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AIBU to think that paternity leave policy is unfair…

(144 Posts)
Wombat12 Mon 01-Apr-19 17:41:54

I’m currently a full-time student and my DH works full-time. We’d like to start a family after I graduate. I’d have 2-3 months between the end of my course and the start of my job contract (guaranteed) so we’d aim to have the baby in that period/just before (as much as you can ever plan these things!) and our plan was then for me to start working full-time and my DH to take on the role of primary caregiver. So we looked into shared parental leave…

It seems that unless I am working for the required amount prior to my due date (26 weeks in the 66 weeks before earning at least £390 in total across 13 of those weeks) my DH won’t be entitled to any leave beyond the minimum 2 weeks. If I was working I could transfer my leave entitlement to DH. I might be being unreasonable but it seems unfair to me that my DH’s ability to take leave depends on my working status not on his own. If the situation was reversed my leave wouldn’t depend on his working status and I’d not be impressed if it did!

I appreciate this wouldn’t normally be a problem and I could just get a part-time job. However, unfortunately the course I’m studying doesn’t really allow any time for a job and it’s strongly recommended we don't have one, especially in our final year. Any suggestions of possible part-time jobs that would meet the minimum criteria and not be too time intensive really appreciated.

Sorry if I’ve explained this poorly!

Tunnockswafer Mon 01-Apr-19 17:45:10

I’m ignoring most of your post and just remaining gobsmacked that you expect to time the delivery of your as yet unconceived baby to a three month window. shock

PolarBearDisguisedAsAPenguin Mon 01-Apr-19 17:46:34

You need a part time job between weeks 17 and 25 that pays more than the minimum requirement to be entitled to SMP but you need to have started it at least the week before you get pregnant (although you could start off on fewer hours and being paid less as long as you earn the required amount during the qualifying period).

Jessgalinda Mon 01-Apr-19 17:48:38

If you arent working g you wont qualify for SMP either.

This is a shared leave policy.but you arent working so you cant share it.

Paternity leave is different and he will be entitled to that.

NannyRed Mon 01-Apr-19 17:49:12

Honestly, wait until you’re pregnant before you start looking for issues with paternity leave. It could be 6 months, 60 months or anywhere in between before you conceive, and even then you’re not guaranteed anything.

PianoVigilante Mon 01-Apr-19 17:56:10

I’d have 2-3 months between the end of my course and the start of my job contract (guaranteed) so we’d aim to have the baby in that period/just before (as much as you can ever plan these things!)

And you think that your major challenge with this castle in the air is financial? Honestly, OP.

pastabest Mon 01-Apr-19 17:56:30

So much naivety in one post grin

Why not hold off starting a family for a year of so and get some work experience built up and some maternity entitlements?

elliejjtiny Mon 01-Apr-19 18:00:16

I don't think your plan to have a baby within a 3 month window is going to work. We tried that and we have one child born a year later than we planned and one a year earlier. With the shared parental leave it would be your leave that you would be giving dh. If you aren't entitled to leave you can't give it to him.

AlwaysCheddar Mon 01-Apr-19 18:01:48

Oh bless....

sleepylittlebunnies Mon 01-Apr-19 18:02:13

It is unfair yes as if the roles were reversed and you were working full time with DH a full time student you would be entitled to SMP but not sure even then that you could transfer it to him. I’ve not looked into it tbh.

It sounds quite complicated to pull off. Your course doesn’t allow for having a part time job alongside studying. If you manage to get pregnant within the 2-3 month window that is needed what if you have a difficult pregnancy or even really bad morning sickness? Are you going to manage study and work.

It took me 9 months to conceive DC1, was mostly smooth sailing but signed off work from 34 weeks withpre eclampsia. Is there a reason you need to have the baby in that short time span, could you start the job and work first. If you don’t want to inconvenience a new employer you can always tell them you once pregnant that you are planning the legal minimum time off for mat leave before returning.

Cornettoninja Mon 01-Apr-19 18:02:40

I’m another aghast at the idea that you think you can time a pregnancy like that. I mean some women can but I don’t think that’s the average story tbh. I think it would be much wiser to wait and build up maternity rights in the job you’re planning to start and then go ahead with your plan.

I would say you may want to have a plan b,c and just for good measure a d in there somewhere. So much depends on you and the kind of baby you get. I was going to go and work nights but got a clingy non-sleeper that dp just couldn’t deal with overnight (still can’t but that’s another story). I’m sure she would have settled eventually but judging by the two months it took settle her in with the childminder it wasn’t a feat any of us fancied chancing.

