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Shocking maternity allowance

(61 Posts)
butterflyblues Sun 06-Jan-13 20:43:10

Hi everyone, just a rant really and wanted some feedback as to how everyone else copes.

I am newly pregnant and work for a children's charity. I've just read their maternity policy and am really shocked to find that they only offer ten weeks at full pay, after which it is the basic rate of £135 pounds a week for the rest of the 39 weeks.

I know that many people receive less or nothing, so I'm not being spoilt - but I am shocked that a children's charity, of all places, would expect a new mother to return to work after two and a half months! I am struggling to understand how I would breastfeed / look after the baby etc, and worrying about how we are going to cope.

My husband-to-be is currently waiting for a visa and not in work at the moment and the drop in pay would mean we'd have to move out of our rented flat. He won't be able to claim benefits even once he is able to work. We'd barely have anything to live on so I'd have no choice but to return after two and a half months - which makes me upset to think I won't have more time with the baby, and upset to wonder how to work out looking after it etc etc.

Anyway, moan moan! Any advice, feedback appreciated - what maternity package do you get, and are there any additional benefits we can claim? Seems like we should all move to a Nordic country!

Best x

GotMyGoat Sun 06-Jan-13 20:48:48

Lots of places only do statutory maternity so you are lucky to be getting any at full pay! charities often are naff at salary and benefits, as they are trying to direct all the money to their charitable causes etc.

Child tax credits and child benefits are your main ones, but they are only available for certain income brackets - there are calculators online to help you work it out.

Tax credits don't count the first £100 of maternity pay a week as income, so that helps!

notengodinero Sun 06-Jan-13 20:48:51

It's hard but it is more than some get. I got 6 weeks at 90% with DS1. Were you aware of the situation before you got pg? I'm sure a children's charity has to keeps costs down so that bit extra is them being as generous as they can I expect.
I don't know what to advise, sorry sad. If your husband has no way of earning and you can't live off mat pay and savings then you'll have to go back to work. It's shit, but lots of women do it. Good luck smile

ilovepowerhoop Sun 06-Jan-13 20:49:21

its better than a lot of places offer. I got the basic 6 weeks at 90% pay and then statutory maternity pay for the rest for both my lo's.

HorraceTheOtter Sun 06-Jan-13 20:50:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ILoveTIFFANY Sun 06-Jan-13 20:50:53

Can't you go and live with your husband in his country? Sounds like you would be better off as you could stay with baby whilst he works?

Mutley77 Sun 06-Jan-13 20:51:21

Hi Best

I also work for a children's charity and was shocked to find I only get the minimum SMP (90% for 6 weeks and then £135 per week for a further 33 weeks.)!!! However I kind of think fair enough as they are a charity.... I also think it is not highly unusual to get the minimum SMP.

I do appreciate your worry though and I am sure you will qualify for benefits - child benefit, child tax credit, housing benefit, council tax benefit, .... Until you are ready to return to work and then the benefits will cut back in line with what you earn.

I suppose another question to start thinking about is how will you cope once you return to work as childcare is not cheap (or would your DP stay at home to look after the baby)?

Good luck.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sun 06-Jan-13 20:53:18

Seems like you working for a children's charity should know that maternity provision is often at statutory or not much more, and have checked out your policy before deciding to have a baby - especially given your husband's situation.

I'm sorry if you think I am being harsh, but I'm always stunned when people haven't checked these things.

Can you alter you living costs? How long is it likely to be before your husband gets his visa?

AntoinetteCosway Sun 06-Jan-13 20:56:14

Sorry, you should have checked before ttc. It sounds like a very generous policy to me.

GotMyGoat Sun 06-Jan-13 20:57:26

If your husband can't work, have you considered him being a SAHD so that you can return to work without paying for any childcare? however, if you are newly pregnant you have a long time to wait and the visa and husbands job may be sorted by the time baby arrives?

Although it's hard you can return to work and breast feed - plenty of American women go back to work by 8 weeks, so they have lots of good resources on expressing at work, some have nurseries at work, or their partners bring their babies to work so that they can breast feed regularly - your employers are obliged by law to allow you breast feeding breaks.

You may be able to get some housing benefit, if you can't afford rent - but I'm not sure how this would work if your husband doesn't have the right to claim. You could ask the council to clarify their rules to you. I wouldn't want to willingly put myself in that position though, this government isn't keen on being reliant on benefits, and they could be whipped away.

