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Appeal of Zero Maternity Contribution: How to persuade Employer to pay my maternity leave

(30 Posts)
LizaJ16 Thu 27-Oct-16 22:26:22

Hello all,

I have been told by my employer (high street retailer [where i have worked permanently for 6 years in a Managerial role) that their policy is to offer zero contribution to my maternity leave. I understand that I qualify for 52 weeks' maternity leave, and for the first 39 weeks I am entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) for the remaining 13 weeks no pay.

My proposal to the employer: After the first 6 weeks of my SMP, during week 7 until week 33, I would like for XX to consider a further contribution towards my SMP, week 7 – 18, which is full pay (12 weeks) and from week 19 – 33, 50% pay (15 weeks).

I am now reaching out to you ask whether you have experienced a similar issue with your employer? if so, please could you advise what possible solutions are available to appeal their decision of Zero Maternity Contribution.

Thank you for your help.

Poocatcherchampion Thu 27-Oct-16 22:29:46

That would be a fat lot more than I got.
Good luck!

SueDunome Thu 27-Oct-16 22:30:55

They have absolutely no obligation to pay a penny more than SMP. What does it say in your Contract? Also, your proposal would be extremely generous; I doubt if there are many employers at all who pay that much.

Ylvamoon Thu 27-Oct-16 22:33:02

Have a look in your staff book- if it said 0 Maternity Contribution than that is most likely what you will get. Sadly, these are voluntarily payments not compulsory set by law.
The only way to have extra money is either saving or using some holidays...

dementedpixie Thu 27-Oct-16 22:34:41

You're asking for a lot there! Good luck with that

StylishDuck Thu 27-Oct-16 22:35:05

I've never heard of anyone appealing against this (successfully or otherwise). If it's in your contract I don't think you've got much chance tbh. Best of luck to you though. I only got SMP, it's not that uncommon I don't think.

HillaryFTW Thu 27-Oct-16 22:35:26

This isn't something that you can appeal, like, say, a decision on a grievance. Their policy is to pay SMP and I guess that's been their policy for all the time you've worked there - ?

If they changed it very recently then you might have an argument for some kind of transition arrangement but even that would be a goodwill gesture.

I had what I consider to be very good maternity pay and I had much less than you are proposing.

soundsystem Thu 27-Oct-16 22:36:50

I'm confused. Your employers policy is to pay statuatory maternity pay only. whats your reasoning in thinking you should get more? Have other employees received enhanced maternity pay? Was it discussed previously that you would be eligible for some sort of enhanced package?

SMP only is pretty standard in retail, you just plan your finances around it when planning your maternity leave and return to work, surely?

AyeAmarok Thu 27-Oct-16 22:37:22

If they don't do enhanced maternity pay as a rule, I don't imagine they'll change their position just because you ask.

Also, you are asking for an awful lot, in comparison to what other more generous companies pay. I can't see them voluntarily going from being bottom of the pile to near the top.

Always worth an ask though, as you just never do know.

AndNowItsSeven Thu 27-Oct-16 22:38:15

You can't appeal, why on earth would they say yes we will pay you, so sorry for being mean.

PigletWasPoohsFriend Thu 27-Oct-16 22:40:50

If it isn't their policy to pay then it isn't their policy to pay.

Tbh what you are asking is a lot in comparison of employers that do actually pay.

cringe at 'reaching out

Poocatcherchampion Thu 27-Oct-16 22:41:57

I think if you are really going to ask then you should revise it to something a bit more realistic.

My enhancement was to make it up to half pay for 12 weeks.

LizaJ16 Thu 27-Oct-16 22:48:55

Thank you all for your positive comments. I will review my contract and their policy again.


Marmalade85 Thu 27-Oct-16 22:56:39

I work full time in an executive search firm in the city in London and I only got SMP. It's pretty standard unless you work in the public sector or in a corporate environment that has lots of perks.

BikeRunSki Thu 27-Oct-16 22:57:08

You are proposing a very generous maternity package. Did they ask you to suggest some revisions to their provision? I don't understand why you are putting this forward? AMP only is their policy. It's not amazing, but it's not unusual or illegal either.

As a guide, a lot of employers only pay an enhancement to SMP for 6 weeks, and few past 18 weeks. Only a handful - big name banks???, I think maybe Ford?? - pay beyond this.

Caper86 Thu 27-Oct-16 23:00:52

But if they give it to you then they would be opening a whole can of worms with everyone else.

I work for a multi billion £ international company and everyone in the UK team gets smp, no matter what level...

PigletWasPoohsFriend Thu 27-Oct-16 23:04:10

Thank you all for your positive comments. I will review my contract and their policy again.

Tbh you can 'review it' all you like. They are doing nothing wrong.

Stillunexpected Thu 27-Oct-16 23:54:52

If your company is a high street retailer they will have many people going off on maternity leave and are not going to change their policy for one person. Why on earth do you think that they are going to look favourably on your request for (considerably) enhanced maternity pay? You do realise that many enhanced policies require the employee to commit to returning for a certain period or otherwise pay back the enhanced amount? Your proposal to them doesn't seem to consider that at all?

HopefulHamster Sun 30-Oct-16 12:29:31

The only people I know who have successfully changed maternity policy were high-powered execs in the city who could point to a takeover in their company that meant different departments were on different pay.

It is no surprise that a retailer pays SMP only. It would be nice if they paid more but they don't have to! The only places that do, tend to be organisations that hugely value retaining and attracting specialised or qualified staff.

I work for a media company that is SMP only. Sucks but that's life.

HermioneWeasley Sun 30-Oct-16 12:33:12

You are suggesting that they go from SMP only to the most generous Mat pay I've ever come across?

Why would they?

And is it only for you, or are you proposing they change it for everyone? Have you calculated what the cost would be?

LIZS Sun 30-Oct-16 13:33:18

A lot of companies pay Smp only, which is government funded. If they do run an enhanced policy it is often for sought after or higher level staff to improve retention levels but there are usually strings attached such as a minimum period of work afterwards or the enhanced payments become repayable.

LIZS Sun 30-Oct-16 15:44:23

Ime retailers are particularly notorious for not being very generous and it is very unlikely a large company would make an exception for any individual employee for fear of creating a precedent.

Andcake Sun 30-Oct-16 15:50:46

What case are you putting to them that they need to pay you when negotiating a raise...just interested as that would be how I would see it as a boss

DragonMamma Sun 30-Oct-16 18:11:40

I can't begin to think how you would broach that kind of conversation...'Thank you for advising me I qualify for SMP. However, would you consider paying me at least half for the remaining 33 weeks, the first 17 being at full pay'.

Unless you run the business I can't see you having any clout with this and you may look very foolish indeed in asking.

VimFuego101 Sun 30-Oct-16 18:17:03

I don't think you're going to change their minds tbh. What do they get in return for your proposal? Even if they were to consider it, it could lay them open to claims of discrimination/ favoritism if they offer you something different to what their policy states.

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