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A question re SMP/ MA

(7 Posts)
Cosmosis Tue 15-Sep-09 09:43:20

I am being made redundant at the end of this week, but very luckily have found a new job starting in Oct. We are currently ttc and have been since January. I've been reading up on SMP and to qualify you need to have worked for your employer for 11 weeks before you get pg. However, am I right in thinking that if you don't qualify for SMP you get MA instead which is actually the same amount anyway? Or have I misunderstood?

My new employer doesn't offer anything above SMP anyway, so am I right in thinking it makes no difference to me and I don't need to hold off ttc for a couple of months?

WhatFreshHellIsThis Tue 15-Sep-09 09:49:03

You will get Maternity Allowance if you meet the criteria - have a look here for what they are.

However, it's slightly less than SMP, which is 6 weeks at 90% of your salary then 33 weeks at £123 a week. MA is just 39 weeks at £123 a week, but it depends on whether that matters to you.

Cosmosis Tue 15-Sep-09 11:12:28

Thanks for that, it wouldn't be ideal to lose out on the 6 weeks, but it wouldn't be the end of the world either

flowerybeanbag Tue 15-Sep-09 13:01:53

You don't need to have been employed for 11 weeks before getting pregnant, no.

You need to have been employed for 26 weeks by the 15th week before your due date, so 25 weeks pregnant. So as long as you are not pregnant when you start, and don't conceive for a couple of weeks, you would be fine.

thomo30 Tue 15-Sep-09 13:27:41

I wonder if anyone has any advice for me. I am British and have worked in the UK since I was 16 years of age.

My partner and I worked in Australia for the last year and returned to the UK (home) when I found out I was pregnant with twins, as we want to bring the twins up in the UK, and quite rightly so.

I applied for Maternity Allowance and have been refused MA as I worked in Australia during the test period.

I have never claimed any benefits from the UK government and have always worked in a highly paid job in Advertising and paid taxes and national insurance.

As soon as the twins are old enough I will return to employment in UK.

I feel extremely dissapointed with the UK benefits system, that they are not supporting me and the upbringing of my children when I need them the most.

Does anyone have any advice? I am currently trying to get hold of Citizens Advice to seek any ways of appealing but if anyone has any advice I would very much appreciate it.


Cosmosis Tue 15-Sep-09 13:37:54

Oh thanks flowery, I must have misread it as being employed 26 weeks when you get to 15 wks pg. that's even better then

flowerybeanbag Tue 15-Sep-09 13:43:36

No worries

Laura I'm sorry but I really don't see how you could appeal the decision tbh.

The rules are quite clear on it, in terms of for how long you need to have been employed within quite a short timeframe. The point of MA is for women who are or have recently been working, but for one reason or another are not eligible for SMP.

See here about some exceptional circumstances if you have been abroad, some countries have reciprocal arrangements with regard to maternity benefits allowing women to claim. Australia is not one of those countries unfortunately.

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