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feeling gutted that my company has cut maternity pay

(18 Posts)
dodi1978 Tue 27-Jan-15 15:26:30

I have got DS, 18 months and am hoping to TTC DD or DS 2 this autumn. Just checked my employer's maternity policy. They have cut full pay from 13 weeks to 8. The next 13 weeks is then half pay + SMP, and then only SMP.

I am absolutely gutted. With DS1, I was able to stretch my maternity leave to eight months with the help of a few weeks annual leave. This time, I fear I would have to return at six months.

Plus, I don't want to take DS1 out of nursery just before starting school, so that is a cost I didn't have in my first maternity leave.

By the way, we are earning too much combined to qualify for any tax credits or benefits etc.

Feeling really gutted just now.

ScrambledEggAndToast Tue 27-Jan-15 16:11:45

Can you not start trying to save some money? If you're not going to start trying til the Autumn then you have an absolute minimum of 19 months til baby is born. Even £50-100 per month would stretch out your mat leave a bit longer. It conceiving takes longer then you will save more.

dodi1978 Tue 27-Jan-15 16:23:42

Well, we'll try to save, but we are barely scraping by as it is... we live in an expensive part of the country, fairly big mortage as we only bought in our mid 30s, need two cars for commuting, childcare costs for DS, ongoing renovation work on house which is essential... I guess we are part of the "squeezed middle class".

I shouldn't complain, because I know people who had it far worse in terms of maternity pay... just feeling annoyed that they cut it again, now.

I will also investigate possibilities for making some extra money by online tutoring as I am from the education field. Not now, but whilst actually being on maternity leave. Would any extra money I make through online tutoring affect my SMP? If so, it's not worth it, unless I do lots of it!

ArsenicFaceCream Tue 27-Jan-15 16:30:55

Plus, I don't want to take DS1 out of nursery just before starting school, so that is a cost I didn't have in my first maternity leave.

But you could drop him back to three days a week? Part of the week at home with you and the baby and part of the week at nursery could be a really good balance (?)

If you conceive in the autumn, his free hours will kick in not too long after DC2 comes along (Sept?) which would be a big help. (And at least one party has made an election promise to increase the free hours from 25 to 25 per week, which would be even better)

Artandco Tue 27-Jan-15 16:32:33

The costs wouldn't double though. You don't have to Send either to nursery. A nanny or nanny share with x2 can be very economical . Nanny share is usually around £15 gross per hr in London, so that's £7 per family (£3.50 per child if you have x2).

Could you tutor now? If so that would be a way of finding the extra £100 a month to save.

Tbh 9months even on a good income is high now. I took 3 months and 2 months, and that was only 4 and 3 years ago. We could have just afforded, but with own companies there would be nothing left to go back to if we took almost a year

dodi1978 Tue 27-Jan-15 20:18:12

Yes, dropping DS' hours at nursery is a possibility. Although, if my second maternity leave ends before DS starts school, there is no guarantee that we will get those days back to take him up to full time again - the nursery he goes to is totally oversubscribed (and all others in the area are massively more expensive).

I would like for him to stay at nursery as he absolutely loves it, so a nanny would really be an emergency solution.

I could tutor now, but I have a job that means I am working most nights anyway, so that would mean no free time at all :--((.

I guess we will just have to try and scrape some money together now!

Maybe I am getting too hung up on the eight months, but it just felt so right the first time round and I would have been nowhere near ready to go back to work any earlier.

Grmppff... feeling really grumpy today :--((

Thanks everybody, though!

Pooka Tue 27-Jan-15 20:23:17

Can they actually do that?

Surely you signed up for the job based on the previous terms and conditions, and they should at least have gone through some form of consultation if they were reducing maternity pay?

Disclaimer: I am not in any way knowledgeable about this, it just seems dodgy.

dodi1978 Tue 27-Jan-15 22:36:08

I will check my contract... I guess it will say something along the lines that accompanying policies can be changed without consultation/notice. Even when I had DS1, the maternity policy had already changed as compared to what it was when I joined... it used to be six months full pay!!!!

