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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

GalaxyDisaster Sun 02-Dec-12 21:05:06

I am really sorry, but there is no right of appeal, and lots of companies only pay statutory maternity pay.

You could try and convince them to pay you more- effectively like a bonus- or change the policy, but it's not something you can 'appeal' I'm afraid.

tilder Sun 02-Dec-12 21:09:10

That sounds pretty normal. Unless you were public sector, which tends to be more generous.

The first 6 months is slightly different to the second as well, as your employer can offer an equivalent job not necessarily the same if you go back in the second 6 months. Or something like that.

Rosiesharples Sun 02-Dec-12 21:09:33

I work for a private training provider and have been there 10 years, also currently in middle management and have exactly the same entitlement as you. I saved like crazy for the first one throughout pregnancy to top up the smp and am doing the same this time also! confused

pmgkt Sun 02-Dec-12 21:09:59

as Galaxy said - you get what you get. I worked for my company for 13 years and only got 10 weeks. i think NHS is 6 weeks too. much as you would love more, its not out of line with others. it seems to be one extreme or another, i do know some companies that offer very generous terms for the whole of your leave but that is set out in your contract. It would be impossible for a company to change its policy just cos you ask, imagine what would happen if anyone else found out, and furture payment to others.

cleoowen Sun 02-Dec-12 21:10:20

Count yourself lucky. I get ma only as I am self employed and in other countries they get nothing. Guess you could try and negotiate.

Ellypoo Sun 02-Dec-12 21:12:27

I work for a private company, 14 years, senior management, also only get statutory - is normal, and no grounds for appeal. Sorry!

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 02-Dec-12 21:16:31

Agree with others - no right to appeal. By the way, what were you expecting it to be, has it changed at all since you joined etc?

Re tilder's point: for six months, you have the right to return to the same role, for the second six months, you have the right to return to the same job if available/practical and to a job with similar terms and conditions if not.

Useful link:
www.adviceguide.org.uk/england/work_e/work_time_off_work_e/maternity_leave.htm

andadietcoke Sun 02-Dec-12 21:17:12

Yep, that's exactly what I'd get.

hermioneweasley Sun 02-Dec-12 21:19:32

Erm, 20 months is not that long to have worked for a company before you disappear for up to a year.

As others have said, this is your statutory entitlement and you have no right to appeal it.

I am somewhat boggled by this query.

LittlemissChristmas Sun 02-Dec-12 21:21:00

I work for a huge global company with many different sectors in the uk and I get exactly the same!! It's rubbish but nothing you can do I'm afraid. You better get saving!

MyFriendGoo Sun 02-Dec-12 21:24:19

That's exactly what I get. Have been saving like crazy since I got the BFP. Had only just made the switch from being self employed however, so I feel lucky to get anything! Guess it's all perspective, will be such a blow if you're not expecting it. Get a contingency plan in place, feeling back in control will help you feel more positive I'm sure x

FadBook Sun 02-Dec-12 21:29:15

Really normal to have statutory maternity pay (6 weeks 90% of wages and 33 weeks stat maternity pay).

I work in HR and it is really common to not offer anything more.

I have come across a maternity policy which pays above the stat minimum but with a huge 'tie in' clause - either paying back if they don't return to work, or trying to get them to return to work earlier at 6 months, in return for a higher package.

You can write a letter to your bosses, you have nothing to loose, but I wouldn't hold your breath that they'll change the policy for you.

EdithWeston Sun 02-Dec-12 21:29:24

I worked in the public sector, so did get a more generous deal.

But from HR experience, I do not think there is a chance of 'appeal' against a company choosing to offer the statutory package only.

It may be worth trying to negotiate terms above the statutory minimum (you will need to demonstrate your value to the company, and show why it makes business sense for them). But anything above the statutory minimum can be made conditional upon your returning to work for a set period, else it become repayable. That might prove awkward to budget for domestically.

FergusSingsTheBlues Sun 02-Dec-12 21:33:03

I work for an investment bank and thats what we get! What did you expect to get? Just wondering...

HandMini Sun 02-Dec-12 21:34:50

As others have said, your situation is normal.

If you want to be able to do something effective about it, I would suggest finding out from friends/acquaintances (or more nefarious means like head hunters) what comparable businesses in your industry in your location offer, then you can at least go to your bosses and let them know if they are offering something below-market.

noblegiraffe Sun 02-Dec-12 21:36:59

I get that plus weeks 7-18 at 50% pay (state teacher). But, I have to go back to work for 13 weeks at the end of maternity otherwise I have to pay the 50% bit back.

NatashaBee Sun 02-Dec-12 21:39:10

All the companies I've worked for only offered that statutory minimum. Friends who have received more were contractually obliged to return to work for a certain number of months or pay the money back.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 02-Dec-12 21:39:41

FYI my pay is the same as noble's, though I am private sector.

RightUpMyRue Sun 02-Dec-12 21:49:32

I work for an NHS trust. I get 8 weeks full pay, 8 weeks half pay then SMP up until the baby is 9 months. After that I get nothing as I expect they want me to go back to work.

Looking at what others are getting it doesn't sound so bad.

nulgirl Sun 02-Dec-12 21:54:25

Well some companies are more generous. My company (a large bank) offers 6 months full pay and then 3 months on SMP. I think you have to go back to work for at least 6 months afterwards or you have to pay it back. Am not tempted to go for a third (started working here after having my 2) though.

dixiechick1975 Sun 02-Dec-12 21:56:54

Agree - you are getting what you are legally entitled to. You will be in the same position as the vast majority of workers. Exactly what I got (work for a law firm)

There is no obligation to take maternity leave though - you are only obliged to take 2 weeks off after the birth (4 if you were in a factory)

If you can't afford/don't wish to take longer off then you don't have to.

RightUpMyRue Sun 02-Dec-12 21:57:40

Gosh, that's a good deal nulgirl. Quite unusual in the UK to get anything so generous.

CaseyShraeger Sun 02-Dec-12 22:01:29

That's fairly standard and all I got. There are some companies with fantastic maternity policies but they are few and far between.

I think Accenture offer a whole year on full pay, if you are looking for great examples. And I think British Airways offer 6 months full pay, because during one of my pregnancies I was working with people from there and they assumed that that was what I'd be getting (hahahahahahaha. No.)

nulgirl Sun 02-Dec-12 22:02:19

I know it is very generous. Don't think it applies to all parts of my company. I believe they introduced it a few years ago to try to attract and retain their female workforce. They also offer an additional 10 days holiday in the first year after mat leave to cover things like settling in at nursery. Now all they have to do is change the crazy hours culture and the complete lack of part time job opportunities and it would be the perfect family friendly environment.

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

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