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Length of time in job before being eligible for maternity pay

(13 Posts)
honeyharris Fri 13-May-16 11:43:49


Just as the subject line says really - wondering how long you need to be in a job before getting pregnant in order to be eligible to receive maternity pay?

(In a bit of a vicious circle - would love another child, have an hours commute each way so start and finish times wouldn't allow me to use a council nursery, can't afford to have two at private nursery so would need to be working closer to home) .

AnotherEmma Fri 13-May-16 11:47:21

To get Statutory Maternity Pay, you have to be pregnant before you start the job.

If you can't get SMP, you could get Maternity Allowance instead, provided you've worked for 26 weeks at some point in the 66 weeks before your due date.

AnotherEmma Fri 13-May-16 11:48:23

Argh sorry! I meant to say that to get SMP, you have to start the job before you get pregnant.

booksandchoc Fri 13-May-16 11:51:09

SMP is only paid if you get pregnant after you start the job, IE if your 12 weeks pregnant, you need to have worked in your current job for at least 13 weeks

BonerSibary Fri 13-May-16 12:04:55

You need to have started working there at least 1 week before the start of the pregnancy in order to get SMP. Remember also that the pregnancy will be counted from the first day of your last period, not when you DTD. So on a classic 28 day cycle, ovulate day 14ish, you need to be there for 3 weeks before conceiving, iyswim.

AnotherEmma Fri 13-May-16 12:08:50

Yep, basically you have to start the job, wait at least a week for your next period, and only get pregnant after that.

There isn't a huge difference between SMP and MA though. It's only the first 6 weeks of SMP when you get 90% of your salary as opposed to £140/week (which is what you'd get on MA).

honeyharris Fri 13-May-16 14:38:31

Fabulous, thank you lovely helpful mumsnetters :-) I hadn't thought about pregnancy being dated from your last period so that's useful to bear in mind.

FuzzyOwl Fri 13-May-16 14:41:21

Depending on the company, you may need to have worked slightly longer to get an enhanced maternity package. As a previous poster says, depending on what you have previously been doing work wise, there is little between SMP and MA and you don't need any set time to have been in your current employement for the latter.

HeyMicky Fri 13-May-16 14:54:56

Enhanced maternity pay will vary - my last job was 12 months employment, my current one is only 6 months. I spent the first half of 2014 telling DH not to come near me til June grin

BonerSibary Fri 13-May-16 15:42:02

Difference between SMP and MA depends on your salary I suppose. If you're part time and/or on NMW it may be hardly anything, if you're on 50k it's likely to be worth hanging around for the extra month. They can put pretty much any length of service conditions they like on enhanced, since it's in addition to the legal minimum, but it kind of becomes irrelevant to the purpose it's intended to serve (recruit and retain talented staff and possibly function as an alternative to paying more in the regular salary). You'd also want to check whether you have to pay any enhanced back if you don't return for a certain period of time and/or number of hours.

honeyharris Mon 16-May-16 14:35:17

So much to think about - really not sure whether it's best to stay put or find something new before TTC. We get an ok maternity package where I am (3 months full time, 3 months half then SMP) though I'm now only working 3 days a week so it wouldn't be as good as last time. However I don't know how easy it would be to get a more local job once I'd had a baby, and I couldn't really put down council nursery on the assumption that I would have a local job. I couldn't go back to current job - with 2 in private nursery I would only be making a profit of £54 a month after childcare and commute (this is WITH funded hours for DS!). Suppose this is why families of one are more common these days. Thanks again for all the advice!

AnotherEmma Mon 16-May-16 16:28:38

Given that you have an enhanced maternity package you need to consider the fact that if you don't go back to the job you will have to pay back your enhanced maternity pay. Check your contract and/or employee handbook; they probably specify that to keep the enhanced pay, you have to return to work for a minimum time after maternity leave. If you don't go back you will only be able to get and keep SMP.

honeyharris Sat 21-May-16 13:01:12

Thanks, when I had my son I checked it out and wouldn't have had to pay back th enhanced package, will check if that's still the case

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