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NHS Maternity Pay questions

(15 Posts)
StripeyFox Mon 19-Sep-16 16:06:03

I work for the NHS and am currently 10+4 weeks pregnant. I find my job incredibly stressful and am planning to ask to reduce my hours. I have some questions I was hoping other NHS employees may be able to help with.

I was wondering whether reducing my hours after the 8 week period that is used to calculate average pay for mat leave would have any implications for my mat pay? Or would I still get it based on my higher number of hours?

Also, the mat policy states they 'average the pay in the 8 week period leading up to the last pay day before the 15th week before the expected week of delivery'. Does this mean the 8 week calendar period rather than the 8 week pay period as appears in your pay packet? As antisocial hours are paid a month in arrears - would it be the ACTUAL hours I worked during that period or the money I received in that pay packet (which would be a month behind).

I think I've done a terrible job of explaining my questions, I hope someone is able to decipher them! Thanks.

GetHappy Mon 19-Sep-16 16:43:50

I am not too sure but do you not have annual leave you can use to do shorter weeks to save your pay from being messed around?

frikadela01 Mon 19-Sep-16 16:52:00

Mine was calculated on my actual hours worked during the 8 week period, not what appeared on my pay packet which is a shame because I had an amazing pay during the 8 weeks since it was all my Christmas unsociable pay.

Not sure about the reducing hours bit. Although I do think that If you reduce your hours prior to going on leave then they don't have to offer you full time when you return so unless you want to return part time I'd double check that.

KitKat1985 Mon 19-Sep-16 17:04:34

I'm not sure. I'm guessing what they mean is they use the actual pay that you've received in that 8 week period.

I however would expect that if you contractually reduce your hours then they would re-assess what your maternity pay would be, as I can't imagine they would be willing to give you full-time maternity pay if you officially go down to part-time. Most people tend to find themselves stretched whilst they are on maternity pay anyway, so unless you can realistically manage with even less coming in I'd be very cautious before officially reducing your hours. I agree with trying to take an annual leave day each week or something later on in pregnancy as being a better way to work reduced hours without the reduction in pay.

If you want to work less hours in the long-term you would be better to stay full-time for now, keep your normal full-time maternity pay and then return to work on your normal hours. After 3 months back at work (during which you may very well only have to work reduced hours anyway as you are likely to have loads of annual leave to use up) you can reduce your hours without needing to re-pay any maternity pay.

My experience of doing this with the NHS is they tend to cock this process up at the best of times (!) so if I were you I'd make it as simple as you can for them to calculate.

scaredofthecity Mon 19-Sep-16 17:10:53

I struggled whilst pregnant and my doctor signed me off for reduced hours. So although I was still technically ft I only worked 25 hours a week. (I ended up being written off sick completely from 26 weeks)

Just bear in mind if you reduce your hours it will affect the annual leave you get which becomes very important at the end of mat leave.

Christmasbaby16 Mon 19-Sep-16 18:51:51

Our payroll service in the trust I work for said any additional payments I received in the qualifying week would result in a slightly higher pay than I would if I recieved no additional payments.

I would try to avoid reducing your hours contractually but would suggest asking occ health did this in agreement with your manager as you would then not undergo any contractual changes thus not affecting pay or leave entitlement.

LuckyinOctober Mon 19-Sep-16 19:26:58

I'd try and seek some more expert advice on this so you know exactly where you stand with your options before you formally request to change your contracted hours. Do you have a union rep to ask? Or an HR contact in your board? Otherwise I'd ask your manager to refer you to Occupational Health for an assessment with a view to them suggesting adaptations to your workload to make your job more workable for you whilst pregnant. I'm wondering if with some adaptations you might not find it so stressful and then not need to reduce your hours? Unless you have a partner who earns a high enough wage to support you all without your mat pay mattering I'd also try and sit down and calculate what you'd get based on full time vs. part time hours and see whether the smaller amount would be realistic for you to survive on and how much difference it makes. Also bear in mind there's only the first block of mat leave that you get occupational mat pay anyway, and once you're on statutory mat pay it won't make that big a difference which might be worth considering if you're planning taking more than the first few months off.

becciandbump Mon 19-Sep-16 22:05:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

riddles26 Tue 20-Sep-16 07:13:37

I am in NHS too, am not entirely sure of the answer but another thing to consider is that if you reduce your hours prior to going on mat leave, the annual leave you accumulate over maternity leave will also be pro-rata'd. If you are full time when going on mat leave, you accumulate 27/29/33 days over the year which can be taken when you get back. (If you switch to PT on return - which is what I plan to do - you still get full time allocation for maternity leave).
My personal recommendation would be to look at the cost implications of losing this leave and also see if you have enough leave to take to reduce your hours. You can also consider taking maternity leave a month earlier than you otherwise would have and using the annual leave you have accumulated over the year for the final month of mat leave if that makes sense.

becciandbump Tue 20-Sep-16 10:29:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

riddles26 Tue 20-Sep-16 17:10:42

Becci when you work full time before starting maternity leave, annual leave is allocated based on you working full time so I get 29 days annual leave to take when I return to work although I will be returning on a part time basis. The annual leave I accrued over maternity is not going to be pro rata'd as I was working full time when I earnt it if that makes sense?
That way, the annual leave can be used in month 13 or used to go back at the end of 11 months but actually be on leave or reduce hours further. (I have also seen people arrange to go back 4 days a week to do their 3 months before resigning but then use annual leave accrued to cut this down to 2 or 3 days over the 3 month period)

becciandbump Wed 21-Sep-16 11:44:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

April241 Thu 22-Sep-16 14:38:06

I'm NHS and where I work mat pay is calculated depending on the actual hours you worked from weeks 17-25.

Agree with a pp about using annual leave if possible to drop a day, I had to see my boss about it too. I worked full time over 4 days but used annual leave to drop to 3 days a week then ended up off sick at 25 weeks anyway.

April241 Thu 22-Sep-16 14:44:34

Oh also, I know I'm going to need part time hours when I return so planned on dropping hours before mat leave but my boss recommended staying full time and sorting it out when I'm back as I'd lose annual leave etc. My maternity pay is split over the 12 months I'm taking off aswell so I'll have less each month but will know what I've got coming in and can work out which hours I'd be able to afford when I go back.

Kitch82 Thu 22-Sep-16 22:59:59

As well as annual leave accruing you will also accrue the bank holidays that occur during your mate leave, this a recent policy change nhs wide. So for the average year that is 8. grin

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