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Small company(7 Posts)
I'm 30 and my hubby is 35, and we're thinking about trying for a baby but I work at a small agency so I'm debating whether it's better to try and move on to a larger company or not. I just don't want to leave it too long, I have PCO and I know sometimes it can take a long while. At the same time, it's a very small agency and I wonder if they would struggle with the situation and if I would struggle on stat maternity pay (which I presume it would be). Bearing that in mind, if I did move on to a larger company, it might look bad if I get pregnant straight away and besides I'd have to wait for 6 months to a year to get maternity rights, plus it would of course take a while to get the job. I have been at my agency for a few years. Any thoughts or experiences would be appreciated!
I would say if you are thinking about trying, and feel ready then start trying. You dont know how long it will take, and you will always find
excuses reasons to put it off. I work for a very small company (my boss, me & 2 others) and am only going to get stat mat pay.
If you have worked there a few years then you could always ask for more than statutory, a better Christmas bonus or something else to help you out financially. They might be willing to do this, but you wont know unless you ask.
Also, they should be genuinely pleased for you and want you to come back so may bend over backwards to accomodate any request for shorter hours on same money etc. I had to tell my boss when I was 6 weeks (he agreed to keep it quiet until after my first scan) as I was so unwell but its meant he's had plenty of time to get used to it and was supportive when I needed time off.
Also, if you were to move to a big company, there's no guarantee that you would get more than statutory anyway. There is more to life than money and if you are careful & save as much as you can now knowing that you want to have a family then by the time you actually are pregnant you might have a nice little amount saved up to help you through the mat leave.
If you move to a larger company you may have to work there for perhaps a year or two before you qualify for anything extra on top of SMP. That's quite a long wait so I think if it is what you want, you should go for it anyway, but perhaps start making financial plans and savings for your maternity leave.
You don't have to wait six months to get maternity rights in a new job. Provided you have been working there for 26 weeks by the 25th week of pregnancy you are entitled to smp. That essentially means you can get pregnant in the first month after you start a new job! But that only covers SMP and not any enhanced maternity rights.
I'm expecting my second and working for the same small company I worked for when I had my first. I wouldn't dream of leaving!!
Firstly, as cravingcake says - you can't guarantee you'd get more than statutory anyway. How would you know? Ask at interview? Might as well paint "I only want to work here for the maternity benefits" painted on your forehead before you go in. You might find out by a bit of googling but it's quite likely that anything enhanced will have strings attached such as length of service. A popular one is to make you pay back some of the enhancement if you don't come back, which might cause you a problem.
Secondly - especially if you think you'll have issues conceiving - you can't plan a pregnancy. It'll happen of its own accord and you don't have much control - it's not as easy as just not using contraception. By all means, apply for a new job if you want one, but better to plan your career as though you weren't also planning a pregnancy. I stayed in a shit job for far too long because I was trying to get pregnant first time round, and I'd have been much better off focusing on my career.
Thirdly - in the large corporation I used to work for - and in the experience of some of the ladies in my NCT group when I was on mat leave first time - large companies are considerably more difficult to negotiate with when it comes to flexible working. They're much more likely to treat you as a number on a spreadsheet. There are countless examples of small company directors treating their female employees like rubbish, mind you, so you'd have to weigh that up -but if you enjoy your current job and they value your contribution, a flexible working arrangement when you return from mat leave is likely to be much easier to negotiate.
Finally - small companies get 104% of the costs of maternity pay refunded, so they wouldn't be out of pocket because of your mat leave. They would only have to bear the costs of recruiting and training your replacement. So don't let that put you off more than it needs to.
Cassmonkey, I have PCO and actually conceived surprisingly quickly (a big surprise) after many dire and frankly unhelpful warnings from my (male) GP about my biological clock ticking tocking. Am 30 btw.
Like the others have said, if you and DP are ready for a baby, then get to it...I don't think there is ever a good time to start a family and there's always going to be something you want to change or save for first. Whatever your maternity benefits turn out to be, you'll make it work between you. If you're happy and settled at your current job, you'll find their support invaluable when you're heading to the loo for the 3rd time that morning to relive your breakfast!!
Good luck x
Thanks so much ladies, really helpful, I think I'll stay and see how it goes. I'll come off my pill just before a holiday I have booked with the hubby in January and see what happens! I am going to try and not hope for it too much as people always tell me if you're trying too hard your body takes longer to get pregnant for some reason! I've already been looking into childcare in case and can't believe how much it costs! It wouldn't make sense for me to go back to work unless we can sort out working from home or a better childcare situation than nursery-I also commute to work so wouldn't get home until half six! Had no idea it would be so expensive and therefore difficult to go back to work. I guess one option is trying to get well paid part time work, but I bet that won't be easy! Oh well, as a friend with a baby told me, you just need to bite the bullet, it's never a perfect time but you'll never regret it!
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