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Teacher maternity- when to work until?

(60 Posts)
61sazzler61 Wed 13-Apr-16 17:12:53

Hi everyone

Just after some advice from teacher mums!

Our first baby is due July 31st and I am thinking about when to start maternity leave. (Y6 primary teacher) (School have been very supportive of my pregnancy.)

Financially, it would be helpful if I could leave it as late as possible, to have more time with our little boy when he arrives!

If I pushed it until the last day of term (Friday 22 July) this would be only 9 days before my due date! (Eek!)
Usually, (if I was due at a 'busier' time of the academic year, I would not even contemplate doing this due to the pressures/marking/long days etc.)

However, since the last few weeks of term are far, far less pressure than the rest of the year (we have a week where my class are out on secondary school visits/whole school picnic day/rehearsals for our Y6 show- which my colleagues will happily lead) I am wondering if it is 'wasted' maternity pay taking time off at this point?

I have a 15/20 min drive to work and very supportive colleagues.

Also, I have already said that it is my intention (if I do leave earlier) to go back in to school for the Y6 Leavers' Presentation evening and also for an hour on my last day, as I'd like to see my class off to secondary school. So I feel like if I'm going in to school I might as well be being paid?

Am I completely mad!?
I just know that I have such a supportive team (and could have the two Y6 TAs with me as they would be the ones left with my class if I left two weeks earlier anyway.)

All honest thoughts welcome!! Thank you smile

seven201 Wed 13-Apr-16 17:18:09

I'm 30 weeks and a secondary teacher. I'm leaving at half term when I'll be 36.5 weeks. My friend worked right up until her due date but as it was July and she taught mainly ks4 and 5 she actually only taught 4 lessons a week! She was able to do that easily. But... Everyone is different and some babies come early! Would you feel annoyed if you got zero maternity leave before he arrived?

61sazzler61 Wed 13-Apr-16 17:24:02

hmmm...yes good point about the zero maternity... so hard to know what to do! Thanks for your thoughts! smile

BoysRule Wed 13-Apr-16 17:30:22

I think you are allowed to start your maternity leave from your due date. I would do that to get the most money. Finish on 22nd July (you would be taking a risk that you wouldn't have any time off before baby arrives but that is a small one) but take your maternity leave from 31st July.

Then if you take a year you are up to 31st July next year and you will still have until September before you go back.

shopaholic85 Wed 13-Apr-16 17:30:30

It's quite a neat time to go, if you can manage it, as there will be no handing over of the class to your maternity cover and you get to finish the year properly with your class. Sounds like you are in a supportive work environment, so don't really see the problem.

The only thing you might miss is that nesting time before the baby arrives. I'm going on mat at quite an awkward time in September, but will have the 6 weeks sunmer holiday to get the baby's room ready etc

primarynoodle Wed 13-Apr-16 17:42:49

I finishing at 38+5 at beginning of july. If i were you i would try my damndest to make it to the summer! Then you can start your maternity leave pay from your due date and get full pay for the first few days of the hols.

Like you said its a much quieter time of year especially for year 6.

If your school are supportive and you are struggling it shouldn't be a problem if you need to go a little sooner

SweepTheHalls Wed 13-Apr-16 17:45:21

Start on your due date grin, I'm also a teacher and started my maternity leave on DS's due date of the 30 th Dec, and had an elective section on that date! The extra money really helps. If you need to go earlier you always can, but plan to work to the bitter and is my advice!

PotteringAlong Wed 13-Apr-16 17:45:33

Make it to the summer! I went at 37 weeks with DC 1 but made it to 39+6 with DC 2! I'm secondary.

G1raffe Wed 13-Apr-16 18:07:47

On the other hand if you leave a few weeks early then next year you just need to turn up for a few weeks (and probably not full-time class teaching) then full pay for the summer so it wouldn't be difficult....

IamChipmunk Wed 13-Apr-16 18:09:17

I'm a secondary teacher and year leader. With ds I worked to 39 weeks to get to a half term! I started mat leave on my due date.
This time I'm due 27th July. I'm going to work until the end if term and start mat leave on my due date again.

You might as well be off and on holiday (hopefully!) As be on mat leave.

PennyHasNoSurname Wed 13-Apr-16 18:10:40

Start on your due date! Nine days is fine you will probably end up at least three days over due so thats nigh on a fortnight.

A friend of mine is due 2nd sept and is doing the same - due dat as her first day of mat leave, luckily having the six weeks off before it.

IndomitabIe Wed 13-Apr-16 18:21:04

If you can make it to the end of term make your official leave date two weeks after your due date (this is legal/acceptable, btw). By doing so you'll remain on normal pay with maternity leave & pay being triggered the day after delivery.

I recently worked till 40+1, and then 'worked' (well, I was available to work but the school was closed, just like every other teacher!) till 41+2 when DS2 arrived, and then maternity pay started the day after that. I've therefore eeked out the period of being on 100% pay for a little longer.

However, I felt fit stubborn enough (just) to do this. With my first pregnancy I finished at 38 weeks and wished I'd finished at 36. (I did not feel fit that time!) Another factor is I work in secondary, and teenagers (believe it or not) can be very accommodating/sympathetic of one's physical restrictions when I would expect younger children might not!