Cornettoninja Mon 01-Apr-19 18:03:37

Oh and my dd was almost four weeks over her due date. The little tyrants just don’t run to plan.

Rtmhwales Mon 01-Apr-19 18:06:54

Ignoring the unlikelihood of planning a baby for that window (mine came two months early unexpectedly and there's zero way I would've been able to go back to work as you've planned), I agree.

I've moved back to Canada now and the maternity leave is way more generous. You get 52 weeks - the first fifteen mum has to take, but the remaining 37 are "shared parental leave" as whoever wants to take it can. A few of my friend's husbands have taken six months as it's based on a percentage of your wage and theirs was higher so on a balance it worked out well.

Does your partner not work at all? Not sure if I missed that in the OP.

Wallsbangers Mon 01-Apr-19 18:07:15

Do you know how babies work?

HattieRabbit Mon 01-Apr-19 18:15:00

I don’t think it’s unfair in the slightest, whilst they might not fit with what you want, the guidelines are clearly set out and available for you to base your decisions around.

Shared parental leave is a wonderful step forward for ft working parents and it’s right that rules/requirements are put in place to stop that being abused. You don’t have to like it- but you do have to accept/ get on with it!

As a 26 year old student (about to graduate and TTC) DH and I were in your situation, which is why I took a job with a large multinat during second year and worked my ass off so that I would qualify for all the benefits when DH/ I started a family. (So yeah... it can be done if you plan ahead)

Given that you’ve only just become aware of this I would suggest you either delay starting your family or accept that you’ll have to stay home.

(Which is exactly the decision I would have faced had I not killed muself to hold down the job/degree over the past 2 years)

OneDayillSleep Mon 01-Apr-19 18:15:57

As you are not working you have no maternity leave to share. I don’t see how you’d assume you’d get paid leave when you are unemployed?

I’m finishing a PhD, I’d really like to have another child soon, I can’t though, until I have at least started a job. Wouldn’t it be excellent if I could get pregnant now and get maternity pay one month after I hand in, before I’ve actually started my job. I don’t think that’s going to happen now is it.

BetsyBigNose Mon 01-Apr-19 18:19:18

Oh, you sweet summer child... grin

PCohle Mon 01-Apr-19 18:19:35

Well you have to have something to be able to be able to share it...

So unless you are entitled to paid mat leave your DH can't share it with you. It makes sense to me tbh.

I'm sure you've got the message from previous posters but I don't think this is likely to be the biggest issue with your plan grin

PurpleDaisies Mon 01-Apr-19 18:19:49


AnneLovesGilbert Mon 01-Apr-19 18:21:12

Bless. I’m currently on maternity with a newborn that’s arrived more than 3 years after we started ttc. I wish you much better luck than we’ve had but others are right that you might want to be a bit more realistic about how it could actually work.

Flamingnora123 Mon 01-Apr-19 18:28:23

This seems very optimistic! I absolutely thought I could carry on as normal throughout my first pregnancy, take a week off and crack on. Ha!
If your course leaders think it's a bad idea to have a part time job, it's a much worse idea to have a baby. The first 12 weeks are exhausting, and the last 12 weeks are even more exhausting. So during your final year and later on through exams/coursework you'll be suffering a selection of the following (not an exhaustive list):

Restless legs
Weight gain
Hormonal fluctuations
Did I mention exhaustion??

Enjoy your final year, concentrate on that and have a baby once you're done.

But good luck to you if you pull it off!!

Jessgalinda Mon 01-Apr-19 18:29:46

It is unfair yes as if the roles were reversed and you were working full time with DH a full time student you would be entitled to SMP but not sure even then that you could transfer it to him. I’ve not looked into it tbh.

Yes she would be entitled because she would be working. That's not unfair.

She couldnt share her leave with him if he didn't work. She cant go back full time and her dh get paid SMP to study.

VladmirsPoutine Mon 01-Apr-19 18:32:02

I don't think paternity leave is the most concerning aspect of your post. Good luck grin

You sound absolutely ridiculous.

Sparklesocks Mon 01-Apr-19 18:35:51

You can’t really plan pregnancies to that level of detail, there’s no guarantee you’ll conceive when you want to and then there’s a chance baby will be early or late. Is it not worth a little bit longer so you’re in a battery position?

