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What does all this maternity pay mean?!

(9 Posts)
pep124 Wed 24-Aug-11 11:17:48

Hi, I'm newly pregnant, on my own, and vaguely panicking about everything. I've got a good job, and have worked for the company for years. However, one of the perks of a nice-ish salary is that i've also got a massive mortgage...
I've checked our staff handbook for maternity pay - and have no idea what all this means (esp the last bit about staff with more than one year's service) - any ideas?
Thanks all in advance xx

Employees with due dates of or after 1 April 2007, and with 26 week’s continuous service
continuing into the 11th week (“the qualifying week”) before the expected week of childbirth
(“EWC”, starting on a Sunday), will receive 10 weeks full pay inclusive of all SMP
entitlements, 8 weeks at full pay minus £124.88, and the remaining weeks of statutory
maternity leave at the SMP rate of £124.88. The first 26 weeks are classified as Ordinary
Maternity Leave (OML) and the remaining 26 weeks are called Additional Maternity Leave
(AML). SMP is not payable to staff with less than 26 weeks' service. However, the State
Maternity Allowance can be claimed and is equivalent to the current rate of Statutory Sick
Pay (£79.15). Those with one year’s continuous service continuing into the 11th week before
the EWC will be entitled to one year’s maternity leave. The maternity leave will be paid
leave for the first 39 weeks; additional maternity leave (AML) will be unpaid leave.

LawrieMarlow Wed 24-Aug-11 11:23:31

As long as you have been working there from before when you were pregnant, you will get their enhanced maternity pay package.

When you stop working you will get 10 weeks at full pay.

Then you will get 8 weeks at full pay less SMP for each week

Then you will get the rest of it at £124.88 a week. I am not sure how long "the rest of it" is as in my day it was only 6 months paid but I think there are 9 months paid now ie 39 weeks. So you would get 21 weeks of £124.88 a week.

Generally the qualifying weeks (ie what full pay is) are weeks 17-25 of being pregnant and an average is taken to give your full pay weekly amount. And maternity pay is taxed.

Does that make any sense?

LawrieMarlow Wed 24-Aug-11 11:24:35

How long have you worked there for? I think you must only get the 39 weeks of maternity pay if you were there for a year from when you are 29 weeks pregnant.

pep124 Wed 24-Aug-11 11:32:04

Been here 10 years (ridiculous I know)
Thank you...
Drat - was hoping the last bit meant I got paid loads but obviously not!
So basically I'm going to have to go back to work after 18 weeks - bugger. x

LIZS Wed 24-Aug-11 11:34:29

SMP = Statuory Maternity Pay ie. the amount the govt allows employers ot claim on your behalf, MA = Matenity Alowance which may be claimed in cases where SMP is not applicable due to less than minimum service or low earnings.

Ordinary Maternity Leave
10 weeks at full pay (calculated as the average actually paid across specific weeks so if , for example, you recieved a bonus in that time that is taken into account)
8 weeks at full pay less SMP amount (although presumably this can't be less than SMP amount)
21 weeks at SMP rate

Remainder (13 weeks) is called Additional Maternity Leave which is unpaid but can take up to a year's leave with your job being held open.

You 'd also need to check whether any of what is paid over and above the normal Statutory Entitlement (90% of full pay for 6 weeks then SMP rate for 33) could be reclaimed by your employer should you decide not to return to work after a year.

Ellypoo Wed 24-Aug-11 11:39:05

You get the enhanced pay for the first 18 wks, as LawrieMarlow said, the rest of the 39 weeks (so a further 21 weeks) is at SMP, with the ability to take a further 13 weeks (so up to 52 weeks in total) unpaid. This part is the stat mat allowance.
The enhanced package for the first 18 weeks is incredibly generous - I wish I got that!! Are you able to save money between now & the 18th week of your mat leave to cover any further time off that you may wish to take?
You will also be accruing holidays for the period that you are on mat leave, so maybe you could use those to extend your mat leave a bit?

pep124 Wed 24-Aug-11 12:05:32

Thanks everyone - think I understand now.
And yep - need to save. But also need to pay off credit cards as pg is 100% unplanned and unexpected - damn all the holidays I took earlier in the year without a care in the world! Should be able to clear debts and save a teeny bit by then. Also considering moving out of my house and renting it for six months of maternity pay, and moving in with my folks which would massively help financially - they'd drive me mad, bless them, but with a mortgage of £1300 a month woudl save me loads. Plus they have one house in UK and one in France (I know, they're/I'm very lucky), so with a due date in April I might be able to sort a teeny bit of maternity leave in the south of france?!

hairylights Wed 24-Aug-11 17:43:42

It means that you get a much better rate if oat while you are on maternity leave. The statutory minimum (that I will get) is 90 percent of pay for six weeks then statutory pay @£125 per week.

Enjoy! smile

Grevling Wed 24-Aug-11 19:01:40

As above ignore the MA stuff as it doesn't apply to you. Also the SMP rate is now £128.73 so the numbers may be a few quid off those above.

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