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Having a bit of a panic - maternity pay related

(11 Posts)
CamomileHoneyVanilla Wed 30-Jan-13 10:39:48

I'm currently 10ish weeks pregnant with DC1. We're over the moon, and mostly have just spent the last 10 weeks being anxious about getting to 12-weeks rather than thinking much further ahead.

I’ve started thinking ahead today and its made me really anxious (which in a way is a nice change of focus). I'm a nurse and I've worked in the NHS for about 7 years. Unfortunately things in my last post were really bad and I ended up quitting and going on to the nurse bank, where you don't have a permanent contract but they call you in for shifts. I found out I was pregnant while working my notice in my permanent contract (typical). I’m giving the background to evoke a bit of sympathy really as it is kind of irrelevant for the current situation.

The situation is as I am not in a contract I effectively will not have a job when I stop working - so I am not entitled to any maternity pay. Which means I will only get the maternity allowance of £135.45 a week for 39 weeks. Is this right?! How are we going to live on that?! (slight hysteria). My husband gets £18000. So my questions are: a) Am I right about this – or is there anything else we’re entitled to, and b) can anyone reassure me that we can survive/feed ourselves and baby/not lose our house!

I appreciate I’ve got myself in to this situation and am beating myself up a touch already. I’m slightly naive to the world – always had a job and no dependents!

Dannilion Wed 30-Jan-13 10:48:25

Hi. The maternity allowance is exactly the same amount as SMP so you're no worse off than anyone else really. I fell pregnant in my last year of qualifying as an RMN so that's all I'm entitled too. My aim was to do as many bank shifts as I could possibly do before I couldn't walk anymore. Unfortunately that happened a lot sooner than planned due to SPD!

Obviously you're entitled to child benefit too and maybe tax credits. Google 'tax credits calculator' and it should give you some idea.

In short though, you'll be absolutely fine! And congratulations smile

BonaDea Wed 30-Jan-13 10:50:44

Hi Camomile - congratulations on your pregnancy! But, unfortunately, I think you might be right about not being entitled to maternity pay.

However, I don't know how the 'nurse bank' works. Is that an NHS entity? I assume you are not employed by them? Some agencies do employ their staff albeit that they are then farmed out to different end users. However, if you are not employed by them but are essnetially self-employed, then they won't have to provide you anything. If the nurse bank has a central administration / HR department, I would contact them and ask if they have a policy.

Your other option when you found out you were pregnant would have been to quickly apply for another permanent position, but I think you are now too late for that as you have to have been employed in the same role for 26 weeks by the time you reach 15 weeks before your EDD. As you are now 10 weeks, I don't think that gives you enough time!

BonaDea Wed 30-Jan-13 10:56:15

dannilion - no worse off than an emplyoee UNLESS the NHS would have paid her contractual enhanced maternity pay which many places do offer...

Rache1S Wed 30-Jan-13 10:58:10

Hi Cam and congratulations on the pregnancy!

Try putting your expected circumstances into to see what help you might be entitled to after baby arrives.

CamomileHoneyVanilla Wed 30-Jan-13 11:36:00

Thanks for the responses guys.

BoaDea - I was entitled to enhanced - weeks of full pay, weeks of half pay, then stat. Grr (my own fault). I'm definitely not employed by them - have checked. I have considered the getting a new post thing, esp as if it was in the NHS continuing NHS practice might mean it would be ok - but there don't seem to be posts about. Fingers crossed though.

Dannilion - Thats very similar to my plan. I.e. getting as many bank shifts in as pos - putting as much in savings as we can. Already not doing too well with it with tiredness and near-constant desires for food! Its reassuring to know people cope. Thanks for those search ideas - making me feel better already.

Rache1S - thanks for the link. Really helpful.

Thanks all. Will have to get used to the original plan of having a baby once financially secure was not to be! Very happy still though - as long as the little mite sticks around to meet his/her skint parents!

rrreow Wed 30-Jan-13 13:42:14

Have a look into tax credits. Your combined income is fairly low, so you might qualify for working tax credits, but even if not I'm fairly sure you'd at least qualify for child tax credit (although you can't get this until the child is born of course). It's a bit of a faff and complicated to work out exactly what you're entitled to, but it is well worth it if it means you can get a little bit of extra money during the time you're not able to work (and if you go back to work you can get help with child care tax credits as well).

roofio87 Wed 30-Jan-13 15:37:23

hi. I've also been a bit worried about money etc. I spoke to someone at the cab today and she basically said that if you aren't entitled to much as a couple because of your joint earnings then you earn enough to cope with. I know that's not a great comfort but I think its true. sounds like we will have the same joint income come baby time and although we will have less disposable income it will be enough between us to get by!!xx

milkyjo Wed 30-Jan-13 16:43:06

Have you got your Trust's maternity policy? Phone HR and request it, if you're on an internal Trust Bank that is the same Trust (ie not NHS Professionals). Not quite sure but as you have over 12 months continuous service in NHS you should be entitled to ordinary maternity pay plus maternity allowance. I thought if you worked on trust bank you get the same conditions but pro rata (annual leave, enhancements etc) so it may be the same for mat pay. Who is it that tells you you can only get mat allowance, the bank or HR? I would clarify it with HR if you have been told by the bank or vice versa.

Rockchick1984 Wed 30-Jan-13 19:00:21

You won't get working tax credits as your DH's salary alone is too high. If your combined income will be below £26k for the tax year you will get some child tax credits, however if you will be above that you wouldn't be eligible for any other help apart from your maternity pay.

Springforward Wed 30-Jan-13 20:12:18

Check your own Trust policy on maty leave, it will have a section addressing bank staff specifically.

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