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There should be a 9-month qualifying period for mat/pat leave.

(172 Posts)
garlicgrump Mon 20-May-13 17:14:44

A few recent threads have made me think about this. I think it's hopelessly wrong that a woman can get a new job while knowing she's pregnant, then bugger off for a year's mat leave. AIBU?

Guntie Mon 20-May-13 17:16:25

My DH doesn't qualify for paternity leave as we got pregnant just before he started his new job.

ThePavlovianCat Mon 20-May-13 17:16:52

What makes you think it's wrong? I don't think you've explained your position on this.

DeafLeopard Mon 20-May-13 17:18:34

I thought there was. There certainly used to be. IIRC you had to have been employed for 26 weeks before they could take mat leave

Guntie Mon 20-May-13 17:18:45

"You must have worked for your employer continuously for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth (known as the ‘qualifying week’)"

riksti Mon 20-May-13 17:19:17

You can always get maternity leave but not statutory maternity pay if you're already pregnant when taking a job. I would think the latter is a significant restriction for a lot of people who are changing jobs when pregnant.

KatoPotato Mon 20-May-13 17:19:43

YABU I found out I was 5 months pregnant the afternoon after I had a job interview. They called to offer me the job the next day and I told them I probably couldn't accept as I'd just found out I was pregnant. The HR girl told me this was fine and was up to me and she sent the maternity policy etc. Of course I could only claim MA but she explained I was the best person for the job and they couldn't discriminate based on my pg.

AnythingNotEverything Mon 20-May-13 17:20:21

I think you have to have 26 weeks employment before you're entitled to enhanced maternity pay.

As per PPs - please do explain exactly which bit you have a problem with your post is unclear.

MisForMumNotMaid Mon 20-May-13 17:20:35


Society needs to support its own development and within that procreation.

With current employment law revisions potentially allowing men to share maternity why is it just the women who you're single out?

Lj8893 Mon 20-May-13 17:20:47

Yanbu in that it is very unfair for a woman to start a new job while knowing she is pregnant (although she will have to have worked for the company 26 weeks by the time she is 25 weeks pregnant to qualify for smp)

YABU in that a woman may start a new job and then become pregnant shortly afterwards, planned or unplanned.

Trazzletoes Mon 20-May-13 17:22:39

If you don't qualify for stat mat pay don't you just get the maternity benefit instead? (Can't remember what it's called) which is exactly the same, only you have to go to the job centre to get it?

bakingaddict Mon 20-May-13 17:22:51

Somebody (OP) needs to go and get possessed of basic facts before they come over all Daily Fail

Lj8893 Mon 20-May-13 17:30:41

Yes, they would qualify for maternity allowance instead but then they are not claiming it from thier workplace and won't get the first 6 weeks paid as 90% of thier average wage (which is what smp pays for the first 6 weeks)

I think as long as the employee makes it known to the employer when taking the job it is fair to do so. At the end of the day why should a woman turn down potentially thier perfect job just because they will be off for a period of time while they have a baby (one of the most natural things a woman can do)

Birdsgottafly Mon 20-May-13 17:50:33

Saying that a pregnant woman shouldn't start a job, is all well and good, as long as we give pregnant women, welfare benefits that match their potential working wage.

FasterStronger Mon 20-May-13 17:51:50

if they were a good hire, they would be well worth the wait. but I have 'tried people out' if the past and would be I a v bad place if they were pregnant.

makes me think about not trying anyone out as it increases your risk an an employer

garlicgrump Mon 20-May-13 17:54:04

I wasn't thinking about the money so much - you can get mat allowance anyhow - but the keeping the job open. If an employer hires for a permanent position, then finds out the employee's going off in a few months, they've got to hire a temp. So, basically, they've employed two temps where they thought they were getting a perm.

I agree it should be fine as long as you tell the employer but, actually, they're not allowed to withdraw their offer on the grounds of your pregnancy.

FasterStronger Mon 20-May-13 17:56:20

actually I tried out a man who turned out to have an eating disorder and you could here his stomach rumbling the whole time. he could not perform any useful task as he was clearly really hungry all the time.

moral of the story: only hire people who are worth it even if they have an undisclosed condition which causes you hassle.

garlicgrump Mon 20-May-13 17:57:21

Baking, I certainly am not possessed of all the facts! I've only recent found out there is no qualifying period! <old gimmer>

CloudsAndTrees Mon 20-May-13 17:59:08

I'm torn on this one.

In a way, I think YANBU. It is unfair on employers and other staff who have to train up and welcome two new people into one job in such a short space of time.

On the other hand, I took a job not realising I was pregnant, and went on maternity leave six months after I had started there. But I then worked there for a further 9 years, so in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't seem that bad.

I think it's very wrong for people to take leave and pay when they know they won't be going back though.

garlicgrump Mon 20-May-13 18:00:07

Mis, I'm altogether in favour of shared mat/pat leave and don't think the new proposals go far enough. My query would still stand for men, though.

garlicgrump Mon 20-May-13 18:02:11

I think it's very wrong for people to take leave and pay when they know they won't be going back though.

Agreed - If it were possible to guarantee the return, it'd still be a problem but only half the problem it currently is. It's not reasonably possible, though; the effects of pregnancy & birth are so unpredictable.

Lj8893 Mon 20-May-13 18:05:09

Can't really use the same argument for patenity leave though, as if I am correct if they haven't been in the job for 26 weeks by the qualifying week (15 weeks before due date) they won't qualify for paternity leave?

My partner won't qualify for paternity but since he works for a family member he is able to have 2 weeks holiday (and is being allowed to take it at short notice so if I'm early or late he won't miss out)

TolliverGroat Mon 20-May-13 18:05:33

I just doubt it happens all that often that a woman gets a new job when she knows she's pregnant but her employers have no idea even after interviewing her and then she takes a full year's maternity leave even though she's having to get by on MA.

If it never crossed the employer's mind that she was looking a bit fecund then the chances are they're going to get a good 6 months or so out of her anyway before she goes on ML. And the chances are that then she's (a) going to come back early because she'll run out of money (threads on here from women getting MA only tend to involve having to go back to work after less than six months for financial reasons, IME) and (b) going to come back and give them plenty of good years (IIRC all the research shows that women with families tend to be more loyal to employers who've treated them well and with flexibility and will accept lower wages as a result.

garlicgrump Mon 20-May-13 18:16:56

Hmm - for one thing, they shouldn't be having to settle for lower wages.

I wasn't really aware of this until I noticed a trickle of threads on here by women who obviously had known they were pregnant when accepting a job, making sure they got the best value out of their entitlements. It's their legal right to do so, of course, but it did give rise to my first ever feelings of sympathy for employers who say they avoid hiring women!

I don't really see why a prospective employee shouldn't be required to at least intend to do the job for a year or so.

TolliverGroat Mon 20-May-13 18:26:03

Yes, but is your magic wand-waving going to deal with the whole problem (lack of family-friendliness of most employers, likelihood that women will settle (not necessarily consciously, just that the way you tend to get salary increases in the private sector is by switching company so if you stay with one company (out of loyalty or whatever) you are statistically likely to end up on lower wages than if you move around), assumption that raising small children is women's work, men being discouraged from flexible working or taking extended paternity leave, lack of availability of good affordable/flexible childcare, etc., etc.? Or do you just feel that the one bit of the whole shebang that actually benefits women at the moment (their rights to hang on to their jobs) should be legislatively abolished? Do you think that that's the one aspect that's the single biggest problem?

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