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Maternity Leave article - AIBU to think this is simply misleading & wrong?

(50 Posts)
BeCool Tue 02-Apr-13 10:56:27

Link to page elsewhere on MN

It a summary/comparison of maternity benefits around the world.

But for the UK it says this:
"British Mums get 52 weeks off, with up to 90% of their pay. UK Mums can apply for other means tested benefits too."

I don't know anyone at all who got 90% of their pay for 52% weeks. You get 90% of your pay for SIX WEEKS only, then SMP for up to 34 weeks, then a further 3 months without any ££ at all. Your employer may give you further benefits but these would be a bonus, not the norm.

I thought it was going to be an interesting article - but the way the situation in the UK is misrepresented, gives me no faith at all that other countries are being accurately represented either - rendering the entire article rather pointless. I know they have used " up to 90%" but surely that's no excuse as the situation is at best, inaccurately or misleadingly summarised.

AIBU to wonder why the Debt Advisory Centre misrepresented the UK situation so badly? Or am I being overly pinicky? (bit cranky this morning)

HollyBerryBush Tue 02-Apr-13 10:58:40

You are wrong as well


Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) is paid for up to 39 weeks.
You get:
90% of your average weekly earnings (before tax) for the first 6 weeks
£135.45 or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower) for the next 33 weeks

SMP is paid in the same way as your wages (eg monthly or weekly). Tax and National Insurance will be deducted.

BeCool Tue 02-Apr-13 11:01:45

ah I was a week out - just adding the weeks up in my head.
Still I'm not a journalist writing and publishing an article about it!

pompompom Tue 02-Apr-13 11:06:21

It is pretty misleading tbh.

Omnishambolic Tue 02-Apr-13 11:19:20

Agree with you completely: very misleading.

ElliesWellies Tue 02-Apr-13 11:48:47

I agree with you.

My employer gives twenty weeks' full pay, then nineteen weeks of SMP. It is the most generous I have heard of in the UK.

BeCool Tue 02-Apr-13 11:55:37

ellies that is really fantastic!

FriedPotatoes Tue 02-Apr-13 11:58:37

very misleading

I had a frightening conversation with a heavily pregnant lady working at a fast food restaurant who was sure that she would be on full pay for a year.
She handn't asked her employer, had just assumed that evetyone got that from all employers shock.

ElliesWellies Tue 02-Apr-13 11:59:00

Yes, we are very lucky. We also don't have to pay back any of it back if we choose not to return after maternity leave.

PurpleStorm Tue 02-Apr-13 12:01:37


That is very misleading wording.

ParadiseChick Tue 02-Apr-13 12:01:38

I got 6 months full, 3 smp, 3 nothing then after going back a lump sum making up the difference between my 3 smp months and full pay so basically full pay for 9m but am well aware this is above the norm!

WestieMamma Tue 02-Apr-13 12:08:23

If it makes you feel any worse better, the figures given for Sweden are almost correct. We get 480 days (including saturdays and sundays) parental leave, split equally between both parents. Although either parent can transfer all but 60 of their days to the other parent. Statutory Parental Leave is indeed 80% of salary (subject to a high earnings cap) for the entire duration and many employers have agreements with the unions to pay the additional 20%.

Parents who don't work get Statutory Parental Leave at approx £22 per day for any time they take.

BeCool Tue 02-Apr-13 12:33:46

FriedPotaoes that is a dreadful scenario. Still at least she will have the resources of the Debt Advisory Centre to help her if she needs it ..........

Oh! confused blush

absolutmum Tue 02-Apr-13 12:42:12

I got 9 months full pay, I think it increased to 1 year soon after I returned to work. But that was 9 years ago!

Sparklyboots Tue 02-Apr-13 12:42:22

I haven't worked at my place long enough to qualify for SMP so will be entitled to Maternity Benefit (£135/ week) for 39 weeks. My employer, as I understand it is required to give me back my old job without substantial changes in duties/ expectations but this is only for 6 months? They are required to give me a job after 12 months but can have made changes to pay/ conditions on my return.

What's your line of work, Paradise and Ellie? <thinking about career change!!!>

DolomitesDonkey Tue 02-Apr-13 12:42:53

As a near or actual minimum-wage worker she'll probably be better off on full-time benefits than actually getting her full-time wage. Those who feel the pain are in the middle.

absolutmum Tue 02-Apr-13 12:43:46

I got 9 months full pay, I think it increased to 1 year soon after I returned to work. But that was 9 years ago!

KateSMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 02-Apr-13 12:54:10

Hullo all,

Thanks for bringing this to our attention, we'll pass this onto our content team <evades responsibilty neatly>

BeCool Tue 02-Apr-13 13:04:04

Thanks KateS

MrsHuxtable Tue 02-Apr-13 13:21:51

Why is Germany not mentioned in the top 4?

With 3 years off for each child born I think they should be mentioned.

You either get 1 year on 60% pay and the rest unpaid, or 2 years on 30% and the rest unpaid. Never mind the very, very generous child benefit on top. 185 euros a months for each the first and second child, more after that.

MrsKoala Tue 02-Apr-13 13:23:05

Friedpotatoes - i had the same discussion with DH and all my friends when i got pregnant. No matter how i tried to explain it they all were convinced everyone got a year of full pay confused

When it sunk in to a few they were outraged. They had all thought the language of people saying 'you get a year off' meant a year at full pay. As it was all i got was MA as i hadn't worked at my company for long enough.

I think the way it is described needs to be much more explicit.

digerd Tue 02-Apr-13 13:25:56

I didn't see Germany in the list?

But was told by a sister-in-law many decades ago, that they had 1 years mat pay and the right to return to the same position within 7 years time. All laid down by law.

MrsHuxtable Tue 02-Apr-13 13:28:34

digerd, it's 3 years for Germany. Has been for at least 20 years. Only how it's paid changes from time to time.

MrsHuxtable Tue 02-Apr-13 13:30:06

But 3 years for each child, so if you had a second, 2 years into your ML, you don't lose the third year of the first batch, it accumulates for each child.

TooExtraImmatureCheddar Tue 02-Apr-13 13:45:46

Yy, 39 weeks. I got 14 weeks full pay, 25 on SMP and I could have had the rest of the year off unpaid, but couldn't afford it. SMP is a tricky subject - for me it means a huge drop in our joint income. However, I know I'm lucky to get anything. 1 year on 60% pay would be fantastic! And 80% even better. <considers moving to Sweden or Germany before ttc again>

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