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Maternity pay problems! Help!

(29 Posts)
Mummybashy3111 Tue 11-Nov-14 21:55:24

I work part time for a small buisness where it's just me, the boss and another lady (who is currently off after having an operation)

I told her I was pregnant and a week later she had spoke to her accountant and said the accountant had told her.. She is only having to pay me for 26 weeks maternity pay and that's all she can afford to pay me for. Even though I have worked there for 3 years and I earn enough for smp apparently that's all I'm entitled to? I thought it was 39 weeks paid. When I told my employer this she said she will check with her accountant but hasn't got back to me about it yet. Not only that but I am so fed up of being asked when I coming back, in front of clients!! It's just so unprofessional and even though I've done my research on maternity leave and pay she doesn't seem to understand. Can anyone tell me if it is possible I am only entitled to 26 weeks as everywhere I have looked says up to 39 weeks paid???

8dayweek Tue 11-Nov-14 22:16:02

My understanding would be that if you qualify for SMP you would receive 6wks at 90% of your avg. weekly earnings, followed by 33wks at the SMP rate (£139 approx.), if the employer chose to add to this by paying their own top up maternity rate then it's at their discretion. Is she perhaps talking about that? confused

Mummybashy3111 Tue 11-Nov-14 22:23:21

No she is saying she can only pay me for 26 weeks and her accountant has told her that's all I'm entitled to? I'm unsure of why I would only be entitled to 26 weeks paid leave rather than 39 weeks.

8dayweek Tue 11-Nov-14 22:36:43

Sounds like she's talking rubbish. You can take up to 52wks off, although only 39wks will be paid (unless your employer provides additional maternity pay). You just have to give the correct notice periods and hand in your MATB1 form at the right point! Plus, SMP can be reclaimed by the employer so they can hardly say they "can't afford" it! If they're such a small business that they qualify for "Small Employers Relief" then they'll effectively be gaining by you being on maternity leave! Look > https://www.gov.uk/recover-statutory-payments

Mummybashy3111 Wed 12-Nov-14 08:06:06

That's exactly what I thought and have told her so just waiting to get a minute in private to try and talk about it again. If she still says she can only pay me for 26 weeks I don't know what I could do as it's a small buisness we don't have a HR department. She used to have a woman that worked there and "let her down" because she has mental health issues and couldn't work any longer. She's forever complaining in front of clients that this woman left her in the shit and left her nearly bankrupt! So it's making me feel guilty about having to say I need more money even though I'm entitled to it!! confused she also is banging on about how long I'm going to be off and has taken it upon herself to think it will only be a couple of months when in reality I don't even want to go back! It's also very difficult with situations like this as she is a family friend and her daughter is a very good friend of mine. Sorry having a major moan just feel so fed up!

Chunderella Wed 12-Nov-14 09:49:39

Apparently the accountant knows as much about maternity rights as she does. You're right, the statutory minimum is 6 weeks at 90% and 33 weeks at £140 a week (or can be a bit lower if your earnings were low, but the number of weeks entitled would still be the same). She can claim more than 100% of this cost back from the state. You can then take 13 weeks unpaid if you wish. You will also accrue annual leave and bank holidays as normal during this period- if you're not planning to go back, it would make more sense for you to take the full year, so you can accrue holiday etc during the unpaid 3 months.

I agree you definitely need to ask for a private meeting with her. Do it by email, leave a paper trail. For one thing, she needs to know how long you're planning to take. For another, she needs to be aware of her obligations. It's not good that she discusses it in front of clients, but I guess if you're not returning, it's not your problem- it's herself she's making look unprofessional. You could take some printouts from Acas site and give her their employer helpline details, that sort of thing.

Mummybashy3111 Wed 12-Nov-14 21:54:40

Thanks for the advice! I will try and sort it out with her asap! Not sleeping atm with so much on my mind it would be a relief to know what's what!

mummybunny1 Wed 19-Nov-14 13:17:43

i am 25 weeks pregnant and over the duration of my pregnancy have been admitted to hospital couple times and have been off sick due to pregnancy related illness. my due date is 28th Feb 2015 but i am starting my maternity leave on 15th December 2014 due to my job being a waitress involving lifting, long hours on my feet in a stressy enviroment. i've been wondering for weeks now as to if there is a way for me to start my maternity leave early due to stress and illness but without affecting my maternity pay. its pressing on my mind and making me very stressed and depressed, i need help!! any advice will be very much appreciated.

donkir Wed 19-Nov-14 14:07:03

You can start maternity leave 11weeks before due date. If you are off sick due to pregnancy after 36 weeks you have to start mat leave.
I'm currently 29 weeks pregnant and work as a nanny. My boss can claim all my smp back from gov.
She will get a lump sum payment for the whole year even though I'm only taking a few months. Whatever I don't take she then has to give back when I go back to work.

mummybunny1 Wed 19-Nov-14 14:24:57

but i keep being told by people that i can do something called 'signed off' by my midwife. if i am, will this effect my maternity pay? i don't want to keep pushing myself to these limits as they are doing damage :'(

flowery Wed 19-Nov-14 14:26:57

You can get yourself signed off sick if you are not fit for work mummybunny1

LIZS Wed 19-Nov-14 14:28:56

You would have to be signed off sick until eligible for ML.

mummybunny1 Wed 19-Nov-14 14:29:16

i think its my best option really, baby's health comes first

Siarie Wed 19-Nov-14 14:34:55

She needs to get a new accountant, that advice doesn't bode well for the business overall.

flowery Wed 19-Nov-14 14:36:31

As an aside, the lifting etc is a health and safety issue your employer should have addressed, but in terms of illness if you are not fit for work you need to be signed off sick. Alternatively you could see if you can take holiday.

mummybunny1 Wed 19-Nov-14 14:37:57

so if i got signed off from work this week, id have to keep being signed off for a week up until my maternity leave? (13th December 2014) would that work?

mummybunny1 Wed 19-Nov-14 14:38:51

this is all helping me smile thank you very much guys, first baby, very anxious to get things right!

mummybunny1 Wed 19-Nov-14 14:49:05

just anxious as to whether they would want a lot of reasons or if i could sign off for backache and stress?

flowery Wed 19-Nov-14 14:55:52

Do you mean whether your doctor would need lots of reasons before he/she would sign you off? Unlikely, especially as it's pregnancy in a physical job.

chiliplant Wed 19-Nov-14 14:58:19

Hi mummybunny. I'm in exactly the same position as you.. Just want u t know you're not alone n I n your dilemma!

mummybunny1 Wed 19-Nov-14 14:58:45

yeah that's what i mean. okay then, so theyd be enough for them to consider signing me off?

mummybunny1 Wed 19-Nov-14 14:59:19

aw thank you chiliplant! thats re-assuring

Calico1706 Wed 19-Nov-14 15:11:01

You are entitled to SMP if you were working for the employer before you got pregnant, so if you have been there three years, you are entitled.

The calculator shows how much you should earn and what your rights are: www.gov.uk/calculate-your-maternity-pay

She also has no right to ask you when you are coming back.

LIZS Wed 19-Nov-14 15:13:57

Although isn't there a minimum earnings level below which it is Maternity Allowance not SMP ? Do you earn enough to pay NI or tax ?

Calico1706 Wed 19-Nov-14 15:35:27

I think if you earn less than £10 per week it is Maternity Allowance, but you still get it for 39 weeks. Best to put your figures and dates into the calculator and that will show you what you are legally entitled to.

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