Sparklesocks Mon 01-Apr-19 18:36:01

*better not battery!

PengAly Mon 01-Apr-19 18:40:11

Op im confused why your insanely unrealistic do you plan yo fall pregnant and have the baby before that 3 month window and then syart your guaranteed job after mat leave? If so, how are you getting mat leave from a company before you even start? OR are you planning TTC and fall pregnant in the 3 month window?

I mean either option seems very naive to me but i guess the 2nd one is the better of the 2...

rainingoutside Mon 01-Apr-19 19:26:25

I disagree with most of the posts.YANBU. Maternity and paternity leave are not equal so you do not have the same options as if the job/study roles were reversed which is inherently not fair. There will always be a difference needed for recovery from birth in the first six weeks, but I actually agree that there is no reason why only maternity leave conveys longer time off as opposed to being an equal choice between the parents. However, fair or not that is the current system, so either plan for little income or wait until you've been working 6 months before trying to conceive!
Timing pregnancy that precisely is not necessarily going to work (and the baby may be born early, or have an issue causing miscarriage etc), but as approx. 60%of couples at your age conceive within 3 months it's not the impossibility that posters suggest (and chromosomal issues causing miscarriage will also be lower probability at that age.) So you need to plan for the possibility of being pregnant the first month you try as well as the possibility it may take longer!
Good luck!

cadburyegg Mon 01-Apr-19 19:33:12

We started ttc for our first baby in January 2014. I fell pregnant in the May and DS1 came in February 2015.
Second time round we started ttc in January 2017. This time I fell pregnant straight away but miscarried in the March. Fell pregnant again in the June and had DS2 in March 2018.

And this is quite a straightforward ttc journey. We are/were young, no health issues that affected us. Hopefully, that helps you to understand why your timeframe isn’t very realistic.

BlueSkiesLies Mon 01-Apr-19 19:35:48

You aren’t working and you don’t have any maternity leave to share!

Merryoldgoat Mon 01-Apr-19 19:36:59

Do you understand how having a baby works?

Merryoldgoat Mon 01-Apr-19 19:43:04

I actually agree that there is no reason why only maternity leave conveys longer time off as opposed to being an equal choice between the parents.

You get maternity leave IF you’re working. You can share it IF your partner is working.

It one of you isn’t working why on earth would the government pay for for someone not currently in work earning to look after a child? It’s the equivalent of paying SMP to a person earning their normal salary.

And the reason maternity leave coffers longer time is that whole ‘recovery’ business which can be a long fucking time.

I’m still on blood pressure meds and referred to three clinics 13 months after my baby was born. The twice weekly doctors visits were much easier not having to negotiate time off too

Climbingahoneytree Mon 01-Apr-19 19:44:05

You do realise that there is a minimum maternity amount you have to take as a woman (I think 6 weeks) to recover from birth? Why would you be allowed shared parental leave after that if you aren't working? And your DH doesn't have a birth to recover from...

I don't think this problem even matters because you can't plan having a baby down to a 2/3 month window. It doesn't work that way.

Cloudyyy Mon 01-Apr-19 19:44:49

So you don’t have a job but would expect paid maternity leave?! What?!!

MyDcAreMarvel Mon 01-Apr-19 19:47:21

@Wombat12 register as self employed and pay class 2 no contributions. You need be registered as self employed for 6 months before baby is due.
It’s irrelevant how much you earn as you will be treated as earning £30 a week if you pay NI cost less than £3 a week.
You could do ironing, Dog walking, Avon , eBay business Ellet, etsy.
That way your dh will quality for shared parental leave.

YouLikeTheBadOnesToo Mon 01-Apr-19 19:50:08

My employer had a compulsory 6 weeks maternity leave for all new mothers, I’m not sure if this was a legal requirement or not. It might be worth checking with your future employer, you may not be able to start as soon as you’d like if you do have a baby.

Mixedupmummy Mon 01-Apr-19 19:51:43

I agree with pp that you should wait a year or so. so many potential problems with your plan. are you studying medicine/going to be a doctor? if so, even more so.
I think you need to research and speak to people about what being pregnant and having a small baby is like. a lot, dare i say most women find it gut wrenching having to leave a small baby to return to work. you will essentially be manufacturing a scenario where you will have to leave your tiny baby when if you just delay a while you will have more options and flexibly open to you.

