Mat leave unberably low any help?

(39 Posts)
Redcat007 Fri 03-Jan-14 00:20:14

Hello,
We are planning a baby but I'm so scared because of the mat.
I work full time have quite a good salary . My company doesn't have any extra deal for the maternity :/ nothing in the contract...

this means after 6weeks my salary will be cut to 1/3 or less ! Is this legal?
Can I ask my employer to do something with it?
I am not on any benefits as we both work hard with my hubby.

Please let me know if there is any way to get more than £136 a week?!!

gallicgirl Fri 03-Jan-14 00:24:56

Depends on your partner's salary. You might qualify for tax credits but it's based on earnings in last tax year. This might mean nil entitlement but you can then report a cchange in circumstances. If your combined income while you're on mat leave is more than £23000 or so, then don't bother.
I guess you save up beforehand.

gallicgirl Fri 03-Jan-14 00:26:32

Oh snd I think statutory maternity pay is a bit more thanthat. Around £145 I think.

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 03-Jan-14 07:29:37

If your partner is not a higher rate tax payer you will also be entitled to child benefit as well.

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 03-Jan-14 07:36:36

It is legal being a government set amount at 136.70 per week and is nearly double SSP.

Waggamamma Fri 03-Jan-14 08:00:03

Unfortunately many employers only offer the statutory minimum maternity pay. This is all they are obliged to offer and people who get extra are very lucky.

This is why people need to save to be able to have babies and afford the time off with them. Me and dp are currently saving like mad for mat leave.

You'll also be suprised how much you can save on mat leave, you won't have the costs of commuting, you won't have time/energy to go out drinking and socialising, rein in buying clothes for a year etc.

If it's your first dc you'll get £20 a week in child benefit and you might be entitled to tax credits (depends on overall household earnings).

redskyatnight Fri 03-Jan-14 11:46:28

This is probably obvious but bear in mind that unless you have free childcare available, even after you return to work, you won't have the level of disposable income that you do now . Depending on your salary now (and if you choose to work fewer hours on your return), it may well not be much above the level of SMP. As a PP has said you need to look at saving now (and potentially making lifestyle changes for the long term).

Redcat007 Fri 03-Jan-14 12:36:08

I was worried that will be the case.. :/
So I guess we have to save up... Actually because of the matters money and the childcare cost it totally put me off to have a baby.
However my hubby really would like to be a father one day. My mum offered she will come and do the babysitting.

I'm on my pill break to check if my cycle exists at all after 11 years. I guess I will be back on the pills in next two months...

I really think this is very unfair.It's like a punishment to those who invested in education, got jobs and want to work and have kids. So many people just lives of having kids and gets the wealth even though they never contributed to the society ... this is really sad.

Congrats to all of you who's employer pays better maternity than mine :/

However recently our Director was changed and now it's also a friend of mine I'll speak to her ... maybe she could do something about this...Change the rules for all future mums who work at our company?

The accounts directress was off twice for the full time of mat. I bet she was not getting £136 a week...

LIZS Fri 03-Jan-14 12:50:12

That is the statutory amount , 90% of salary for 6 weeks then 33 weeks at £136. So yes perfectly legal. You would then get Child Benefit of just over £20 pw if neither of you normally earn over £60k pa. You might qualify for other benefits but don't rely on that as this is rapidly changing. If you have other perks in your job (car, discount card etc) you keep these during ML. It is not unfair as the majority will be in the same situation and work out the economics and save up beforehand. Many people like your accounts director cope perfectly well , not just once , but maybe she has a high earning partner or savings.

Enhanced terms are normally reserved for those who hold managerial and senior positions and in certain careers like NHS where retention of good, trained staff is very important for the service. However if an employee is on enhanced terms then doesn't return after ML the extra is often repayable. I'm doubtful as to whether you will change company policy in time for you to benefit tbh, especially with the economy not yet recovering.

PeterParkerSays Fri 03-Jan-14 12:56:09

I bet your accounts director was getting £136 a week, because the company should have one standard maternity policy for all female staff.

flowery Fri 03-Jan-14 13:00:40

Statutory maternity pay is far far more generous than it used to be and is largely funded by the tax payer, so increasing it by more than a notional inflation amount is very unlikely in the near future.

