Would you like to be on Mumsnet's research panel? We're especially keen for parents-to-be and new parents to join. You can sign up here - there's (nearly) always a great incentive on offer for your views.

Maternity Policy

(48 Posts)
SeverineH Sun 02-Dec-12 21:02:03

Hello,

I am 15 weeks pregnant for the first time so I am very excited but the joy is been spoiled since I read the maternity policy of the company I have been working. I have working for a private company for almost 20 months in a middle management position and I will be entitled to 6 weeks only of maternity pay at 90% of average earnings and 33 weeks of SMP. I want to appeal and would like to benchmark my company's maternity policy with other companies. I am wondering if you wouldn't mind telling me who you work for and what maternity pay your company currently offers. All answers will be highly appreciated!

Many Thanks,

Severine

CelineMcBean Sun 02-Dec-12 22:07:11

What hermione said. Honestly you've been there 5 minutes and want to negotiate once you're already pregnant? The time to negotiate was at the recruitment stage. You have zero bargaining power now. Did you give any thought to maternity pay when considering who to work for? Particularly as it really wasn't that long ago?

I know that sounds harsh but if you feel you are hard done by (and you're really not!) it will make you feel bad and really take the shine of what should be a really special time for you.

philbee Sun 02-Dec-12 22:43:37

These replies all sound quite harsh to me. Alright the OP can't appeal and they aren't likely to change the policy. But it doesn't seem unreasonable to expect more than statutory minimum, and to hope that employers will see the value of supporting their staff.

I get what you all get, 6 weeks at 90% then smp until 9 months and 3 months unpaid. I work for a charity now, with DD I was civil service and got 6 months full pay, which I stopped telling ppl after a while because they were so shocked (and with public money so was I tbh). But as pp said, I was contractually obliged to return to work or repay all but the statutory element. It's easier this time as smp is about 3/4 of my pay anyway, whereas last time I was working full time.

melliebobs Sun 02-Dec-12 22:49:01

I work for an NHS trust. I got

2 months full pay
4 months half pay + SMP
3 months SMP

the half pay though I could take over the duration of my leave so spread it over the full 9 months.

But it is what it is and I know I'm lucky where I am

I'm a teacher, I get 3 months full pay, 6 months statutory, 3 months nothing.

TwitchyTail Sun 02-Dec-12 23:24:23

melliebobs, I work for the NHS and will get the same. But that's due to the length of continuous service for the NHS - if I hadn't worked there for a certain amount of time (a year or two, can't remember) it wouldn't be nearly as good.

OP, it sucks but have a look at what women in the US get to cheer yourself up. My friend over there (a high-level executive) didn't get ANY maternity pay - she had to use her annual leave to have her baby and went back three weeks post-partum shock

tilder Mon 03-Dec-12 07:14:29

I agree on the comparison with America as well. I have a friend who works in human rights who got a few weeks maternity leave. Then trying to negotiate part time work was very tricky. She got a 4 day week after much negotiation.

floatyjosmum Mon 03-Dec-12 07:30:03

I work for the local council and get the statutory pay. They do offer 50% of my pay for 12 weeks from week 7 but this is only if you agree to go back.

I stupidly went part time and took a pay cut just before finding out I was pregnant but tbh this means I feel less guilty about going back earlier than most!

OP hopefully you've got the message now that you're receiving the standard package. If you really can't make ends meet then you will need to go back to work at 4 or 6months say. This is perfectly possible. 6 years ago that's what a lot of people had to do. 9 months paid leave only came in in 2007. When I had my second child in 2001 SMP only went up to 18 weeks.

I would advise you to keep your powder dry on this one. You really don't need to get in a fight with your employers when they are only doing what most if not all of their contemporaries are doing. Private companies just offer stat pay. That's how it is.

Also isn't american maternity leave about 6 weeks?

TheOnlyPersonInTheRoom Mon 03-Dec-12 09:27:17

I've worked for a privatised company for 9 years, and get 4 months full pay, 5 months SMP and 3 months nothing. It's not bad but it used to be better before Ts & Cs were changed when the recession hit.

I know someone who works for a bus company and gets the same as nulgirl.

shakemyhead Mon 03-Dec-12 10:22:59

Feeling very very fortunate. 6 weeks full pay, 6-39 weeks 90% then 3 mon 0. Still accrue holls at full pay and retain shift allowance.
Worked for manufacturing co 10 years. Mainly male so have the feeling it is a fairly infrequent hit on resources.

flowery Mon 03-Dec-12 10:31:02

Getting standard maternity pay is spoiling the joy of your pregnancy? Good lord.

I'm surprised you didn't familiarise yourself with the terms of your policy before you got pregnant tbh.

Did you work in the public sector previously? Just intrigued as to why your so surprised to the extent you want to appeal.

benchmarking isn't necessarily a bad idea, but doing it on here is. You'd be best off finding out what your employer's direct competitors offer.

flowery Mon 03-Dec-12 10:32:01

you're so surprised

suzyrut Mon 03-Dec-12 10:43:54

wow I feel really lucky, work for a mid-sized company, level in the company doesn't make a difference but you need to have worked here for 2 years 15weeks before your EWC and then you get 12 weeks full pay, 8 weeks half pay then SMP for the remainder of the year. You have to pay back the difference between the 8 weeks and SMP if you don't return to work after your maternity period.