Jessgalinda Mon 01-Apr-19 19:52:17

MyDcAreMarvel but SMP wont be paid at the full amount per week for him either

CustardOmlet Mon 01-Apr-19 19:53:05

I am more concerned that you appear to be describing a health care course, which you need to be able to pass the final elements (placement) in order to complete th course. As a healthcare educator I have seen many students taking time off placement with pregnancy related sickness and having to take an unplanned interruption. Do not risk it, get your first job, earn your maternity entitlement and calm down with the career ambitions!

MyDcAreMarvel Mon 01-Apr-19 19:53:39

Depends what job , many public service jobs pay full salary for six months for the partner.

iabvvu Mon 01-Apr-19 19:56:31

Lots of very patronising comments...

Are you a final year medical student? Only asking because there's a 2-3 month gap between finals and F1 at my uni so it would make sense. If so you defo can't get a job - ignore those saying 'it can be done', don't spread yourself too thin. But I would start working first before TTC, it does sound a bit hard to coordinate otherwise. Good luck x

OnlyFoolsnMothers Mon 01-Apr-19 19:57:19

So at best you’d have two months with your newborn before starting work....are you crazy?!

user1480880826 Mon 01-Apr-19 19:57:32

Concentrate on finishing your course and finding a job. Babies can wait. If you’ve got a job you’ll be entitled to maternity leave which you’ll be able to share with your partner if you choose (although I’m never quite sure how that works in reality if you’re breastfeeding but that’s a whole other topic for debate).

Jessgalinda Mon 01-Apr-19 19:58:13

Depends what job , many public service jobs pay full salary for six months for the partner.

Then he would get that regardless.

If the DHS employer was going to pay him full for 6 months, I cant imagine the OP would be that fussed

rainingoutside Mon 01-Apr-19 19:58:31

I understand how the current system of shared leave works being tied to the maternity leave entitlement, but I don't agree that a new system where either parent could choose to take leave wouldn't work, essentially making paternity and maternity leave an entirely equal choice.
The majority of couples would probably choose to the mother to take the whole time anyway (as happens now several years after shared leave was introduced), partly due to recovery/breastfeeding/societal factors, but couples would have the choice for what best suits them. Many mothers do return to work by 12 weeks such as in the U.S or self employed mothers.
I am simply agreeing with OP that the leave granted to each parent isn't equal in the current system and it could made so by a different system.

Jessgalinda Mon 01-Apr-19 20:01:12

I am simply agreeing with OP that the leave granted to each parent isn't equal in the current system and it could made so by a different system.

But both parents dont work so of course it's not equal.

ZippyBungleandGeorge Mon 01-Apr-19 20:02:49

😂 we hoped for a 2020 or after baby, DS is nearly five months old. Three month window 😂😂😂

AmIRightOrAMeringue Mon 01-Apr-19 20:03:03

Normally I'm all for increasing fathers leave and making it easier to share leave ms. parents. But you're being ridiculous. Its leave from work. Do you seriously think it's fair to work for a few months then get money off them for either of you not working for 9? Most benefits both statutory protections and from the company start off poor then increase once you've worked for a set time eg don't get a bonus or much holiday the first year, increased employment protection rights after 2 years. You're still usually in a probation period for 6 months, they might stick have no idea whether they want to keep you or not!

S1naidSucks Mon 01-Apr-19 20:04:01

Have you decided what colour of eyes your baby is going to have, OP? 🤣

MyDcAreMarvel Mon 01-Apr-19 20:04:27

Then he would get that regardless
No he wouldn’t two weeks paternity or six months shared parental leave!

mindutopia Mon 01-Apr-19 20:04:33

If you want to qualify for maternity leave (either for yourself or to share), you have to work. I had my first baby while doing a PhD. I started doing consulting work for about the year before in addition to my research so that I could qualify as self employed and then qualify for maternity allowance. There was no shared parental leave back then, but it meant I got 39 weeks of MA.

Now you want to talk about unfair though, my self employed dh doesn’t even get paternity leave as it does exist for self employed people. He took 3 weeks off unpaid and basically shuttered our family business so we could spend those early days together.

WorkingItOutAsIGo Mon 01-Apr-19 20:04:47

You seriously won’t want to be doing your final year of a university course during the first two trimesters of pregnancy. Crazy idea!!!

JustHereForThePooStories Mon 01-Apr-19 20:05:41

I hope your course isn’t a Ph.D in statistics!

