5 per hour roughly?

worthitornot Tue 05-Mar-13 14:17:35

Wow - lots of responses!

I'm trying to think long term in that it's keeping my hand in.

I transferred into the job rather than working my way up, which I guess is why they don't pay me as much. I don't have any formal qualifications but have been performing well for the last 5 yrs but I doubt I'd get a similar job in a few years as things would change - it's IT based.

I'd not thought of the pension aspect, it's a good scheme so that's one pro point of going back. I do want to go back as I enjoy working and don't think I'd be a great SAHM to be honest.

Totally agree about it not being work's fault and I feel they are being really reasonable to be so flexible so I'm very lucky really. I have no family that can help out unfortunately so that's not an option.

Just feeling fed up I suppose as if I could go back earlier I would be ok to do it, perhaps if I just explain to work I can't afford to work the summer they will at least know it's not because I just want to have a jolly summer rather than work!

It really depends on your job. If it's something that mght be easy to get back into, e.g. some of the lower paid jobs, then it's not going to make much difference if you have a career break.

But if you have a profession then a career break may have a bigger impact than you expect. Have a look around your company and see what women who have had career breaks are doing - chat to them and find out what they did before and how it affected them. My only experience is women who've had career breaks and then only been able to find jobs on 30% of their previous salary and less responsibility, so it put me off being a SAHM, not that it was every financially an option for us as I'm the main earner.

I don't think anyone can say what is right for you and your family without knowing all the circumstances.

BlueberryHill Tue 05-Mar-13 14:20:52

Any chance of phasing back in towards the end of the summer holidays so that once you are back full time you hit it running?

It is a really difficult balancing act, especially in IT, a friend is in a similar position and went back or she wouldn't have kept or skills up. If you back and it isn't working, the worse thing that happens is that you resign and you haven't lost anything. Give it a really good go though.

Babyroobs Tue 05-Mar-13 14:21:04

Try to remember that some of the school holidays can be covered by you or your partner taking holidays. We cover the summer hols by taking a couple of weeks off each and one week together. However I am lucky that I get a good holiday entitlement. I agree it's a difficult decision, could you consider going part time. I would be wary of giving up work altogether in the current climate.

dashoflime Tue 05-Mar-13 14:23:55

OP: Have you checked whether Tax Credits will pay anything towards childcare?

Also: Is there a good reason why your DH can't share the burden for time off during the summer?

If you've already considered these issues: then my answer would be No, probably not worth it.

If they aren't prepared to offer a higher salary (or childcare vouchers) then I would probably not go back.

Its shit though, this how gender inequality gets entrenched imo sad

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Tue 05-Mar-13 14:24:39

most definately explain to them your reasons for needing the time off, and that this will nee to be the case every summer.

badguider Tue 05-Mar-13 14:37:18

Well..... It sounds to me like you enjoy your job and don't really want to be a fulltime SAHP, that it would be hard to get another job at the same level elsewhere (due to your different entry route) and that the pension is good, so I would say that yes, it is worth it. So long as it's not going to make you stressed and miserable.
But, why don't you get your DP/DH to take holiday towards the end of the summer to allow you to do a phased return or start back earlier?

My DH is going to take a day a week for six weeks to allow me to start back from mat leave 1 day a week for six weeks to do a specific task/role that will benefit my employer and I get a lot out of.

valiumredhead Tue 05-Mar-13 14:46:41

cassgate you and me both, I could've posted that smile

Llareggub Tue 05-Mar-13 14:47:41

You need to factor in all eventualities. If you'd ask me 3 years ago when I was on maternity leave with my second child I'd probably have advised that you give up work. Three years later, I am a single parent of a 6 and a 3 year old and bloody grateful my earning capacity is greater than average. My exH is an alcoholic and contributes sporadically.

Married women I know all seem to think what happened to me could never happen to them, but hey, shit happens. Keep earning.

jellybeans Tue 05-Mar-13 14:50:58

Not worth it at all. Plenty of time to go back later.

QueenOfCats Tue 05-Mar-13 14:52:10

I'm £6 per month better off working than not.

JsOtherHalf Tue 05-Mar-13 14:52:14

Can you salary sacrifice from your wages? Childcare vouchers would be usable towards a lot of summer schemes, as well as nursery. Any chance of compressed hours etc?

www.thesalarycalculator.co.uk/

worthitornot Tue 05-Mar-13 14:58:23

Thanks for the replies, I guess I need to have a long think about it.

My gut is to go back as I do like my job and I think it will be worth it in the end, but it's just so annoying.

DH is good with helping but he has projects at work that mean he can't take much time off before the summer. He earns more than me so is the main breadwinner really.

I appreciate all the responses, it's a shame there are so many people in the same boat.

Will have a long hard think...

BionicEmu Tue 05-Mar-13 14:58:52

I just don't know what the answer is, but I can completely empathise with you.