As others have said, for many people, a large amount of their salary will be eaten up by childcare costs anyway if they return to work, so it would only be a case of a big drop at that stage anyway otherwise.

givemeaclue Fri 03-Jan-14 13:07:29

It is legal, it is normal. Save up.

NatashaBee Fri 03-Jan-14 13:14:15

It is doable - not easy, but perfectly possible if you want it badly enough to save up. Some women even do it again a second or third time smile

I would try cutting right down to your husband's salary, and allow yourself the stat mat pay amount as spending, just for a month. You might surprise yourself and be able to afford it.

janey68 Fri 03-Jan-14 13:28:02

Maternity leave is the least of your worries... Childcare costs which can easily reach £1000 per child per month, will kick in when you return to work. Anyway, you aren't obliged to take the full maternity leave on offer... Many women return to work earlier because the money tails off quite rapidly. I would suggest you sit down with your partner and talk through the whole budgeting thing because seriously, if you're panicking about a few months off work when (like others have said) your costs are reduced anyway, with no childcare, no commute, I think you'll really struggle once all the costs of being a working parent kick in.

stargirl1701 Fri 03-Jan-14 13:36:27

Many countries such as the USA have no mat leave, OP. Mums take annual leave and then return to work after 2-4 weeks.

LauraBridges Fri 03-Jan-14 13:38:46

Some of us just take that period off - 6 weeks - for financial reasons. It can work out okay. Don't rule it out.

Patilla Fri 03-Jan-14 14:10:19

I'd agree that it's ongoing childcare costs which are the killer. And they don't stop at school unless you work less than school hours.

That one caught us out and has resulted in extreme belt tightening.

That's not of course to say I don't think the DC aren't worth it, they are and are worth so much more and bless us immesurably. But we are a lot poorer than we expected I be. At Least financially

It's not unfair. Having a baby is your choice-save up for it. We are lucky in this country to have statutory maternity leave and pay. Many countries don't.

CheshireSplat Fri 03-Jan-14 14:18:26

PeterParker. Interesting you say employers have the same rules for all staff? I have never worked anywhere where that is the case. IME, it depends on grade, like pay and pensions. Have you found differently?

flowery Fri 03-Jan-14 14:25:39

"the company should have one standard maternity policy for all female staff."

Not necessarily. It's fine to have different policies as long as it's clear which policy applies to each person.

More common to have enhancements for length of service rather than seniority IME but there's nothing unlawful about having enhancements for seniority as well or instead.

LauraBridges Fri 03-Jan-14 14:56:03

It does differ amongst staff as to what perks they get. The shop floor workers may not get BUPA and a merc. No one has ever said benefits have to be the same all over a company. Sadly life is not very fair.
Look at the father's rights too. The mother could take 6 weeks off first and go back and then the father might at his work have some rights too. It's a good idea anyway to get things off on an equal footing.

trilbydoll Fri 03-Jan-14 18:58:52

In Mexico they get 2 weeks at full pay. I wasn't even dressed at 2 weeks post birth!

Agree with everyone else, you save up and actually life does get a bit cheaper, no more pub!

lougle Fri 03-Jan-14 19:26:10

RedCat007 is English your second language? Some of your wording made me think so. How does UK Maternity Leave/Pay compare to your home country (if I'm right about you having another language as your native one, of course!) Is it a lot less generous than your home country?

Wossname Fri 03-Jan-14 19:32:39

The shocker for me, once I had adjusted to mat leave and mat pay, was I then found out I was worse off back in work than I had been on stat maternity pay!

LauraBridges Sat 04-Jan-14 09:52:26

Mos of those with a 3 and 1 year old when the baby comes even if they are at home have to be doing things at 2 weeks as most ouf cannot afford a maternity nurse nor have family around. In fact being back at work early can be the most relaxing thing in the world if you have an office job compared to scrubbing the house whilst minding a brand new baby and toddler.

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