But yeah... you have to actually be employed before taking maternity leave. Just like you have to be employed to take annual leave etc.

ZippyBungleandGeorge Mon 01-Apr-19 20:06:25

Ohhh does OP not know about the before 12 noon thing? Right date wrong time OP

Jessgalinda Mon 01-Apr-19 20:07:00

No he wouldn’t two weeks paternity or six months shared parental leave!

If its shared parental leave he will get the same payment the OP gets.

Very few places then top up paternity pay for 6 months. Especially when there is no amp payment.

Jessgalinda Mon 01-Apr-19 20:07:25

And again, I imagine the op would have pointed that out

Ginger1982 Mon 01-Apr-19 20:13:15

How old are you OP? What's the rush?

MyDcAreMarvel Mon 01-Apr-19 20:16:21

@Jessgalinda the whole of the civil service pays six months full pay shared parental leave. That applies even if the mother only sacrifices MA.

Biancadelrioisback Mon 01-Apr-19 20:19:42

Statutory required leave is 2 weeks (4 in a factory I believe).
Also I had DS 2 months early so you definitely can't plan these things OP

Ambs81 Mon 01-Apr-19 20:24:05

It’s really annoying when people without a child talk about their childcare plans.
It might take you 1 month, 1 year or 10 years to conceive!
You might have a great or hellish pregnant or birth.
You might have a poorly baby, that you can’t bear to leave.
Your work arrangements are the least pressing issue in this scenario.
You’ll soon realise when it comes to conceiving, pregnancy, birth and beyond it’s not something you can map out.
You sound really naive.

Hugtheduggee Mon 01-Apr-19 20:24:12

Its possible to conceive during a fairy narrow widow (we've managed to plan it both times), but its not guarenteed.

Its possible to work well through your pregnancy, but again not guaranteed.

Its ok to have it as your plan a, but don't rely on it too much. Getting pregnant can be harder than expected, and so can pregnancy.

MrsStock Mon 01-Apr-19 20:27:35

So many uneccessary and sarcastic comments!! OP, ignore them. Some people get pregnant within a few tries, some don't - hopefully you do! The only problem I foresee is the disappointment you will have when you aren't pregnant when you want to be. The reality of TTC is that it can be incredibly stressful so I would try and be relaxed regarding when you fall pregnant as it's unlikely that it'll be in the 3 month window you have specified. Good luck xx

MrsStock Mon 01-Apr-19 20:29:56

Most people are quite naive about the process of TTC until they've been through it!

butteryellow Mon 01-Apr-19 20:34:22

I love your optimism OP - I've got pregnant easily twice (and semi-accidentally the second time) - I had easy pregnancies, but if your courseload wouldn't allow for a part time job, I think you're going to struggle the first 3 months of exhaustion, and the last 3 months of ridiculous discomfort... let alone then the weeks of post birth recovery until you're back to fairly normal (for my second days, but for my first a good couple of months)

OwlinaTree Mon 01-Apr-19 20:35:58

Why don't you wait a year or so till you are working? Then you can take some leave and have a job to go back to without the timing issues. You won't have to rush back to work if you don't want to. Honestly, trying to start a new job with a tiny baby at home will be so stressful.

Jessgalinda Mon 01-Apr-19 20:36:54

the whole of the civil service pays six months full pay shared parental leave. That applies even if the mother only sacrifices MA.

How the op plans to become employed. So it messes it up. Just like it doe if you change employer.

HattieRabbit Mon 01-Apr-19 20:40:27


Despite finding the OP pretty nieve I really don’t agree with age shaming women about having children!

Insinuating that a woman is being ‘too eager’ or ‘impatient’ by wanting a child in her twenties! 🤔 people have different priorities!

I am repeatedly told ‘what’s the rush? You’re so young’ - 🤔 ‘the rush’ is that I literally cried in Sainsbury’s car park last weekend after standing next to a baby in the queue because my body clock has hit me like a bus this year and I’m desperate to start TTC!

I’m 26, DH is 32, we have everything in order to start TTC this summer. Nice house, good jobs/income, savings (just waiting on completion of my degree)! But still I get ‘why the rush?’

Well... the people suggestinh I wait are probably the same people questioning why mid/late thirties women struggling to conceive didn’t try earlier 🤔?!?!? You can’t win- everyone should have babies when it’s right for them! Nobody else!

