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touch and go with maternity pay - any advice?!!!

(30 Posts)
Bicnod Tue 26-Aug-08 07:53:36

I'm on the borderline with the enhanced maternity package at work (will have worked there for 1 year in the 15th week before EWC - can't quite work out - think I'm ok but not comfortably so). How flexible are doctors with due dates?!!! Would be good to be 5 days later than I think I actually am if you know what I mean. Haven't yet been to see doc - appointment later this week... First time pregnant so any advice gratefully received

Pixiefish Tue 26-Aug-08 07:54:36

They go off your dates for your last period initially but after your dating scan they use that date

Bicnod Tue 26-Aug-08 12:18:07

ok - and are they very specific with due dates? or if they say its on xx day and you need it to be 3 days later to ensure you get maternity pay, are they likely to be flexible?! I know that due dates are pretty unaccurate anyway...

Teuch Tue 26-Aug-08 12:32:44

They will finalise your due date after your scan and this will be provided on your MATB1 form which you receive around wk20 and are obliged to give to your employer.

I would be more likely to try and negotiate with your employer!

sadiemcgrady Tue 26-Aug-08 12:34:24

Not what you want to hear, but my experience is that it's rather inflexible. I missed enhanced mat pay by a similar margin

Bicnod Tue 26-Aug-08 12:41:58

hmmmmmm... think i will have to try and chat to my employer then... thanks for the info, it's helpful to know what i'll be up against!

sorry you missed out on enhanced mat pay sadie - did you go back to the same job afterwards?

hopefully Tue 26-Aug-08 12:43:36

If you were really determined I suppose you could lie about your last period date to ensure your due date was 5 days later, and refuse to go to any NHS scans until after 25 weeks (you'd probably want to pay for private ones, you could provide MW with details from these scans after 25 weeks? Maybe feign a fear of NHS sonographers?!) This would guarantee your due date is 'officially' a bit later, but is a bit much like hard work - depends how much better your enhanced pay is!

Could you talk to HR, say you are unsure of your dates until you have a dating scan, but want to start budgeting in case of worst scenario, and get them to work out officially for you whether your real due date would give you enhanced pay?

sadiemcgrady Tue 26-Aug-08 12:43:37

Yes I did. For a while I was considering not going back to work and I was glad not to have the pressure of having the enhanced pay (which would have to be paid back if I hadn't). But it's working out fine and it still annoys me!

Bicnod Tue 26-Aug-08 12:47:50

It seems a bit harsh to stop you from getting the enhanced pay if you're just one week away from qualifying...

I'll talk to HR. I know they'll be keen for me to return after maternity leave so maybe they'll be flexible... hmm

MissKubelik Tue 26-Aug-08 12:49:10

hmm well, when I popped in to see my GP to get my MATB1 form when I was about 21 weeks, he just asked me when my due date was, didn't check my notes or anything. I reckon I could have got away with saying it was few days later and there would have been no problem.

If I were you I would be as vague as possible with your employer until you get a bit further along. Maybe check with them what the cut-off date would be, so you know where you stand, then wait and see what the results of your dating scan are.

callmeovercautious Tue 26-Aug-08 12:51:00

When they brought in a change to SMP about 5 years ago the pay was going up to 6m SMP from April 5th. My Sisters due date was 4th April but the Midwife put 5th on the MAT B1 and just handed it to her without saying a word.

Lovely Midwife smile Sisters work were fuming grin

Bicnod Tue 26-Aug-08 12:54:12

fantastic grin that gives me hope...

I think I'm ok but my maths is terrible... If I was totally honest about my last period date my official due date would be 23 April and my 1 year anniversary at work is 7 Jan. I have to have been employed for 1 year by the end of the 15th week before the EWC, which I make as being the end of w/b 5 January - so I think it SHOULD be ok... but very close.

Anyone any good at working these things out? Am I right?!!!!

Ceolas Tue 26-Aug-08 12:58:34

I'd ask advice on working it out from HR. There's a rule about the week in which your due date falls and counting from the sunday of that week.

