Maternity leave

(19 Posts)
JessicaN25 Sat 23-Jan-16 11:43:51

Me and my partner have decided to come off the pill and start trying for a baby but my only worry (a massive worry) is maternity leave.

I have only been in my job for 6 months and am unsure of the guidelines on maternity leave and pay.

Do you have to be in your job for a certain amount of time before you are entitled to maternity leave? And how is maternity pay calculated?

My biggest fear is that I will tell my boss that I am pregnant and I will lose my job. Ladies please straighten this up for me!

Kirjava Sat 23-Jan-16 11:50:28

Suggest you read your company's hr policy.

maybebabybee Sat 23-Jan-16 11:53:14

It will be different for each company, read the individual policy.

But I think by and large its usually 26 weeks before you're entitled to statutory maternity pay. So if that's the case you ought to be fine as even if you got pregnant next week and went on mat leave at six months, you'd have been there for a year.

maybebabybee Sat 23-Jan-16 11:54:07

And you will not lose your job, it is illegal to sack someone because they're pregnant.

BettyBi0 Sat 23-Jan-16 11:57:39

Every company is different. I think there are national rules that everyone in some kind of employment is entitled to the statutory rights of basic statutory maternity pay (not much) and keeping their job open for a set period of time.

Most companies offer more than this though if you have been with them for more than 6 months before becoming pregnant.

From the friends I made on Mat leave it seems civil servants have the best deal with 6 month full pay!!!!! Some people in private companies only got 2 weeks of full pay but they were still entitled to take a whole year off with statutory mat pay for the first 9 months then nothing for the last 3 months.

maybebabybee Sat 23-Jan-16 11:59:14

BTW you are entitled to maternity leave regardless of how long you've worked somewhere. It's maternity pay that can vary.

SuchaJem Sat 23-Jan-16 12:01:44

I thought it was the 26 weeks of continued service too.
Hope you can speak to someone in hr and get your mind straight.

maybebabybee Sat 23-Jan-16 12:02:22

I'm in the public sector and I get 52 weeks maternity leave. 18 weeks at full pay, 21 at statutory pay (139 a week, its the same everywhere) and 13 unpaid.

Statutory pay, if that's all you get, is 90% of average earnings for the first week and flat rate of 139 per week thereafter.

If you Google 'maternity leave uk' you'll find loads of info.

maybebabybee Sat 23-Jan-16 12:03:16

Sorry 90% of average earnings for first six weeks, not first week!

JessicaN25 Sat 23-Jan-16 12:52:35

Thank you for all the help ladies. In my paper work all it says about maternity leave is just to let your boss know as soon as possible and we don't have an HR department that I can ask. Oh god how do you live off £139 a week?!

I have only just come off my pill and I have heard that on average it takes around a year to get pregnant, I know that I haven't been in my job for very long but if it takes us about a year to get pregnant then hopefully I would have been working there long enough to be entitled to good maternity pay.

maybebabybee Sat 23-Jan-16 13:34:30

Standard is 139 per week I'm afraid, many companies do offer enhanced pay but many don't. And the enhanced pay is conditional on you coming back to work afterwards.

I'm always surprised by how many women aren't aware of what standard mat leave is.

JessicaN25 Sat 23-Jan-16 13:59:42

I will certainly be returning to work so hopefully that is something my company will offer. I thought it was low but I didn't know exactly how low.

LBOCS2 Sat 23-Jan-16 14:27:59

You have to have been at your job for 26 weeks by the 20th week of your pregnancy, to claim SMP, IIRC. It's 90% of your full pay for 6 weeks, then 33 weeks at £139.

It does suck. Yes.

If your HR department/company handbook etc don't mention anything else about it then chances are you don't have any enhancement but obviously you can hope!

LBOCS2 Sat 23-Jan-16 14:29:17

Maybebabybee, the enhanced pay isn't always dependent on you coming back afterwards - it depends on your company policy. My company offers 13 weeks at full pay and there's no provision in the policy to make me go back following my leave.

maybebabybee Sat 23-Jan-16 16:11:09

No sorry, not always - it is more usual though! Am typing on phone so keep missing out words

LBOCS2 Sat 23-Jan-16 16:13:48

That is very true. Everyone is surprised that I don't have to go back afterwards. It's a new policy so they obviously haven't thought it through particularly well!

29redshoes Sat 23-Jan-16 16:23:10

Others have covered it already, but you'll find all the info on statutory maternity pay/leave here: www.gov.uk/maternity-pay-leave/overview

If you haven't got an HR dept and there's nothing in your paperwork...I suspect your company might not offer anything over and above the statutory minimum. Hope I'm wrong though!

Oh, and please don't count on it taking a year to get pregnant! That's true for some people, but a lot also get pregnant a lot sooner than that - many within the first couple of months of trying.

Umbrelladilemma Sat 23-Jan-16 18:37:14

I suggest you also consider your childcare plans once you return to work. I was earning a good salary (approx £40k) but when I went back to work my childcare costs were so high that I ended up with even less than £139/week! Something to bear in mind shock

JessicaN25 Mon 25-Jan-16 14:16:17

Yes my partner keeps reminding me that it may be a lot sooner than I am expecting!

Childcare is also a worry but I am hoping to try and go back part time just while the baby is young so nursery fees won't be as crippling and I also have a very baby obsessed mother that I'm sure will be eager to babysit.

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