Stopyourhavering64 Mon 01-Apr-19 20:41:59

I conceived very quickly...however I then had 2 mcs in close succession
3rd pregnancy was awful , followed by a traumatic delivery....don't underestimate how things can go badly wrong , even with meticulous planning regarding your 3 month window!

Fiveredbricks Mon 01-Apr-19 20:45:02

OP it took us over 12 years to get pregnant 😂

Focus on your career and then get full maternity entitlement and do what you want. Don't be so daft and naïve.

GabsAlot Mon 01-Apr-19 20:47:43

sorry to be thick surely you need to be working to get shared parental leave-its not a case of well hes working so yeah have some time off even though u werent working in the first place

user1497299487 Mon 01-Apr-19 20:50:18

Just catching up with mumsnet, is this the April fool post? 🤪

Gone4Good Mon 01-Apr-19 20:50:25

I was 20 years old when I got married and our baby was born 40 weeks and 3 days after our wedding.

Second baby and second marriage - I tried for 5 years to get pregnant. Second baby was born when I was 35.

It's all hit and miss really.

xdestarx Mon 01-Apr-19 20:52:40

My and my DP are in a similar position and really want to start ttc dc1 but are postponing purposefully because it makes so much more sense for me to get settled into a career and earn my maternity entitlement before ttc in 2020. Unless you're both on the older side for ttc then waiting until you've started your guaranteed job surely makes the most sense?!

Wombat12 Mon 01-Apr-19 20:56:42

Thanks for all your replies. I do appreciate how my post comes across as incredibly naïve, I tried to cut all the detail out of it so it wasn’t too long!

We are very aware that we may not be able to conceive, or that if we can there’s absolutely no way we can guarantee the timing of this, especially not to a 3 month window – I agree it’s absolutely ridiculous to think we could do this but can see how that came across in my post!

What we planned to do is start TTC 9 months before the beginning of that 3-month block. If we can conceive then brilliant, if not we have thought that through. If we can conceive but later than that then I would just not start my job that year (would still be there the year after)/start and take unpaid leave (guaranteed job still there on return)/start and qualify for SMP depending on the timing. So then my question about suitable jobs to qualify for shared parental leave becomes obsolete in all those circumstances as I wouldn’t be looking to share parental leave which is why I didn’t include this in my original post.

The starting work ‘plan’ has always been with the proviso that if I changed my mind and didn’t want to start, or if I or the baby weren’t in a position for me to go back so soon then I wouldn’t. Also aware as other PPs have suggested that pregnancy might be really rough, would cross that bridge if we came to it but have chatted it through with uni and they would be fully supportive of taking time out/making adjustments if needed.

As a PP highlighted, it’s not impossible that we would fall pregnant quickly. In which case we didn’t want to be naïve and not have considered this in terms of me finding a suitable job. I thought it might take a while for me to find the right thing so was starting this process of looking for something way in advance of needing to and hoping you all might have some useful suggestions.

Thanks MyDcAreMarvel that’s really helpful.

Hope that makes more sense! Climbs back under tin hat.

Hersheys Mon 01-Apr-19 20:58:32

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

LEDadjacent Mon 01-Apr-19 21:06:48

Babies can come early you know. Any time from 37 weeks is considered full term.

eightoclock Mon 01-Apr-19 21:06:59

Hersheys you need to grow up yourself - getting kicks out of swearing at random Internet strangers

Hersheys Mon 01-Apr-19 21:07:58

@eightoclock no kicks here

eightoclock Mon 01-Apr-19 21:10:03

As long as you can cope on your husband's salary alone, there's nothing wrong with what you are planning. The current system does seem a tad sexist in many ways. How would it work for 2 gay dads?
Being pregnant is horrible though - best to be secure in a job if possible.

Ginger1982 Mon 01-Apr-19 21:10:46

I still don't get why you wouldn't get a job first and then have a family? How old are you? Do you think you'll be happy having DH as primary carer? Does your mean having baby and going to work perhaps a month or so later?

JustHereForThePooStories Mon 01-Apr-19 21:11:44

OP, can I ask what age you are?

If you’re 42 I can nearly see your point but, if time is on your side, surely you see the benefit of gettong eatablished in your new job first?

GPatz Mon 01-Apr-19 21:17:00

'Many public service jobs pay full salary for six months for the partner'

I wish my public sector job offered this. Sadly, the shared parental leave only applied after the employee benefit ended, so DH could only claim statutory pay.

