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Returning to work early after ML

(29 Posts)
NowwhatdoIdo123 Fri 27-Jan-17 14:37:38

Did anyone return to work early after ML because they couldn't manage financially on SMP or MA?

If you did, how old was baby when you returned to work?


Champagneformyrealfriends Fri 27-Jan-17 14:39:28

I returned after 6 months instead of 9 but because I had a job opportunity that wouldn't be available if I waited. DD was 7 months old.

2410ang Fri 27-Jan-17 14:41:03

My eldest was 16 weeks when I went back to work. He went to nursery 2 days and grandparents 3 days per week.

I was a wreck, he loved it grin

Hellmouth Fri 27-Jan-17 14:43:56

I just went back to work after 7 months. DS is just under 7 months old.

Due to unforeseen circumstances since I told work I was coming back, though, we would actually be better off if I had stayed on SMP a little longer! DS currently does 3 days at nursery but this will go up to 5 in March once I'm back full time.

NeedsAsockamnesty Fri 27-Jan-17 14:45:25

Most of mine have been 2 weeks off but the most recent as I'm about to start retirement planning I'm taking longer

Treaclex Fri 27-Jan-17 14:47:02

A week later due to the fact I'm self employed and many people rely on me. Yes I was crazy but nobody dared to judge me at the time, well not to my face. You have to do what ever is best for you and your family.

BurningGubbins Fri 27-Jan-17 14:52:59

I went back when DS2 was 6.5 months, not just because of the money - I am not cut out for long mat leave. DH took shared parental leave for 3 months.
What's early though? Earlier than you intended or earlier than the 1 year mark that everyone seems to aim for? I went back about a month earlier than planned.

letsmargaritatime Fri 27-Jan-17 14:56:24

treacle are you a childminder by any chance?

pistonpower Fri 27-Jan-17 14:59:35

I was back at 16 weeks. DS was 14 weeks at the time. I was lucky in that I was paid full pay for the 16 weeks then it dropped to half pay so I had to return. DH wasn't working so looked after DS.

MetalMidget Fri 27-Jan-17 15:07:31

I'm going back when my wee one is 8 months old. No family nearby, so it'll be nursery full time.

I sometimes cry thinking about it, but I love my job, we want to move to a bigger house (I really want space for a dinner table so we can eat as a family sad) and I think nursery could provide him with socialization and stimulation that I can't (as I'm usually too knackered).

Palegreenstars Fri 27-Jan-17 15:07:42

I had to take early mat leave so for financial reasons had to go back at 6 months. The benefit being I could do a phased return over a few months to help everyone adjust.

I think I would have found it harder if I'd had a baby with colic or one who slept less. As it is I felt completely ready (although that's not to say being a working parent doesn't have plenty of feelings of guilt)

I ended up stopping breastfeeding, introducing solids and nursery all at the same time. With hindsight I might have timed that better as it made for a stressful time.

hellsbellsmelons Fri 27-Jan-17 15:11:03

I went back after 3 months.

Catherinebee85 Fri 27-Jan-17 15:49:46

It's not happened yet but my plan will be to have 6 months off and for DP to have 6 months off running concurrently. I'm the main earner but work long days (12.5hrs) and nights. I'm hoping that the fact I only work 3 days most weeks will make things slightly easier but I'm sure it won't feel that way when it comes to it!x

notfromstepford Fri 27-Jan-17 15:56:53

With both of mine I went back when they were 6 months. Couldn't cope financially if I hadn't. But DH took 3 months off with the first one and for this one is taking the other 6 months.

DS1 was in nursery full time at 9 months and he loved it.
DS2 is starting in 2 weeks.

You have to do what you have to do. I had lots of comments and digs about not being off for the full time, but as I'm the main wage earner - I didn't have a choice. My answer to the comments always were "well feel free to pay my mortgage and my bills for me and I'll happily take the year off" Soon shut them up.

NowwhatdoIdo123 Fri 27-Jan-17 16:02:28

Thanks everyone.

I'm going back after 5 months, DD will be 4 months. My employer is only holding my job for 6 months, if I choose to take additional 6 months maternity leave I may end up going back to a job of equal status and pay but it may not be my original job, which I really don't want. My maternity pay from employer was 90% for 6 weeks and then SMP.

