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to think this is really not on (maternity leave)

(359 Posts)
manicinsomniac Fri 01-Mar-13 17:54:21

Having a baby, having your full time off, coming back for a month then announcing you're 4 months pregnant and will be off again. If you knew you were pregnant (or even trying) should you really go back to work, knowing that your employer was going to have to pay two salaries for one job?

I really don't know if this is standard practice and completely ok or whether it's unfair and cheating the system. It seems unfair and a bit immoral to me.

PseudoBadger Fri 01-Mar-13 18:10:31

Statutory pay and period is the same for all women OP. That's what makes it statutory.

catlady1 Fri 01-Mar-13 18:10:38

Would you rather she stopped work and went on benefits instead? If she's planning to have more than one child, it doesn't really matter when she does it, the impact on the compny is the same at the end of it. And like others have said, the company can claim back SMP from the government, and any extra maternity pay from the woman if she doesn't return to work (well that's what most companies do, anyway).

MajaBiene Fri 01-Mar-13 18:11:04

manicinsomniac - SMP is for 39 weeks. Government pays for it regardless of who the employer is, though companies can choose to offer more if they want. Small companies can claim 104% of the cost back.

tethersend Fri 01-Mar-13 18:11:04


Perhaps the kids will grow up to work for the company.

CommanderShepard Fri 01-Mar-13 18:11:33

One more! As I understand it you have to have been working for the same company for 26 weeks before mat leave to qualify for SMP; else you are entitled to Maternity Allowance based on your NI contributions.

Where I am confused is I also thought that mat leave counts as continuous service.

manicinsomniac Fri 01-Mar-13 18:12:40

ceramicunicorn - no but I think it's a bit different if you're trying for another baby while still on mat leave as you know that, if you are successful quickly, you will hardly be back.

Looks like IABU though, fair enough.

Tearsofthemushroom Fri 01-Mar-13 18:12:53

If you are going to have two periods of maternity leave then what does it matter how close together they are? I say this as someone who fell pregnant by accident and had to go back to work earlier than planned so that I could have time off with my DD. The other option would have been to leave my good job which I did go back to in the end. I did have to put up from a lot of amusing comments from the people I worked with though.

MajaBiene Fri 01-Mar-13 18:13:16

What difference does it make though if you are back 4 months or a year?

ChildoftheMonkeyBasket Fri 01-Mar-13 18:14:28

I was trying for my second from when my first was 11months old, I finally had DC2 when DC1 was 4. I didn't go back to work for that very reason, silly me.

MammaTJ Fri 01-Mar-13 18:15:07

So, she shouldn't have more children?

Or is it just the timescale that bothers you?

I don't see what difference it makes.

catlady1 Fri 01-Mar-13 18:15:10

Commander I'm on maternity leave from two job at the moment and my maternity leave will be added on to my length of service when/if I return as if I had been working as normal. I'm not actually sure whether I'd be entitled to the same rates of pay if I went back pregnant and left again soon after though, that's a good question, although I would think so - the guidelines just say you have to have been employed by the company for 26 weeks.

PseudoBadger Fri 01-Mar-13 18:16:14

My boss came back for only a few months before going off with her second DC. So I'll have no qualms about being back for 18 months!

Pickles101 Fri 01-Mar-13 18:17:21

I don't see the problem here at all.

HorryDrelincourt Fri 01-Mar-13 18:18:08

Someone who used to work with DH avoided several rounds of redundancy despite being in a totally redundant department and apparently being crap by running lots of maternity leave together. There was a lot of bad feeling about it, both that HR/management were too chicken to consider her for redundancy, and that she used the system to her advantage.

But they were only paying SMP so their financial loss was minimal. And the alternative - statutory controls on child spacing - would be repulsive.

If you've been on maternity leave for a year, on SMP, you'd only just or not quite qualify for full SMP the second time anyway, because of qualifying weeks which I only slightly understand. So it is usually financially better to work for a reasonable period before conceiving the next anyway.

angeltattoo Fri 01-Mar-13 18:18:09


And you sound jealous or bitter about it.

Andro Fri 01-Mar-13 18:18:27

It is perfectly legal but it also a management nightmare; not from the point of SMP (HR get to deal with the bulk of that), but finding suitably skilled temps/training/management of team morale/etc.

BabyMakesTheBellyGoRound - one lady did something very similar (albeit in interview not on her CV), she certainly made an impression!

LRDtheFeministDragon Fri 01-Mar-13 18:19:58

I'm sorry to point out something that should be really obvious, but you do know that not everyone who knows they're pregnant at two or three months gone stays that way, don't you?

If someone hasn't announced their pregnancy until late on it might well be they have good (and sad) reasons for doing so.

That's leaving aside the fact it's perfectly legit.

TheSecondComing Fri 01-Mar-13 18:21:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

munchkinmaster Fri 01-Mar-13 18:21:19

Smp is fully paid by hmrc for small companies and 92% is paid for larger companies. You also need to have worked 26 weeks by week 25 of pregnancy. I'm not clear if being on may leave counts as working?

HorryDrelincourt Fri 01-Mar-13 18:22:26

Oh and it's 26w from the 15th week before EWC" ie a clear week before your LMP by normal calculations/cycle length.

I may have missed this deadline by mere days with DC2. Was still well worth employing for those eight months though.

HorryDrelincourt Fri 01-Mar-13 18:24:00

Yes, it is "be employed by the same employer", not "work for". This can catch temp-to-perm workers who do the same work at the same desk, but for different employers.

idiuntno57 Fri 01-Mar-13 18:24:09

I can't see the problem. There may be many reasons why she came back pregnant and whatever they are why should she give up her long term job prospects for what is a relatively short period of disruption.

I am sure that if men could have babies too this just wouldnt be an issue in the workplace.

manicinsomniac Fri 01-Mar-13 18:24:35

It's a good point about the timescale.

angeltattoo - jealous? - hell no! I had two kids by accident 4.5 years apart and only lasted on mat leave for about 6 weeks. bitter? - about the extra workload, yeah, I guess I might be a bit.

bbcessex Fri 01-Mar-13 18:25:05

It's a common misconception that it doesn't cost employerd anything. employers can only claim back SMP.

They have to pay holiday pay (min of 5.6 weeks pay) themselves which women accrue during maternity. Ie approx 1.5 months salary.

They also have to continue to pay any 'perks' like childcare vouchers, company cars etc, which they can not claim back.

It's not just big companies that this affects...I had this happen for a nanny, which cost me nearly 2,000 in holiday pay whilst the nanny was oon mat leave. Which I wld have had to pay again had she come back for a short while and gone off again....n mat lea

paperclips Fri 01-Mar-13 18:27:57

what justabigdiscosaid. If someone has more than one child, what difference does it make how far apart they are spaced, they'll be off the same length of time. Or perhaps we women should quit work for good when we start breeding, and stop trying to have it all blah blah blah daily mail.

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