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Is this Not The Done Thing, or is everyone at it?

(19 Posts)
HeadFairy Wed 24-Jun-09 09:40:42

I can easily get lots of overtime at work, they're crying out for people to do extra shifts. I don't normally because of the extra childcare costs, however I'm now 13 weeks pregnant and therefore approaching my qualifying weeks.... is it considered morally wrong to do lots of extra shifts during my qualifying weeks to bump up my mat pay or does everyone do this? I'm actually currently working just under my contracted hours as part of a flexible working arrangement, could I just do enough extra shifts to bring me up to full time and therefore get 90% of my full time pay when I'm on mat leave, rather than 90% of my reduced hours pay?

What exactly are the qualifying weeks, I thought they were weeks 15-19? Anyone know?

HeadFairy Wed 24-Jun-09 11:09:55


bethoo Wed 24-Jun-09 11:13:16

i dont think doing overtime qualifies as full time as you are contracted as a part timer so you will still get maternity pay to your contract. i think that is the case though i am sure someome will know.

HeadFairy Wed 24-Jun-09 11:16:20

Thing is, I haven't signed a contract for my reduced hours, it's something I've agreed with my line manager informally. On my original contract I have to do 160 hours in four weeks, so could I just do some extra days to bring me up to that level so that I'd get full mat pay?

How is mat pay calculated? As I work uneven shifts (some weeks 60 hours, some weeks 30 hours - it's normal in our place to do that as some shift patterns have longer weeks than others) do they not just take an average of your earnings between weeks 15 and 19 and you get 90% of that figure?

Or am I getting it all wrong?

bethoo Wed 24-Jun-09 11:22:08

different companies have different policies. where i work i get 100% maternity pay for the first 6 months.
the best thing is to speak with your line manager on their policies.
it seems like you have irregular hours so i would have no idea where to start on to whether you would get paid full time but overtime is not classed as your regular hours. are you getitng paid standard to work overtime or tiem an a half?
since you do not have a contract you may not even get 90% of your materntiy pay.
i could be wrong but am bumpong os someone with a bit more no how would help smile

edam Wed 24-Jun-09 11:24:06

Suggest you call the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (new version of equal opps guys), they will have all the legislation on maternity pay and be able to guide you.

lou031205 Wed 24-Jun-09 11:40:37

Many, many people do it.

HeadFairy Wed 24-Jun-09 11:42:29

thanks for all you replies... bethoo I want to work for your employer, that sounds fantastic!!

I've just spoken to HR, and the period covered will be my July and August payslips, so I can do extra hours in those pay periods and it will be included in my mat pay calculations.

HeadFairy Wed 24-Jun-09 11:43:03

I'm so glad to hear that Lou, I was worried it was deeply frowned on.

Squiffy Wed 24-Jun-09 11:43:38

<slides in and whispers..>

It is based on actual total pay for that period including bonuses, overtime, etc etc. I don't think many people bump up their wages during the QP, but that is because I don't think many people know about it.

All the details are in here and you can use the info to work out the qualifying period. It varies, but if you are paid weekly it is the 8 week period that ends on the pay date that falls immediately before the start of the 15th full week before your baby is due (so easy, it just rolls off the toungue...not). So, assuming you are due around christmas time and that you get paid weekly, your period starts (I think) around the middle of July (you will need to work out the exact dates yourself from EDD and dates you are paid).

So...get to work, girl!

Squiffy Wed 24-Jun-09 11:44:54

Ah, X-posts.

By the way, the government pays most of your stat pay (the first 90% I think) so it shouldn't bother your company too much even if they guess why you are doing it.

HeadFairy Wed 24-Jun-09 11:50:20

Yeah, I read that on the direct gov website squiffy, they claim it back through national insurance.

I get paid monthly, however talking to our HR, they said that July and August's pay packets would be the ones that would be looked at to work out the average. I'm also down to do quite a few night shifts in that time (long story, dh is having an op, will be totally immobile, it's the only way I can work and still pick ds up from cm) so I get night payments (extra pay on top of my hourly rate for working between midnight and 6am) so those should be included in those pay packets too, and therefore be included in the calculations of my mat pay.

For the first 6 weeks I get 90% of the average of my July/August pay, then for the next 12 weeks I get 90% of my basic pay... then I go on to SMP for the remainder.

flowerybeanbag Wed 24-Jun-09 13:04:18

What your contract says doesn't matter, it's the actual money you get paid in the crucial period that counts.

If you are fortunate enough to have an employer who is able to offer you more hours, and is happy to do so, then go for it, absolutely, why not! As long as you feel up to it that is.

HeadFairy Wed 24-Jun-09 13:06:26

Thanks for that flowery... I will be knackered, but with dh totally immobile during the same period I think I'm going to be knackered anyway. I'm hoping my MIL will come and stay with us and help out, plus with a cleaner and being super organised with internet shopping I should survive it all, and be really grateful I was able to do it come Christmas when I start my mat leave and have a bit of extra cash.

flowerybeanbag Wed 24-Jun-09 13:31:33

Sorry to hear your DH will be out of action. Will he be back on his feet by the time baby comes?

HeadFairy Wed 24-Jun-09 14:14:39

ooh I really hope so flowery... we're going to book the op as soon as we've got a completion date on our house move (soon hopefully) as I couldn't face moving while pregnant with a non mobile dh. He's having it done on his work health insurance so we can book in anytime, but his rehab is a minimum of 6 weeks non weight bearing, then three months of intensive physio. If we move within the next month, he should be back on form by Christmas when the baby is due. Fingers crossed!

flowerybeanbag Wed 24-Jun-09 14:32:38

Goodness you have got a lot on your plate haven't you?!

Hope timing all works out and everything goes well for you

HeadFairy Wed 24-Jun-09 15:29:48

thanks! Me too!

PDR Sat 27-Jun-09 20:27:52


A bit late but just thought I'd add I did exactly this when I was expecting my little boy and noone really twigged what I was doing ;) I doubt they'd care even if they noticed TBH.

If you put SMP calculator in to google you can work out exactly what you will get and also use your DD to calculate your "qualifying weeks".

Do it if you can!

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