GrasswillbeGreener Mon 01-Apr-19 21:17:55

Well, if as someone above wondered, the OP is a medical student, I can understand the worry about "the right time". Although you can expect to be in employment after your course, the ongoing assessment requiremnents are onerous and taking time out can lead to all sorts of difficulties and compromises - I'm not up to date on the details, but including stuff like repeating the year if you take more than a tiny bit of time out.

It can easily feel like you have to stay on the treadmill to progress, but at some point you will realise that a bit of delay here and there to your longer term aspirations really doesn't matter. I hope you can get some specific advice regarding career progression that helps you find a practical and realistic way forward.

And yes, most people can't plan babies to that degree.

augustboymummy17 Mon 01-Apr-19 21:18:13

Personally I would finish your degree and start your job then start ttc if you get pregnant straight away you will be entitled to the maternity allowance however if it takes longer at least you will be in a job and then be entitled to smp my first pregnancy was so easy I didn't even know I was pregnant until gone 20 weeks (we were house buying so all 'signs' we put down to stress and I still continued having periods' however I am pregnant again I've had so much time of due to sickness and other issues being in your final year and having to deal with any unpleasant pregnancy effects wouldn't be great it could cause you to mess up your final year which would mean you would have to redo the year so you still wouldn't get mat pay

Good luck x

Holidayshopping Mon 01-Apr-19 21:30:31

Many public service jobs pay full salary for six months for the partner

Can you elaborate?

sashh Mon 01-Apr-19 21:33:34

I have never had a baby. I have no partner and currently I am not working. If I shove a pillow under my clothes can I claim maternity pay? I have worked most of my life and payed NI. It's not fair if I can't.

LisaSimpsonsbff Mon 01-Apr-19 21:36:54

How would it work for 2 gay dads?

They'd get adoption leave, which works pretty much like maternity leave; like maternity leave, they can share it but you have to be employed.

rainingoutside Mon 01-Apr-19 21:37:19

Ok. So where one parent only works:
1)mother works, gets 9months paid stat leave, father at home
2) father works, gets 2 weeks paid stat leave, mother at home
So 1) and 2) are unequal (which is what OP was pointing out), but I can see people's point that in actual fact the inequality is not unfair because you could argue leave is only necessary where both parents work if both are considered equal carers. However, in practice because of recovery/impracticality of knowing if father involved, the maternity leave is simply always available.
So it's unequal but not unfair, situation 1) is potentially 'super-fair'.
Anyway good luck!

TheNanny23 Mon 01-Apr-19 21:41:20

Seriously? If you are a medical student then try and get through F1 first and delay trying for a year. You’ll then have full GMC registration and can do a lot more and have more flexibility as an SHO. One of my (male) colleagues had a baby just before starting FY and despite his wife being primary carer it really nearly broke him. He couldn’t get any sleep or rest anywhere and hardly saw his baby, and got dragged to ARCP panel for not doing enough portfolio. His marriage nearly ended.

tenbob Mon 01-Apr-19 21:46:58

You’ve fallen at the first planning hurdle, because a pregnancy is 40 weeks, not 9 months
So working back 9 months from your course finish date might be an issue. And that’s assuming the baby doesn’t come early or late

But you are really underestimating how demanding a) a new baby and b) a new job are

Your best case plan is that you’re starting a brand new career with a 12 week old baby at home, how may still be waking up for a feed every few hours, who may need settling after every feed

What’s the rush to have the baby in this tiny window rather than a year or two after being in your job?

PoesyCherish Mon 01-Apr-19 21:55:04

I didn't know this, it seems odd.

Ok. So where one parent only works:
1)mother works, gets 9months paid stat leave, father at home
2) father works, gets 2 weeks paid stat leave, mother at home
So 1) and 2) are unequal (which is what OP was pointing out), but I can see people's point that in actual fact the inequality is not unfair because you could argue leave is only necessary where both parents work if both are considered equal carers

On your last point, mum shouldn't get any paid leave then if dad isn't working, after all how can dad "share" his leave if he's not working... Though actually I think both should be entitled.

Why are people grilling the OP so much and suggesting she should wait? There are a multitude of reasons why a couple wouldn't want to wait - her age, his age, health reasons, type of jobs they've both got etc.