Really though, it sounds like your husband needs to sort himself out with a job.

MerlotSchmerlot Sun 06-Jan-13 20:58:12

Ten weeks full pay is good! I'm self-employed so only ever got the statutory allowance.

Do what lots of people have to do and save up in advance of going on maternity leave. Cut back. Get rid of your car if you have one. It is hard but there's no way you'll be able to go back to work after two and a half months so you need to do something drastic!

Can you find out whether you'd get tax credits while on maternity leave?

mrscog Sun 06-Jan-13 20:58:55

10 weeks of full pay is pretty generous to be honest. Also, it's generally wise to work out the financial implications of maternity leave BEFORE getting pregnant. I've taken a year off and we planned this and we saved up so we could do it.

Obviously if it's an unplanned pg then this doesn't apply and I can see how it's more of a shock.

MerlotSchmerlot Sun 06-Jan-13 21:01:03

I should clarify obviously you could go back after two and half months but at that stage my son was feeding roughly every 90 minutes for 45 minutes at a time (day and night), and I could never express more than about 20ml, so I couldn't possibly have left him. But most babies are probably not quite that demanding... grin

Winterwalk Sun 06-Jan-13 21:03:56

10wks full pay is very generous IMO. What were you expecting? That's a genuine question btw. I was a nursery teacher in a state school and only got 4wks full pay plus another 6 at 90% so you're on a pretty good deal tbh.

These are all things you need to research and consider before ttc especially considering the circumstances of your partner. Though I do understand you're pregnant and hormones and all that but really, it's a good deal.

noblegiraffe Sun 06-Jan-13 21:05:55

They don't expect you to return to work after two and a half months, they expect you to save up and fund the rest of your time off yourself. They are giving you more than the statutory minimum as it is and £135 per week is more than job seekers are expected to live on!

RibenaFiend Sun 06-Jan-13 21:06:10

I only get SMP with my job. It may be worth mentioning that I also don't get sick pay unless I'm signed off by a dr for over a week and then it's SSP. This does mean that every illness that I can drag my sorry self into the office with is duly dragged in and shared smile (only I couldn't leave the house with norovirus so I couldn't share that!)

Sorry but you're lucky you get anything OP.

givemeaclue Sun 06-Jan-13 21:06:20

I only got minimum benefits statutory from my employer.

I would be annoyed if charitable donations were being spent on generous maternity benefits for staff!

Your benefits level in really quite generous, your financial situation is not your employers responsible and many people myself including have to manage on statutory

ceeveebee Sun 06-Jan-13 21:10:14

Why are you surprised? It's more generous than most companies
Do what everyone else does
Save up
Take annual leave
Suck it up

PickledInAPearTree Sun 06-Jan-13 21:12:25

I'm afraid your package isn't all that bad.

If you work for the council here it's 6 weeks full 6 half and then SMP.

It's fairly rare now to get full pay fit 6 months.

I'm self employed and so go straight onto 128 a week for the full period.

Jayne266 Sun 06-Jan-13 21:13:01

That's more than I got! hmm

twofalls Sun 06-Jan-13 21:13:12

It's a charity and it's more than statutory so you sound pretty lucky to me.

butterflyblues Sun 06-Jan-13 21:14:16

Gosh you guys really are harsh huh, hope you feel good about all that

LIZS Sun 06-Jan-13 21:14:36

100% for 10 weeks is way more than the minimum most would qualify for! Normal ML is 12 months of which 9 are paid via SMP and only 6 at 90% salary. You presumably have at least 6 months to save up and if needs be find somewhere cheaper to live. You may qualify for some benefits after the 10 weeks (Housing, Council Tax) if your household income and assets are sufficiently low and you have paid enough NI. Also Child Benefit once the baby arrives. btw in the scheme of things UK is actually relatively generous compared to other countries.

MamaGeekChic Sun 06-Jan-13 21:14:57

Agree that it's more generous than most/many, I got 90% for 6 weeks and then £124pw or whatever it was at the time. I had 10 weeks leave, DD was 2weeks late so returned FT when she was 8weeks. DP was a SAHD as that's how our finances needed it to be. I'm surprised that anyone would plan a baby without knowing what their employers maternity pay policy was.

Shesparkles Sun 06-Jan-13 21:16:35

Why are people so surprised at maternity allowance?

If you have children, they cost. End of.

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