AIBU / crazy to consider a baby in these circumstances?!

(23 Posts)
ThePartyArtist Wed 03-Jun-15 09:38:06

DH and I would both really like to have a baby (our first). The problem is I am employed on a contract due to end March 2016 (10 months away) so wouldn't be eligible for any maternity pay from my employer. I am the main earner in our relationship. The field in which I work is one where short term contracts are becoming increasingly common so I am worried my next job after this contract is up may well also be a short term contract, possibly too short to squeeze a maternity leave out of.

Would it be crazy to consider TTC within this contract, knowing I'd get no maternity pay? Is there some other form of pay provided by the government (I tried the gov.uk website but it was a minefield!) ? Has anyone else done it?

Bellemere Wed 03-Jun-15 09:42:11

You would most like get Maternity Allowance. I think it's £138 a week for 39 weeks so not that different to SMP really.

PotatoQueen Wed 03-Jun-15 09:42:32

I believe you'd get maternity allowance. I'd only been working for my employer for a few weeks when I fell pregnant, so didn't qualify for maternity pay, and maternity allowance is what I claimed from the government.
From what I remember it was around £130 per week (the amount of statutory mat pay then). I think you have to have worked for so many months in the year before getting pregnant to qualify.

SoundingBored Wed 03-Jun-15 09:44:05

Not crazy, no, but you obviously need to think through the financial implications.

How old are you?
What is the likelihood of you getting employment in the future that will give you maternity leave?
Could you survive on your DP's salary? For how long?
How quickly would you need to go back to work (or want to) after the baby is born, and how easy would it be to get another contract if you did go ahead and have a baby soon?

You can get statutory maternity pay but its peanuts. Not sure these days how it works, but someone will be along to advise soon am sure x

PotatoQueen Wed 03-Jun-15 09:44:39

www.gov.uk/maternity-allowance/eligibility

AndThisIsTrue Wed 03-Jun-15 09:45:06

You would get maternity allowance which is the same amount of money as basic SMP. You have to have worked for 26 out of the last 66 weeks before your due date or something like that.
So no I don't think its a crazy idea, I suppose the only problem would be if it takes you a few months to conceive you might end up with a few months after your contract ends but before you go on maternity leave, what would you do then?

BlinkAndMiss Wed 03-Jun-15 09:47:29

I think there are always reasons not to ttc, I found loads and hardly any reasons which made me think it was a good idea. You're sensible to consider the money aspect of it, planning and looking for bargains can help with that though. Maternity allowance should be accessible to you in these circumstances and as the pp pointed out, it's not that different to SMP.

There will always be reasons not to have a baby, they turn your life upside down. But none of the reasons should put you off - if it's what you want it's what you want. Go for it smile.

DorotheaHomeAlone Wed 03-Jun-15 10:11:00

If you're in a field dominated by short term contracts then you're unlikely to be offered a role with enhanced maternity pay any time soon. In that case you're only looking at the difference between statutory maternity allowance and statutory maternity pay.

The difference is that you don't get 90% of salary for the first 6 weeks like with smp. You just get the £135pw for approximately 9 months. Not a big difference really but worth setting some money aside now. I'd say go for it.

hibbledibble Wed 03-Jun-15 10:40:53

As others said, you would get maternity allowance. You just need to calculate whether you can live off that and your savings while you are on maternity leave.

Sunshineseeker80 Wed 03-Jun-15 10:45:41

I did contract work when I was pregnant (and planning to get pregnant). I didn't get any maternity pay but knew that would be the case and saved accordingly. It's tough but can be done especially as some of my overheads (going out and drinking!) went down significantly over the 9 months.

TooManyMochas Wed 03-Jun-15 11:53:28

Would you be eligible for tax credits? They helped us a lot when DH took a big drop in income to retrain for a different career while I SAHPed.

ThePartyArtist Wed 03-Jun-15 12:43:36

Thanks everyone! Some v useful info.
@TooManyMochas I don't know about tax credits, how do they assess eligibility?