NowwhatdoIdo123 Fri 27-Jan-17 16:03:37

With my return to work looming I'm now getting lots of comments that I'm going back to work too soon.

GlitterGlue Fri 27-Jan-17 16:04:16

It's not that many years ago that smp lasted for only six months, and j think three months before that. Those now adults seem absolutely fine.

Just check how much notice you have to give. I think it's eight weeks unless they agree less.

AnotherEmma Fri 27-Jan-17 16:08:30

"My maternity pay from employer was 90% for 6 weeks and then SMP."

SMP is 90% of your salary for 6 weeks and then £139/week. So your employer isn't giving you any extra.

Ignore the comments from people saying you're going back "too soon", that's sexist bullshit. No one says that to a man who takes the minimum 2 weeks paternity leave, do they?!

I'm planning to go back to work when my baby is 8-9 months old, and that's not for financial reasons, it's because I want to work. If I had to go back earlier for financial reasons, I would.

NowwhatdoIdo123 Fri 27-Jan-17 16:12:09

OMG I didn't even realise that's standard SMP AnotherEmma so my employer hasn't actually given me anything! I'm quite shocked at that due to length of time with them etc.

AnotherEmma Fri 27-Jan-17 16:13:23

Yes you'd be surprised at how few employers offer enhanced maternity pay, i think sometimes people who do get it don't realise quite how lucky they are!

SingingInTheRainstorm Fri 27-Jan-17 16:17:42

Some people return after 6 weeks, some 6 months, some 12 months. It's a shame you're struggling financially, as it's a different kettle of fish to wanting to return to the adult world.
Have you checked to see if you are eligible for any benefits? If you have debts you could call them to organise a payment plan for a few months. Or you could return part time, I don't know if that would affect your MA/SMP, HR would be the best to talk to.
I'm sorry you're struggling, I hope there's something you can do to alleviate the financial pressure. You could also check to see if you could lower gas & electric, if you're getting CTC , you are eligible for £140 off your heating bill. You just speak to your supplier and they'll apply a credit to your account.
Good luck flowers

nippey Fri 27-Jan-17 16:20:34

I went back 3 days a week when DD was 3 months and up to 5 days after a month due to financial reasons. I was a mess but she loves nursery, and has developed a strong bond with the staff which makes me feel better. She's 2 now and runs in every morning happily!

DingyDillDong Fri 27-Jan-17 16:23:57

I had to go back after six months and put ds in nursery full time. I got all the comments about it being too early, but you need to do what's best for you. MIL told me that she hates him going to nursery and that she cried on his first day confused my sister said that it wasn't fair on him and took every chance she had to tell everyone she was having the full year off with her baby but I had to go back to work. My dad tried to convince me to take a full year and he'd pay half my wages because he knew I couldn't cope working.

He was absolutely fine, I was absolutely fine and now I've managed to change my hours to get an extra day off with him during the week.

SingingInTheRainstorm Fri 27-Jan-17 16:33:57

Just wanted to add, depending on your income, as its lower due to SMP, you could be entitled to WTC, also milk vouchers, which can go on formula or just be taken off your shop.
When we had DC1 you got double CTC for the first year, I think they've stopped that now, which is a shame because it helped those who relied on SMP. You also get a NHS exemption card I think, which means whilst on WTC you get all your prescriptions, dental and optician stuff for free, apart from glasses. You can get children's medicines too as pharmacies offer a passport scheme & they can prescribe calpol / nurofen / infacol / gripe water, so as it's a child it's free. If you're an adult and get thrush or cystitis they can prescribe stuff to help, with the exemption card it'd be free.
Work out from April last year, till you start ML, then add on 90% salary, then however many weeks of SMP, you'll get a new figure of what your actual earnings this year will be. Then let TC know. They might even back date it.
What are you doing childcare wise, as the childcare costs may negate the financial benefits of returning earlier.

wasonthelist Fri 27-Jan-17 16:37:58

It's not that many years ago that smp lasted for only six months, and j think three months before that Indeed - the current regime came in 2007.

Interestingly, given the current propensity for garish headlines about how we are doomed for various reasons this report from the time says the

The new rules, introduced on Sunday, were slammed by business groups which fear they will cause chaos for companies around the country.

Yeah, of course they did.

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