LisaSimpsonsbff Mon 01-Apr-19 22:06:37

On your last point, mum shouldn't get any paid leave then if dad isn't working, after all how can dad "share" his leave if he's not working... Though actually I think both should be entitled.

The thing is, shared parental leave still starts from the premise that it's the mother's maternity leave that she can choose to share, or not. That might not seem fair but once you start thinking about the ramifications of doing it any other way (who adjudicates if both parents want the leave? Who pays for the huge extra cost if loads of partners of SAHMs, who previously cost the state nothing in maternity pay for a second pregnancy, now take 9 months leave?) you can see why it was done that way. So if OP doesn't qualify for maternity leave and pay then she can't share something she doesn't have.

PoesyCherish Mon 01-Apr-19 22:10:57

Who pays for the huge extra cost if loads of partners of SAHMs, who previously cost the state nothing in maternity pay for a second pregnancy, now take 9 months leave?

I see what you're saying but what about in the cases of those who have Dad staying at home? It's rare but it happens. Mum is still entitled to 9 months pay so essentially the state is paying for both parents to be at home. Surely there would be a way of doing it where the first x amount of weeks Mum has to take (if working obviously) but then the rest is only payable if both parents work?

Alsohuman Mon 01-Apr-19 22:18:31

I'll tell you what unfair is, OP. When I had my son there was no maternity leave, no paternity leave, no shared parental leave, no child benefit for the first child and no childcare, subsidised or otherwise. And you complain about unfairness. I despair.

Fiveredbricks Mon 01-Apr-19 22:28:08

Oh and a healthy pregnancy is anywhere from 36-42 weeks on average OP... '9 months' is a load of bollocks for most. Although I say that, I was the one in 1000 who had their baby on the due date 😁

vgiraffe Mon 01-Apr-19 22:34:01

Everyone seems to be missing the point - the system is unfair as it assumes the mother will take on the role of primary caregiver. SPL only allows the father to take more leave if he uses the mother's mat leave allowance.

I am a SAHM and have just had another baby. DH had 2 weeks paternity leave. If he had been the SAHP and I was working, I could still take the full entitlement of maternity leave.

Witchend Mon 01-Apr-19 22:56:45

I feel bless, in the same way I did when dh's relative stamped his foot whenever anyone suggested baby might not come exactly on due date because "we know our dates exactly". He also said labour would be easy as they'd "practiced breathing". grin Apparently those of us who'd been through it before knew nothing about such things.
Guess how late (and what the labour was like) from that attitude. grin

SandyY2K Mon 01-Apr-19 23:16:06

I planned all my children and got pregnant immediately everytime... so I don't think that's unreasonable. I accept I was probably lucky, but I was very aware of my fertile period and had no issue.

I see your point about your DHs qualifying period depending on your employment as being unfair though.

I would have thought his paternity leave, is dependent on his length of service...not yours.

ZippyBungleandGeorge Mon 01-Apr-19 23:17:14

@MyDcAreMarvel I'm civil service, currently on mat leave. I am not receiving six months full pay and I've worked for my employer for nearly a decade.

minipie Mon 01-Apr-19 23:31:31

FWIW I agree with you OP that the rules on paternity and maternity leave are unequal between fathers and mothers. I suspect the real reason is financial - employers and the state couldn’t afford the extra cost and disruption from fathers taking long leave, unless it was balanced by mothers being back in the workplace earlier than they might otherwise have been.

Leaving that aside. If you are discouraged from having a job in your final year, a pregnancy during that period is really not a good idea. Many (perhaps most) women feel, at best, nauseous and exhausted during the first trimester. Second trimester is broadly ok. Third trimester is exhausting and uncomfortable. I was pretty useless in my job for a large portion of my pregnancy and I had a fairly easy one.

Oh and 10% of babies are born prematurely. That doesn’t include the ones born between 37-40 weeks (early term). If you go ahead with your plan I would suggest aiming for a due date that is 6 weeks after your course ends, at the earliest.

Legumewaffle Mon 01-Apr-19 23:35:07

Op I get you. I looked it up too and am annoyed at the same thing!

I'm also trying to do the degree (career change), new career and baby thing all at once. My DP is also coming up to 40 and is eager to get pregnant ASAP, as he's getting tired and his dad isn't in great health.

Would be so much easier if my DP could stay at home with baby (after a couple of months). It feels restrictive that he can't take time off in the same way that I could if I was working. It's all on me to juggle everything and if he could take the time off it would be easy. I don't know the answer!

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