Probably makes no sense! But I was in a similar position last year and had worked out I was OK only to be told I'd got the calculation wrong and missed out.

There's a government website that explains it all I think. Hang on...

dilbertina Tue 26-Aug-08 13:01:02

I filled in my due date on my MATB1 form myself cos no-one else could be bothered! They will only change your EDD if the dating scan shows you are more than a week out so guess your dates carefully, if it's really on the line and a day or so would make a difference mention it to sonographer - they can't be precise to the day anyway so may be flexible to a day or so. Don't think gp will amend later as that would be asking them to falsify record.

Bicnod Tue 26-Aug-08 13:05:03

Ok... will have to do my maths carefully on this one... I think adding on 4 or 5 days would make it safe and hopefully wouldn't be so much that they would change the EDD after the scan...

So compplicated!!!

Cosette Tue 26-Aug-08 13:06:23

It was some time ago, but I had 2 scans giving 2 different due dates, one the 10th of the month and the other the 20th. I got to choose which one, and chose the later date because I wanted to work as late as possible, and because DD1 had been 2 weeks late. DD2 arrived on the 15th - so either could have been right. I still don't know whether she was late or early! My other 2 DC were 2 weeks late, so possibly neither date was right!

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Tue 26-Aug-08 13:06:47

Is it a year in your job? How stingy. It's 6 months for me. Some places don't pay enhanced at all which is incredible.

Bicnod Tue 26-Aug-08 13:09:51

I know - I do feel lucky that the enhanced pay is available (as long as this works out ok!)

Skimty Tue 26-Aug-08 13:11:15

I ahve two due dates - my LMP and one six days later from the scan but because it's not a whole 7 days later then every medical professional keeps asking me which date I'm using. I think they recognise they're not a 'done' thing.

I'm using the later one unless I go inot labout before Friday (37wekks) when I'll use the earlier one!!

callmeovercautious Tue 26-Aug-08 13:18:19

Ask HR for a calculation and give them your earlest date. They will recalculate from your MATB1 anyway but it will let you know how they work it out and you can go from there.

Bicnod Tue 26-Aug-08 14:24:58

Thanks for all the advice

Teuch Tue 26-Aug-08 15:07:26

Hope you have a more efficient HR than mine...

6 weeks and counting! No response...

poisondwarf Tue 26-Aug-08 15:52:58

Hi Bicnod,

I was in a similar situation last pregnancy. The entitlement to SMP went up from 6 months to 9 months last year if your due date was 1st April 2007 or later - mine was 26th March. I was desperate to get the 9 months as I was on a temporary contract at the time and the worst case scenario was that I'd have to be jobhunting when the baby was just a couple of months old (it all worked out in the end and I am still in the same job and about to go on maternity leave again).

Anyway, I explained the situation to the community midwife who'd done my booking appointment (you rarely see the same one twice in my area) and she wasn't keen to break the rules. I then tried the hospital midwife who had done the 20wk appointment and had actually already issued me with a MATB1 form and she was absolutely fine. Lovely woman issued me with a new MATB1 with 1st April as my due date and it all went smoothly from there. Turned out she'd forgotten to sign my original one as well so it would have been rejected anyway.

I felt really embarrassed to ask but I was so so glad I did. I ended up with enhanced maternity pay and 9 months' SMP and it made a massive difference to us over those first few months. It also meant I was able to take a whole year off (last 3 months unpaid).

If I were you I'd definitely think about pursuing this route in the first instance then speaking to your employer as Plan B.

Good luck x

Bicnod Tue 26-Aug-08 15:57:29

Thanks poisondwarf - that's really helpful... I will definitely talk to the midwife at my scan. Think I'll add four days onto the date of my last period when I see GP on Friday for first due date... I'm really glad it worked out for you. As you say, that extra 3 months SMP makes a huge difference - and the enhanced MP will make an even bigger difference... thanks again x

MummyAnnabella Wed 27-Aug-08 13:01:55

def just add 5 days on and you should be okay as said above they wont change it unless a week or more difference.

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