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Maternity Policy Advice

(26 Posts)
Confusedsolicitor123 Thu 23-Mar-17 09:17:49

Hi all

I’ve never posted before, so apologies in advance if what I am asking is cheeky and/or this post is too long winded!

I’m a 4 years PQE solicitor in a small niche law firm. Although we are small, because we are so specialised, we compete with the “big” commercial law firms and, save for maternity (which is basic statutory), we get all the benefits that we’d get if working in a bigger firm.

My O/H and I are wanting to start a family (in fact, I am a little obsessed), but one of my biggest worries is my firm’s maternity policy. I’m the main breadwinner and, although I know we could manage (I’ve done the sums over and over), I would be nice to have more wiggle room.

Last night my boss was asking my advice as to what the firm should be offering employees in the way of “perks” (he is patently aware that other firms are “sniffing round”). So, I finally plucked up the courage and told him the only thing that would make me leave is our maternity policy, as I could go to another firm and, after 2 years, get an enhanced package. He was very good and said we could have a proper chat at my appraisal (which is in 2 weeks).

I tend to be very differential with my bosses when it comes to money (I hate talking about it and just say yes to whatever they offer). I don’t want to be unreasonable; I appreciate that we are a business and that me having time off for a child and being paid more than I’m entitled to by law may seem unfair. However, (and I’m typing this more for my own benefit as I’m trying to “rev” myself up), I earn the firm a lot of money and I am (according to my boss) an asset that he wants to keep.

So, the above is a very long winded way of me asking what enhanced maternity pay does your employer offer?

Thanks

Temporaryanonymity Thu 23-Mar-17 09:23:42

I took mat leave from local government 10 years ago. Back then I got 90% of my salary for 6 weeks plus SMP, then 12 weeks half pay plus SMP then SMP for the remainder. I thought this was good until I met someone from the car manufacturing industry who had full pay for a year!

Hellmouth Thu 23-Mar-17 09:26:31

My employer doesn't offer any. I don't think I've ever worked for one who has! sad

Loraline Thu 23-Mar-17 09:29:30

I got 18 weeks full pay then smp from my media employer.

Justanotherusername99 Thu 23-Mar-17 15:14:34

My law firm offers 13 weeks full pay, 5 weeks 50% pay and the remainder statutory. If you go back for a minimum of 6 months before handing your notice in, they "may" top up those 5 weeks to make it 100% pay hmm. Additionally, if you hand in your notice before you've completed those 6 months they make you pay it all back.

flowery Thu 23-Mar-17 15:29:58

If maternity is the only benefit in respect of which your employer doesn't 'match' bigger law firms, can you find out what they offer? Try asking/looking for information on Roll On Friday perhaps?

Confusedsolicitor123 Thu 23-Mar-17 17:16:13

Thank you everyone!

I'm still unsure of how I am going to approach the whole thing in my appraisal. Part of me is a little worried that, after considering it, my boss will just say if you can get better elsewhere, go for it!

Think I need do some sums and put my big girl's pants on !

Thanks again.

Allthebestnamesareused Fri 24-Mar-17 10:44:32

here is something to ponder: ( i think it was from 2015)

www.legalweek.com/digital_assets/5700/Maternity_Table_3.pdf

AllTheGlitters Fri 24-Mar-17 10:50:49

I think these are perfectly reasonable things to discuss, you have worked there for a good few years, are considered and asset and are valued. I'm lucky that I have a really good maternity package at my work, and expected my bosses to be really annoyed when I told them I would be going on maternity leave again in November, been having only been back for a few months from my first baby blush. However they were really nice, happy for me and professional, and have given me a few options and even accepted my request to increase my hours! My point is - you may be surprised, especially if you have a good relationship with your employers, that they are willing and able to offer you what you need, with the motives of keeping a good, valued employee. Good luck! flowers

Allthebestnamesareused Fri 24-Mar-17 10:53:19

As regards the table I posted above from Legal Week it might well be worth sending it to the partner saying this is what is offered by some of the Big Boys. I wouldn't even do the terribly British thing of saying I know you can't match that - in case they can or will!

jennymac31 Fri 24-Mar-17 10:55:37

My employers give 7 weeks full pay followed by 12 weeks half pay and the remaining 20 weeks is smp (from memory). I work in the financial services industry.

