Im a junior nursery manager and finished for maternity leave in FEB. I had a baby boy 7 weeks ago and originally said i would return to work in SEPT when DS will be 16 weeks old. In total i will have had 28 weeks maternity leave. The idea behind the early return was so i could start my 3rd year of my foundation degree in OCT (paid for via local council)
Now starts with the dilemma. DS has had a few issues and been diagnosed with dairy intollerance adn reflux and severe colic all needing hospital stays etc to get sorted and im now starting to realise how few weeks there are till im due back at work! Also work has had some major changes......managers have moved, staff have left, parents have left....infact the workplace is unrecognisable which is quite frightening. Anyway, i visited work last week and had an informal chat with the owner of the buisness about my return. Originally as i said i was due back in sept and was told (only verbally) that i could take DS with me to work and have reduced childcare (50%) and it was mentioned that if i went back doing more hours and taking on more work i could get free childcare. All the changes that have happened seem to have changed this though. Basically I have been told my job (school hours) has effectively been made redundant as the shift is no longer needed. This isnt a huge issue as i can do 3 days on a late shift BUT the owner is now saying i will have to pay full fees. I checked out tax credits and we will only get £30 a week help towards the childcare which would be £120 per week (if i do 3 days @10-6)my wages would be £136 so i would be earning £46 per week! from that i would have to pay petrol to get me to and from work which is a 22 mile round trip 3 days a week.
the problem is if i give up work i miss out on finishing my degree........im stuck! do i effectively work for nothing, relying on friends to look after my other 2 DCs or do i give up my degree and work and concentrate on my family.?
also am i entitled to write to my boss and request to take the extra few weeks of SMP which will take my return to NOV and buy me some more time to make a decision?? I have had 28 weeks (will have had by sept 12th) and think im entitled to 36 weeks SMP and then my weeks accrued holiday.
It's 39weeks stat leave, which might see you til nearer Christmas hols if you're term time. If it's the last year of your degree, I'd probably do whatever I could to get through it. However, have you looked into alternative funding? In Scotland there are options if you earn below a certain amount and it's only your income, not combined household income, which counts. Might be worth investigating.
I'm also seeing if I can re register as a Childminder and continue to be funded for my degree. Have decided to extend smp till December then obviously take holiday and then school hold so new date to return or leave will be Jan 9th 2012.
They haven't made me redundant. They have changed the hours that I am needed and done away with all school hour contracts. I still have a job just at awkward hours.
Had some fab news today after some phoning around. The council have agreed to continue funding my degree if I register as a Childminder and even better they will give me £500 to do it! So I'm going to extend my maternity which will take me into December and aim to be registered as a Childminder by Jan 2012 and continue my degree as a Childminder!!!!!
Yes cece I suppose they have but law says they can do this but gave to offer me alternative job. They have done this but it just makes it awkward. Am so chuffed with the new plan though and yes it's definitely a weight lifted and I get to spend more time with my gorgeous baby xx