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Working on maternity leave?

(10 Posts)
diamondfreddie Fri 02-Sep-11 22:18:10

Hi,

I’m 20 weeks pregnant and plan to tell my employer in two weeks time (when I get back from holiday).

I work for a small company and am heavily involved in quite a few different areas of the business. My baby is due in January which would mean that I’m off work during the busiest period of the year.

I’m aware that I can work up to 10 days whilst I’m off on maternity leave but would like to continue working throughout this period, ideally 1-2 days a week (at home).

Is there anyway I can do this? There has only ever been 1 girl off work before with a baby and she was only given 6 weeks pay. Would I be better off trying to negotiate a better maternity entitlement or could my work offer some kind of bonus payment each month? I only intend to be off work 8/9 months.

I love my job and really want to carry on being active, thanks in advance for all the advice!

Georgimama Fri 02-Sep-11 22:20:59

If you are in the UK you are entitled to SMP if you have worked for them for long enough. Info on directgov website will tell you if you are. That other girl may not have worked for the firm sufficiently long to qualify for leave or SMP. If she actually did and that was all they gave her it was illegal.

You cannot work for more than 10 days keep in touch during maternity leave. If you do your maternity leave and pay would cease.

diamondfreddie Fri 02-Sep-11 22:35:59

I would get SMP but was wondering if there was any way I could recieve more pay?

Could I go in and say I would like for example 6 months full pay but would work 2 days a week? Could I get paid 'bonuses' when working on my 10 days which would increase my pay?

thanks

Holdmyhand Fri 02-Sep-11 23:42:07

Is this your first baby? You may feel differently about work etc after your baby arrives. Working from home may also not be as easy as you think with a LO. Don't over commit yourself now. Good luck with it all.

annh Sat 03-Sep-11 00:14:09

If your company currently offers SMP I don't think your offer to work two days a week while being paid for 5 is very attractive to them? When you say that you would work from home, would you have childcare in place during this time. If not, I think your offer to your employer is even more unattractive. You cannot work effectively for any period of time while looking after a baby, you just can't. Assuming this is your first child, I would be very careful about committing to anything. You can't imagine how time-consuming and tiring having a baby can be and if you feel under pressure to work in order to receive this enhanced pay, this could make you feel even more tired.

Grevling Sat 03-Sep-11 01:31:28

Regardless of how you dress it up turning up / working for your employer for more than 10 days will result in your SMP being stopped.

Of course there is nothing to stop you working 2 days a week just bear in mind that this will be 2 days a week pay not 2 days a week pay + SMP.

Also working with a LO around as said above will not work so it's not worth contemplating.

KatieMiddleton Sat 03-Sep-11 16:18:43

I've been sitting on my hands on this one but I can't keep it in any longer: Diamond, what's in it for your employer? I can see what benefits you but can't see what they get out of it?

As everyone has said you cannot get SMP and paid on top if it is for more than 10 days keeping in touch (KIT). However, there is nothing to stop your employer giving you enhanced maternity pay but you still cannot work more than KIT days during that period.

You cannot work at all during the first two weeks after having a baby (4 weeks if you are a factory worker or similar) and then you can work the KIT days whenever during your maternity leave but only as full days. You can't for example say it's 7 working hours in a day, so that's 70 hours and then divide it up. That's not allowed.

Now, what you can do, is return to work earlier for say, two days a week after say three months or whenever you feel up to it. But your maternity leave would end as would your right to SMP (and your employer's right to claim it back from HMRC). As your employer I would not want to pay you full time pay for two days a week. I would want to pay you for two days. Possibly three if you were doing compressed hours and working for 10.5 hours per day. I would also insist you had childcare during that time because it is virtually impossible to look after a new baby and get any work done to a schedule. Everthing takes twice as long and I wouldn't want to pay for 10 hours work and only get five from you.

Of course there's nothing to stop your partner if s/he's an employee from taking additional paternity leave between 20 weeks and one year after your child is born and s/he will get SMP or whatever his/her organisation offers and you can return to work.

I think you need to decide whether what you want is the extra money or to keep working. From your posts it doesn't sound to me like it's the work but the money (although I fully accept it's just words on a screen so don't have the full picture) and if it is the money you need to negotiate some sort of occupational maternity pay. Tbh you may have left it a bit late as you are already pregnant and so you're in a weak position because they know you'll need to take the time off any way.

Tread carefully with your employer because you want them to do something for you and making demands could annoy them. It can be an awful shock to find you're not quite as important to your employer as you think you are <voice of experience>.

Georgimama Sat 03-Sep-11 16:47:58

Yes I have to say I am struggling to see why your employer would want to pay you full time wages for working two days per week. How do you intend to approach that negotiation and sell it to your employer OP? If you can think of a convincing argument I would love to try it on mine.

hairylights Sat 03-Sep-11 18:36:18

This sounds like a crazy idea to me. What you seem to actually be proposing is that you fake a v short period of maternity leave, but negotiate a one day week for a period of time.

You are allowed to work up to ten days (if you and your employer mutuLly agree) during maternity leave but if you want to work more than that you lose your maternity pay, so if your daily rate is less than £129 per day (you say you want to work one day per week) then it's not financially worth it.

hairylights Sat 03-Sep-11 18:36:58

Take, not fake.

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