IssyStark Wed 28-Jan-15 12:37:33

Do you get childcare vouchers through work?

If so, it is the employer's duty to pay for them when you are on maternity pay (I didn't realise this and stupidly reduced my voucher claim to the minimum £20 rather than the full £244). So that is a bit more money that you would definitely get in addition to SMP.

dodi1978 Wed 28-Jan-15 13:35:58

I can get childcare vouchers, but at the moment, I do pay for childcare via salary sacrifice because I am using my workplace nursery. This saves me a about £300 a month because I pay no tax on full amount I pay for childcare rather than just the childcare voucher bit ... which is another reason why I don't want to change childcare arrangements.

A good point though about childcare vouchers whilst on maternity pay.. this might become relevant if, once I am on maternity pay, I cannot continue paying through salary sacrifice. So thanks for pointing this out!

RhubarbAndMustard Wed 28-Jan-15 13:41:58

I'm in a similar position, only we get full pay for 6 weeks and then straight down to SMP.
As the main wage earner, we will struggle to pay the mortgage, let alone nursery fees for DS1 and bills too.
Good to hear about the childcare vouchers though, that could help us a bit hopefully. Otherwise we will have to delay DS2 but I feel I can't wait too long because of my age.

Pengyquin Wed 28-Jan-15 13:47:10

If you earn too much to qualify for anything, then I'm sorry, but you just need to cut way back on things.

I only got SMP the entire way through my leave, and it's now stopped. As it stands, I don't earn enough to go back to work, as it won't pay for 2 at nursery. So we are living off one wage - £22k a year.

If we can manage (mortgage alone is £800 a month), I'm fairly sure anyone can hmm (yes, we dont have any money for luxuries (hair cuts/clothes/going out etc etc) but we can get by)

Be honest with yourself, and go through all of your direct debits and bills.

SkiSchoolRun Wed 28-Jan-15 13:47:37

CCV employers have to pay your bit while you are on unpaid part of mat leave. There's an EAT decision to support this.

Changing mat leave - my co did this but we all complained so they backtracked & gave a period of grace for existing staff. It helped though that we are a European co so UK was already behind other offices.

Artandco Wed 28-Jan-15 13:51:54

Pengy - your circumstances are different from others. Our rent, in London, 1 bed flat, is £1680 a month. So on £22k we would have nothing left for bills/ food/ basics. It's a one bed flat, and we have x2 children so hardly being frivolous

RhubarbAndMustard Wed 28-Jan-15 14:53:25

Pengy- you are assuming that DP/DH is bringing in a wage that can support. My salary is the main wage. DP does not earn that much, but it's my salary that goes to SMP. If it were his, we wouldn't have a problem!

FamilyAdventure Wed 28-Jan-15 15:09:26

DS1 is only 13 and my employers were very generous in the day. I got 6 weeks 90% and then SMP IIRC. 6mths leave was the maximum. So, whilst it's natural to be disappointed, I don't think you're doing too badly.

You get at least 9mths' notice of the impending birth, you have to save some money to cover whatever leave you want.

mrsmalcolmreynolds Wed 28-Jan-15 22:45:07

What was the deal after 13 wks before? From what you've said it sounds like there is actually more money overall - 8 weeks full and 13 at half pay is more in total than 13 weeks full? I'm guessing though that the old deal didn't go straight down to SMP after 13wks?

It will probably help you feel a bit more in control if you work out what the actual difference in mat pay is likely to be - then you can start thinking about whether and how it can be saved elsewhere?

dodi1978 Thu 29-Jan-15 09:04:52

Thanks guys. I know, I am still quite lucky, and the only way is saving :--)) My salary will go up by abuot �100 in April, so I'll tuck these away... until a not yet conceived baby is born, that should give me about �1800ish... if we don't have some sort of home emergendy before that!

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