I'll say it again for people due after the holidays start: ask for your leave to start 2 weeks AFTER your due date to stay on full pay till delivery. Honestly, it's entirely above board! (Believe me, Finance checked thoroughly!)

tethersend Wed 13-Apr-16 18:22:54

Aim for your due date then start ML earlier if you can't make it- any pg related sickness automatically triggers ML after 36 weeks.

redcaryellowcar Wed 13-Apr-16 18:28:21

I had dc1 at 36+2, but I would still say plan to start at summer holidays, as you don't really need bestie time, I never had a chance to get round to it, would however suggest putting cot up and buying a car seat and a few vests, baby grows and nappies before 35 weeks, dh was out buying a car seat as I sat in hospital with waters leaking!

icklekid Wed 13-Apr-16 18:40:09

Tell them you intend to work until summer holidays (mat leave start when baby is born) however if you struggle and they are supportive they won't hold it against you if you get to 36/37 weeks and need to stop/rest. I had to go at 36 weeks because of spd and pain however if all goes well in pregnancy agree the last few weeks are chilled and lovely

61sazzler61 Wed 13-Apr-16 18:51:10

Thanks everyone!
Makes me feel better to know I'm not alone in thinking I could try to go to summer hols!

IndomitabIe, whereabouts is it stated that I can take maternity from date of delivery? All the info I have from the union etc says that the latest date maternity can be set to start is my due date? Would find this info really helpful! smile

I'm planning to go back at the start of July 2017 (part time, hopefully) so when I start my maternity won't affect when I go back. Want to make sure I'm getting paid again for NEXT YEAR'S summer hols!


enchantedfairytale Wed 13-Apr-16 18:53:21

I thought it was two weeks before EDD - am I wrong? Congratulations, OP smile

G1raffe Wed 13-Apr-16 18:57:29

Oh if you're definitely going back next July finish early!! It will be the last time to get some rest, have an easy movie or dinner out, sort some last minute bits, freeze some meals, you may be nesting or just appreciate not going straight from the treadmill of working to the sleep deprived life of early motherhood!

user1456516347 Wed 13-Apr-16 18:59:54

Hi All!

I'm a teacher but due on 4th Dec. Know it's a long way off but starting to think about mat leave. Our half term finishes on 30th October when I'll be 35 weeks. I think that might be a little too early to start mat leave.

Do you think I'll be able to hold out until 37 weeks? I teach a heavy timetable in a secondary school (sure I won't be given any exam classes from September onwards) but hope I'll be able to make it to 37.


61sazzler61 Wed 13-Apr-16 19:16:45

I think if it was still at my busiest time of year (for me that's Jan- May) then I'd try to go to 36/37 weeks still smile

Maybe you could set the date at 37 weeks and go early if you struggle? (Although I appreciate it might be harder for school to get cover 'early' at a busier time of year, but you have to put yourself first I think). We don't put ourselves first very often as teachers, I think!

Congrats, by the way! x

IndomitabIe Wed 13-Apr-16 19:45:30

61sazzler, according to the NUT maternity matters document there are only restrictions on how early you can start leave.

"Where a teacher is absent from work wholly or partly because of pregnancy or childbirth after the beginning of the 4th week before the expected week of childbirth, maternity leave will automatically be triggered from that date. Where the baby is born before the maternity leave is due to commence, the day following the date of the birth will be regarded as the first day of maternity leave.

Salary ceases and maternity pay begins on the day on which absence begins, irrespective of whether it is a school holiday. Once your maternity leave period has commenced, any school holiday periods will be included in your period of maternity leave."

There's no actual mention of having to start by/on due date. My finance dept queried it too, then did their own research too (and DHs finance dept as he's taking shared leave). None could find mention of it. So I started my leave at 41+3! (And got paid normal pay for one week of Easter holidays!)

Regarding returning to work, you can return on the first day of the holidays too (I did this in my last pregnancy). Then you are back on normal pay for the entire summer holidays. You are not obliged to go in at all before the holidays start.

Honestly, I've done both of these things, it's all above board. Finance/payroll people are often misinformed/inexperienced/do what they've always done.

IndomitabIe Wed 13-Apr-16 19:46:54

And I was physically in school and teaching at 40+1.

socktastic Wed 13-Apr-16 21:09:39

I'm 29 weeks and going off 3 weeks before the end of term (Scotland so our summer begins beginning of July) my due date is 1 day before end of term but think it would be too risky to keep working all the way. Hopefully I'll get a peaceful 3 weeks to myself!

61sazzler61 Wed 13-Apr-16 22:03:39

Thanks for the info, my head has given me a document called ' Maternity Provisions for school staff' which states that the latest date I an take leave is my due date and also my NASUWT booklet says it too:

Maternity leave
Your maternity leave may commence no earlier than the 11th week before the
Expected Week of Childbirth.
The latest date maternity leave can commence is the date you give birth.

So I'm not sure I'll be able to take it any later sad

PennyHasNoSurname Wed 13-Apr-16 22:31:37

"The date you give birth' not the "date your midwife has estimated as your due date" smile

You set your start of Mat Leave two weeks past your due date, knowing thats the katest it will happen. Then when the baby is born, it is brought forward.

Its an incredibly clever way of doing it!

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