BarbarianMum Wed 03-Jun-15 12:51:19

I think you should wait and save (presuming you haven't) so you have a cushion of money to tide you over the next few years. Unless you are over 35, in which case go for it. smile

NKfell Wed 03-Jun-15 12:55:39

My DC have all been...not as expected as they should have been blush which means I haven't been in the most ideal circumstances!

I've always got through though- it can be done!

You just need to expect that your lifestyle might need to give way for the choice you've made.

BabyMurloc Wed 03-Jun-15 13:01:58

You will get maternity allowance. It is lower the first few weeks but then the same. Save accordingly.

Myself and my DH have both been the SAHP and both been the main wage earner over the years. You do what you need to do.

Is there any chance of your DP getting a better paid job? That would help hugely although is not essential.

If you are used to contract work it should be easier to fall back into it after a break if you need/wish to.

BabyMurloc Wed 03-Jun-15 13:04:22

Go to the tax credits website (can't remember the url but it's .gov.uk and has hmrc logos on it you can google tax credits and it comes up) There is a calculator. It is NOT the same as applying and you can put your info in there and they will do calculations so for example you can put in your dps earnings plus you on maternity pay and see what comes out. I've used the calculator loads to work things out when we've been looking at new jobs etc (both of us are used to contract work)

Becauseicannes Wed 03-Jun-15 13:08:56

Yes, I have done it both pregnancies with. I had substantial savings to get me through the first one. I have watched my spending over the last few months to get me through this break with the second pregnancy. You have 10 months to save and to take the highest possible hourly rate you can get. You are in control so go for it!

WeePoppy Wed 03-Jun-15 13:12:11

I have done it.

I work in the third sector and permanent contracts are like hen's teeth so I just go from temporary contract to temporary contract. My DH is the main earner but my salary is reasonable and essential to balance our finances.

I got pregnant in February and my last contract finished at the end of March. I started a new job in May (another temporary contract) but since I'm due in November, I won't be entitled to maternity pay. I will however get maternity allowance from the government. I am planning to take 6 months maternity leave and go back to work in May.

We decided to TTC knowing that we were unlikely to ever be in that "perfect" situation of both having permanent contracts. We do however have some savings, a house with a small mortgage and I have a job to go back to after ML (albeit a temporary one).

Becauseicannes Wed 03-Jun-15 13:12:20

Yes, I did get SMP.

MsAspreyDiamonds Wed 03-Jun-15 17:35:38

I have done it with my second dc so it can be done, you need to start planning for it from now though. It could take you a while to get pregnant or it could be immediate, either way you need at least 3-6 months salary saved.

Could your dh become the main earner now either by looking for a better paid full time position or by increasing his hours. That way by the time the baby arrives there is a regular source of income coming in.

Truffle40 Wed 03-Jun-15 17:38:46

Why do you think you will get pregnant immediately?

ThePartyArtist Thu 04-Jun-15 21:19:11

From talking to a friend I think I would be eligible for SMP as I have continuous service. If this is correct (I am going to check with Citizens Advice) then I would get proper maternity pay but not have a job to return to. However I think I may go for it, and know I have the maternity leave time to sort something e.g. next short term contract / a jump to a part time job instead of current full time one. Perhaps I am being crazy - I keep veering between thinking I am being crazy and thinking it makes total sense!

DH has an interview next week for a full time job, which would also mean a bit more money.

@Truffle40 obviously don't know I will get pregnant immediately but thinking it is sensible to plan based on assumption I will (I know I may not - but seems better than making a plan based on 'it'll prob take ages' as I know a few friends who did that then got pregnant straight away). However still need to stop the pill after 10 years so hormones may take a while to settle down.

ThePartyArtist Fri 05-Jun-15 12:48:38

I have spoken to CAB and I AM eligible for SMP...
So dilemma now is whether to go for it, which would probably mean no job to return to after the maternity leave... arrrrrgh such a dilemma.

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