Blankiefan Fri 24-Mar-17 19:09:45

My FTSE 250 employer offers 26 weeks full pay. They implemented this after I challenged their statutory only policy.

Aim high - I was stunned when they stepped up from Stat to 6 months!

Steph1078 Sat 25-Mar-17 17:28:36

I got 52 weeks full pay. Based on another post I bet you can guess where I work....

ChuckDaffodils Sat 25-Mar-17 17:32:50

part of me is a little worried that, after considering it, my boss will just say if you can get better elsewhere, go for it!

In that case why don't you? If they don't value you it really is the best way of enhancing your package.

ChuckDaffodils Sat 25-Mar-17 17:34:48

Or turn it around and ask what they think they need to offer to stop people who are thinking of becoming parents leaving. What is the current staff turnover like? Have many left for competitors?

Crumbs1 Sat 25-Mar-17 17:37:10

How archaic are these companies? 25 years ago I got 26 weeks full pay and 26 weeks half pay.

Confusedsolicitor123 Sun 26-Mar-17 15:23:47

Thank you ladies. You've all given me some really good points to think about / raise with them.

I tend to get a little tongue tied when talking to them all in appraisals, so I'm going to write it all down before hand. I may even send it to them first hmm (not sure about this last point).

ClaraLane Sun 26-Mar-17 15:29:56

I'm in the NHS and will get 8 weeks full pay; 18 weeks half pay plus SMP; 13 weeks SMP only and 13 weeks nil pay. I have to return to work for 3 months after my maternity leave or I'll have to pay it back. Plus I accrue annual leave while I'm off too.

Allthebestnamesareused Sun 26-Mar-17 17:22:31

I would definitely send what you want to say beforehand because then they may even be in a position to make a decision and discuss it with you at the appraisal. Don't be shy - put in your lawyer hat rather than your employee one! I bet if you were acting for a client you'd be less tongue tied!

Confusedsolicitor123 Wed 29-Mar-17 17:53:24

Hi lovely ladies.

Just wanted to give you a quick update. I emailed all of my bosses last night with my thoughts for the appraisal next week.

With regard to maternity, I highlighted that we are not competitive when compared with other firms in the area (I was shocked that every firm I looked at had a policy which would pay at least double what mine does!). I gave them a few examples of what other firms offer and said that whilst I wasn't suggesting we adopt another firm's policy, I did think we needed to invest in a better maternity policy so as to retain our female staff. I also highlighted that there are things which can be put in place to safeguard the firm (e.g. minimum service requirement, minimum return period ect).

Whilst I initially felt cheeky, after some of your lovely comments (and the research into other firms), I do not feel like that at all. Either I (and my female colleagues) are an asset to the firm which they want to retain, or they are happy to take the risk of us moving on.

So, fingers crossed for discussions on Tuesday !!

xxx

CherriesInTheSnow Fri 31-Mar-17 22:30:19

Good luck OP! Let us know how you get on flowers

JustMyLuckUnfortubately Sat 01-Apr-17 07:26:58

Fingers crossed and good luck

Confusedsolicitor123 Tue 04-Apr-17 20:26:39

Hi ladies !!

So, I reved myself for an argument with my bosses and they said ..... you are right, we need to leave the dark ages. We are looking into it and going to finalise in the next couple of weeks, but it will be something along the lines of 3 months full, 3 half and 3 smp grin ! Im a very happy chappy !!! Thank you for all of your advice !!! Xxx

Mu123 Tue 04-Apr-17 20:29:41

Well done confused

Laura2507 Wed 05-Apr-17 09:31:34

Well done confused! I think the email you sent approached it well as you made it about all female staff, not just your own package IYSWIM. providing competitor examples also great as it benchmarks your company within your industry.

Wish my employers did something. We only get SMP sad

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