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Statutory or enhanced maternity- what would you do?

(7 Posts)
Gizmo2015 Mon 19-Jan-15 17:02:54

I would like to know what others would do in my situation- any advice welcome!
I am 33.5 weeks pregnant with my first and due to go on maternity leave on the 30th Jan.
My enhanced maternity package is 18 weeks full pay, 8 weeks half pay and the remainder of the 39 weeks at statutory pay. If I take the enhanced package I have to go back for three months full time or, if I go back for 2.5 days for example I would have to work six months or pay the difference in the enhanced and statutory pack which is something I don't think I could do so if I take it I would have to go back. If I am off sick during this time or if I take any annual leave during this payback time the time I have taken will be added to my notice period.
My concern is that I have been very depressed in my job for a long time and was signed off with anxiety and stress for a month, having counselling and hypnotherapy to stop my panic attacks a few months before I got pregnant (which has practically gone now I am pregnant) which is why I am unsure about going back. I don't want to go back to being depressed and stressed for possibly 6/7 months while I pay the maternity pay back. My issue is that it will obviously be a financial struggle financially although I will look for another job after 9 months/ one year on statutory leave and I have worked for the company for ten years so feel as though I deserve the enhanced package after all this time!
What would you do?

barmybunting Mon 19-Jan-15 17:05:29

Personally I would take the enhances package, but save the extra payments and just use the statutory payments. Use mat leave to decide what you want to do longer term and if you decide not to go back, you have the money saved to return.

Gizmo2015 Mon 19-Jan-15 17:08:13

I was thinking of doing that and asked HR what the difference would be however they told me it wouldn't be possible as it was tricky to work out due to tax deductions etc. Maybe I should demand they at least give me a rough estimation?

funchum8am Mon 19-Jan-15 17:37:17

If you go back part time and knowing it is only for a few months you may find it much less stressful as there will be an end point in sight. This might be why your panic attacks improved during pregnancy, as you know now when the grind of the job will cease. I felt that way when I went on my second maternity leave in October - if I hadn't been going on leave I would have succumbed to stress eventually, I suspect. But knowing I wouldn't be back for long would be manageable, I reckon.

Gizmo2015 Mon 19-Jan-15 17:48:26

I think you may be right funchum. I had three weeks off over Christmas and I was honestly the happiest I have ever been, partly because of the time off and because I knew I only had a few weeks of work left!
I think barmy may be right. I will put the extra money aside and then if I feel I really cant go back or if they turn down my proposal to go back part time or even if I can only manage 2/3 out of the 6 months notice I will at least have the money (of the get out of jail card!) to hand in my notice and leave!
Honestly, the stress of deciding what to do have mad me all teary and snappy these last few days. I should have come on here sooner! Thanks both grin

barmybunting Mon 19-Jan-15 18:07:46

Look at what you would get for statutory pay on the website, and deduct that from the total work will give you. Save the difference and it should be what you would need to pay back.

funchum8am Mon 19-Jan-15 22:04:22

Glad to help...if you save the money but then do go back for a bit you can use it to pay for childcare wink

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