Also I believe everyone continues to accrue holiday pay during your maternity period so I'm going to save that up and use some at the beginning/end of my maternity leave.

StuckOnTopOfTheChristmasTree Mon 03-Dec-12 11:06:36

Agree that your policy seems pretty standard. It can be a surprise if you have been lucky enough to be somewhere with a generous offer and have assumed that its the same everywhere but unfortunately not.

(says the person who got a job thinking that a large building society that goes on about how much it values its employees would have a great maternity policy and then finds out its just a standard one - but it was just the push for me to jump into the scary world of contracting/freelance and create my own maternity policy of work like crazy, stop spending on frivolous things and save everything to the extent that i have a mental calculation of £x earnt is another month of not working!!!)

OP - don't let it spoil things, you just have to make a new plan. Not sure that focusing on fighting your company will do you much good either mentally or in a result as it could just sour things with your employer. Start figuring out how you can make things work afterwards, can you go back part-time, any other pg ladies that may want to job share, or what you need to get in place if you have to go back full-time sooner than you expected.

nannyl Mon 03-Dec-12 11:19:11

agree with others

what they are offering is pretty normal.....

and what most people get.....

BraveLilBear Mon 03-Dec-12 11:36:34

I work in the public sector, and see myself as very lucky. You get a choice of 18 weeks full pay followed by up to 52 weeks unpaid leave, or 8 weeks full pay, 16 weeks half pay (plus SMP), then 15 weeks SMP only.

I am the chief earner in the house, and have worked my bits off this past year to drive down my debts in order to free up money and take as long as possible off. As a result, I will be £250-£300 a month better off by June - (due in late July/early August) so I'm hoping to be able to manage in at least some of the SMP-only weeks.

OP I know it can be difficult to get maternity info before taking a job, but it's a shame you didn't check it before deciding to TTC? Maybe it's just me, but for me, this was of prime importance in deciding when to TTC.

Rowan1204 Mon 03-Dec-12 13:16:04

I work for a global corporation who have even won awards for being a top employer for women etc, in fact the ratio of women to men is 3:1. However we still have a bit of a lousy mat package too, the basic 6 weeks.

Like others have said, I don't believe there is a right of appeal, if this is what their policy is, then that is what it is unfortunately.

Hopefully your company make up for what they lack in Mat leave package by being fully supportive during and after your pregnancy, just as I have been lucky enough to have.

And I guess in the times we are in it's good to be getting anything at all!

ConfusedKiwi Tue 04-Dec-12 07:27:22

In my previous job we got statutory plus 3 days at full pay (since they had at some point in the distant past given that to men when they didn't get any statutory paternity leave and I got them to extend it to apply to maternity as well).

Now in NZ and I get the statutory here which is only 14 weeks pay although eligible for 52 weeks off... unfortunately I am likely to be made redundant in the next week or so before I start my leave in which case I aren't eligible for anything as there is no equivalent of maternity allowance :-(

NAR4 Tue 04-Dec-12 09:49:14

I've been in my job with the local authority for 8 years but only get MA due to my pay being below the threshold for SMP.

Not complaining though as I got £0 for my first 3 and had to return to work after only 2 weeks with my 3rd child. (Differrent job then and not such great maternity entitlements legally then either).

Love that men get Paternity leave now as well. My hubby had to go abroad with work for 2 weeks when my 3rd was only a few days old. Luckily it had been a straight forward birth, but don't know what mums who had had C sections used to do then.

ivanapoo Tue 04-Dec-12 10:14:49

I work for a good-sized private co in a mid mgmt position too and the standard is statutory as with your company.

I have saved really hard during pregnancy (currently just under 39 weeks) - didn't really buy anything or do anything so have saved all disposable income.

As I've done more than 5 years' service however at the company they are giving me a maternity bonus which after tax works out at about £3k. I heard other staff were given something similar which put me in a good position (and my boss is kind!).

This extra money plus what I've saved and some further spending cuts/budgeting (both me and DH) should mean we can take most of a year off.

I would not expect anything additional to statutory unless it was clearly spelled out to me, especially after only 20 months. I'm not sure why you would either really.

Newmama99 Tue 04-Dec-12 10:36:55

I work for a financial institution in the city of London. The company policy in term of maternity pay is:

3 months full pay, and the rest is SMP (statutory maternity pay of circa 135pw minus taxes).

It's better than the legal min that the company has to pay you which is the package they are offering you. However, like you I thought it wasn't great, so I made some researches and found out that lots of peer companies paid on average 6 months, and I did put it forward to my direct line manager.

Conclusion: they decline to revise their policy. However, stressed the point that we have the childcare voucher scheme, and flexi time arrangement when I come back.

I hope this helps.

HavingALittleFaithBaby Tue 04-Dec-12 22:30:42

NHS here too and not grumbling.

My friend is a private Nanny in the Channel Isles. She could only afford to take Two weeks holiday and then she went back to work, taking her DS with her! shock

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now