I've just had DC2, & will not be going back to work. I simply can't afford it. My take-home pay is approx. £60 a day, but childcare for both DC will be £80 a day, plus approx. £7 a day commuting costs. So going back to work will actually cost us approx. £27 each day.

It's truly shit. My job isn't really a career, but it's something that's taken me several years to work my way up to being as skilled as I am, & it just seems such a waste. Although otoh, I love my job but I really hate where I work.

JsOtherHalf Tue 05-Mar-13 14:59:04

In all honesty I have only been making money for working since ds started school. I am grateful I went back after the 12 months as I probably would not get the job now without a post grad qualification. Also DH's job was in doubt last year, and it was reassuring to have another income, albeit much smaller.

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Tue 05-Mar-13 15:03:01

Not bloody likely!

But then Im not career orientated. for me a job is just a job.

thejoysofboys Tue 05-Mar-13 15:03:58

I’m in a very similar situation but I take home £30 a month, not per week :D

I have 2 children under the age of 3 so childcare costs are astronomical.

I work part time (3 days).

I would have happily taken a career break if one was on offer as I would really prefer to have been at home with my children during their early years but I go to work for the following reasons:
-I work for a good employer who has given me a lot of opportunities during my career so far
-I’ve recently transferred offices and departments (at my request) when we moved over 100miles
-My field of work is v v v male oriented and, although my office here has quite a few part time working mums in good positions, it’s the exception rather than the rule so the possibility of getting a decent job at a similar level with similar pay and working hours would be v difficult if I left my job and tried to return to work in a few years time
-It’s important in my job to keep up with new training and skills
-I do actually like my job
It’s not a great position to be in & my £32.78 a month (plus pension contributions) is hardly compensation for the stress of juggling small children and big projects but I do believe in the long term it’ll be worth it….

ItsallisnowaFeegle Tue 05-Mar-13 15:08:39

I'm watching this thread with interest OP.

I'm due to return from Maternity soon and after nursery fees, travel etc. I'm not going to be left with much.

I earn an OK salary, but had to accept a salary cut a year ago, due to funding issues (my employer is a not for profit charity and we rely on funding for all of our projects, every financial year). Funding is never guaranteed and every employee faces possible redundancy every financial year start, so I'm actually waiting to find out if there's a job for me to return to. If there is, I may need to accept another cut in my salary.

I think about work constantly and despite loving what I do, I wish my DP earned enough for me to SAH with our DS for a while.

I say, if you can afford to, stay home with your DC. They grow too fast.

StuntGirl Tue 05-Mar-13 15:16:53

I would balance the £30 a week now against the benefits of a pension, national insurance payments, continuing employment and better future prospects (pay rises, experience to get a better job). £30 looks pretty good to me against that backdrop.

But that's based on my career which has good prospects. If it was my old retail job there'd be no future pay rises bar the next NMW rise and virtually no a much lower chance of progression. So you'll need to think about your own personal circumstances and how positive an effect working will, or potentially could, have for you.

JuliaScurr Tue 05-Mar-13 15:24:49

eternal dilemma - jobs are for people who have mothers or wives. As soon as children arrive it's virtually impossible. 'Job' should be redefined as compatible with schoolhours/holidays and parental leave. For men and women. Particularly helpful to party solve unemployment by sharing availabe work. Or child bearing age women will always lose out. Child care & care for elderly should be a given, like basic education.

elfycat Tue 05-Mar-13 15:27:15

I've just let my nursing registration lapse. My specialty would call for shift work and with DH working away from home for weeks at a time I just couldn't get the childcare. I did try when DD1 was a year old but it was clear that it wouldn't work when DH is away.

DD1 starts school next year and DD2 2 years later. I have trained in complementary therapies which I will be able to do as self-employed. I figured I should crack on with it as soon as DD2 gets her childcare hours (Jan 2014).

Today I discussed with DH (over the phone as he's away at the moment) that since I have enabled him to take up his career (which he is loving) maybe in return he could enable me to continue to be a full time parent to our children, which I enjoy. Not having to find childcare to fit a job that just about fits our lives until all the changes settle. He thought it a quite reasonable balance shock

But this suits us and our philosophy over money and work/life. It took me a while to come around to the idea that I didn't want to work and I was quite resentful over losing that aspect of my life. I was very stressed about letting my nursing lapse but once it was gone the stress evaporated.

But now I'm looking forwards to the next 2-3 years. After that who knows?

worthitornot Tue 05-Mar-13 15:55:34

There are a lot of us then!

I think I will go back and grin and bear it. I don't really feel annoyed at my employer to be honest, though the fact I am probably underpaid grates a bit, they have been good to me in the past and I appreciate that. It's not their 'fault' I decided to have a family.

I need to get in the 'long term' mindset and think that in a few years time I'll be glad I (hopefully still) have a job.

worthitornot Wed 06-Mar-13 07:28:38

Oh, just realised I did my sums wrong and it's £30 a month not week... which will all go on petrol.

Clearly I'm an idiot...

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