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About Maternity Pay?

(55 Posts)
AhemExcuseMe Thu 24-Oct-13 16:03:38

So the baby broodiness has hit me hard recently. I'm still relatively young to start worrying about this and I never thought I'd be the type to start pining after a child but nonetheless it's the only thing I can think about!
I've obviously discussed this with my OH and he's worried about timings and costings. We have mortgage payments to make and although both of our wages have increased since we originally bought our house our spending has increased in line with this - we were frightfully frugal for the first year.

He would also like to get milestones like marriage and next job out the way and house renovations. An extravagant wedding is not something either of us are fussed about but to invite the families the expenditure would wipe out our savings.

To put his mind at ease I was doing the maths on how much I would be bringing in if I was on maternity. I want to make sure we wouldn't be in major difficulty or put too much strain on our savings.
The amount I'm entitled to came to £665 a month. I currently get paid nearly triple that after tax! How is that not going to put a strain on us and how are we expected to manage?

I know that your replies will probably be that we'll find a way to make it work but I'm worried about the logistics of it. There honestly isn't much we can cut back on and do I need to pay tax and does the cheque come in weekly or monthly instalments does it come from work or hmrc? Too many questions!! confused

LIZS Sat 26-Oct-13 09:15:59

I'm not sure where your £665 comes from . SMP is about £136 pw for 33 weeks and 90% of amount earned in specific weeks before baby is due for first 6 . Plus Child Benefit at about £20pw You employer may top this up with its own discretionary scheme but here may be strings attached. Try not view it as such a loss. Between you you would still have an income of over 2k after tax , presumably near 4k atm. Yes you might have to save now for alter and become more frugal again and prioritise your expenditure but that level of income should be ok for a while.

janey68 Sat 26-Oct-13 09:45:20

If you are seriously saying you can't cut back anywhere to be able to set aside money for maternity leave, then how on earth will you manage after maternity leave when you have the additional several hundred pounds a month childcare costs? I don't want to rain on your parade , but for someone who is clearly wanting to plan this is detail, you seem to be ignoring the really expensive time which is when you go back to work. Many childcare providers insist on payment all year round: our nursery was fabulous but it was full pay 51 weeks a year, only shut for one week over Christmas. Some childminders may do a half pay retainer for times you're not using them but basically , expect childcare to be your biggest expense

The maternity leave itself is doable; if needs be, go back to work sooner, many women do.
It was only 3 months anyway when I had my first baby. With the second I could had another 3 months ( unpaid in those days!) but couldn't afford that

I do get where you're coming from OP because if you earn above the thresholds for any help with childcare etc then it can be tough. But that's how it used to be for all of us ( even for those on relatively low incomes ). We had to scrimp and save before kids, and then had a very lean time while they were pre- school, even having to remortgage to afford childcare. You need to look long term though. We're fine now our children are teenagers, and it's definitely been worth if long term to keep my career going. I think you just need to be very honest with eachother that having children IS a big financial drain.

janey68 Sat 26-Oct-13 10:22:31

And to go back to the OP, no it's not unreasonable that maternity pay doesn't match your income while you're working. That would be completely unaffordable if someone were being paid to cover your job and you were also being paid the same rate.

IMO the situation re: maternity and paternity entitlements is about right. Maternity leave is now very long (52 weeks if you want it) and transferable leave between the parents is a massive step forwards. Maternity pay will mean tightening your belts and saving beforehand for many, but it seems reasonable to me. Now childcare costs on the other hand i think are exorbitant and I think there should be more help for them, not just for those on relatively low incomes. As with many things I think those who earn just over the thresholds are hit hardest. If you don't earn much you get subsidies, if you earn loads you're probably ok, but middle earners do have a tough time

But maternity pay- no, I can't see what you feel is unreasonable about it.

DontAskIDontKnow Sat 26-Oct-13 12:03:15

I didn't really plan a second maternity leave when I had my first DC. If you go back part-time then SMP will be based on a smaller wage for DC2. I didn't have much of my savings left after the first maternity leave and had quite a bit less income to replenish them when planning DC2. It's worth considering if you're planning ahead.

Modestandatinybitsexy Sat 26-Oct-13 22:55:54

I'm AhemExcuseMe, I've name changed because I'm new and didn't like the last one.

In answer to most of your concerns I have looked into childcare. The only local fee information I can find is two thirds of my wages, this means I'd only be contributing half of what I currently do to the household and would leave me with no spending money. This is a worry in itself but we do have other options we can explore - DP's mum is a CM.

Thinking about it I know IABU, I had just been doing the maths and there was no way I could spin it to make it more appealing, this then disappointed me because then it's going to be even harder to convince my OH that now is the right time to start trying. Probably because it isn't the right time; no matter how much I want it to be sad

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