Enhanced maternity/Shared parental pay

(32 Posts)
MeadowHay Wed 19-Feb-20 08:24:29

If your employer provides some enhanced maternity pay over the standard SMP, do they provide any enhanced pay for shared parental leave over standard shared parental pay?

OP’s posts: |
nerdsville Wed 19-Feb-20 18:53:53

My current organisation is just in the process of aligning maternity, adoption and shared parental leave so the enhanced pay is the same for all 3 types of leave, we're also increasing the level of pay. I work in HR so it's nice to be part of a positive project for a change smile

Kittywampus Wed 19-Feb-20 18:57:54

Mine don't, but I think they should

Whatsbrownandsticky Wed 19-Feb-20 18:58:47

Yes, employees working there for more than 2 years get enhanced pay after the first 6 weeks I think it is. Same for maternity leave and shared parental.

Jane1727 Wed 19-Feb-20 18:59:50

We enhance maternity, adoption leave and shared parental leave. The same benefit for all.

undomesticgodde55 Wed 19-Feb-20 19:03:14

We have just put our paperwork in for shared parental leave. I would normally just get SMP for the last 3 months with no enhanced payments - but DP's company is a lot more generous and he's gonna get half pay for his first 3 out of 6 months parental leave. I didn't expect this to be the case but pretty pleased about it.

MeadowHay Wed 19-Feb-20 22:03:32

My company don't btw. They only provide enhanced maternity pay (which is very poor compared to lots of other companies anyway but I don't want to out myself). They only provide SPP with no enhancement.

OP’s posts: |
undomesticgodde55 Wed 19-Feb-20 22:42:37

I just assumed it was standard to get what the women was offered as a minimum? Surely that's equal rights etc. And would put a lot of people off doing shared parental leave in the first place. Personally I think we should be encouraging shared parental leave, it's a fantastic opportunity for partners to bone with the baby and appreciate what it's like to stay at home looking after a baby all day. For us it works well as I'm a shift worker and need to pay back 3 months minimum - there isn't a nursery i know of that will open at 6am and stay open until 9pm when I eventually finish work so having DP at home full time is a massive relief. (Sorry to get up on my soapbox and go slightly off topic)

turnedabout Wed 19-Feb-20 23:12:29

My employer introduced same rights for paternity as maternity - which they crowed from the rooftops about in the press. However .....

Up to now all parental leavers got annual bonus as normal but This has now changed - from the start of this year they have decided to reduce the annual bonus to 50% for anyone going into the smp/ unpaid period of parental leave. Reduction of a financial benefit feels like a punishment for taking your full parental leave period. FYI in practice the men all choose to return to work before the unpaid period kicks in at 26 weeks- it's the women who all take the unpaid leave so in practice it's women's bonuses that are being reduced. My company has already identified working mothers as a critical group in the company's gender pay gap report as women work in lower paid roles and often on a part time basis. so women here are already low paid, in turn their % based bonus will be low and now that bonus will be halved if they don't return to work at 26 weeks. If my company really cared about the gender pay gap they would have looked at these statistics and would not have taken the decision to reduce the annual bonus for anyone on parental leave.

It's worth noting the equal pat and mat leave policy instantly kills any claims from women who feel they have been unfairly passed over for career progression when a man has been selected instead.
I bet my company are delighted that their litigation costs have fallen to record lows as a result of their equal rights policy. There has been no notable improvement to women progressing their careers here, men still get the job.
Just saying.

Christmadtree Wed 19-Feb-20 23:21:23

A lot of places did pay equal amounts when the legislation came in, for fear of discrimination cases against them if they paid spl less, but it's now been clarified in law that spl does not need to be the same as an enhanced mat pay so some are now trying to backtrack.

In reality it's unlikely that both parents will work in the same business anyway.

Shared parental leave is too complex imo, we should go the scandi route where both parents can take parental leave, either at the same time or in blocks one after another and this is paid at decent rates.

undomesticgodde55 Thu 20-Feb-20 09:15:05

Shared parental leave is too complex imo, we should go the scandi route where both parents can take parental leave, either at the same time or in blocks one after another and this is paid at decent rates.

I agree it's complicated considering SPL has been around for 5 years! I know of a guy in my company who asked for SPL and was told "oh we don't really do that here". Funny because there is a whole policy on SPL so I pointed him in the right direction and back to the management! He got his SPL. DP's company has had a similar attitude telling him he won't want 6 months off and will want to come back to work sooner - I doubt they would say that to a woman in the same position!

We've just been through all our paperwork and it's definitely not a straight forward process with either company. I personally think that as a minimum the partner should have the same as what the mother or primary adopter would receive if they had the time off. Otherwise it just falls on the mother to take time off to financially benefit the family thus damaging her career. I can see why a lot of couples are put off SPL.

MeadowHay Thu 20-Feb-20 12:10:32

Yes I fully agree with you all by the way. I am flabbergasted that my company don't provide the same enhanced pay for people taking SPL.

One of the court cases is waiting for a further appeal I think? So things could change. I think it's sex discrimination against men but it also discriminates against same sex couples too, surely?

I also find SPL so confusing. I initially thought both parents would need to take SPL therefore I wouldn't qualify for my enhanced mat pay at all. However now I think I understand better than I can take mat leave with my enhanced pay and then put in notice of curtailment and then just DH would take SPL? And his employer provide their enhanced pay equally for mat or SPL so he can still benefit from their enhanced leave? It is so confusing though.

OP’s posts: |
undomesticgodde55 Thu 20-Feb-20 12:44:02

@MeadowHay that's how I understand it. For us it in theory will go like this:

I take 6 months off, 2 months full pay, 4 months half pay. If I was to continue I would then receive 3 months SMP, 3 months no pay to make up the full year.

As it happens DP is taking the second half off so I can go back to work, his company policy is the first 6 months full pay, then 3 months half pay, 3 months no pay to make up the full year. So for his 6 months he will receive 3 months half pay and 3 months no pay (because he can't claim the SMP or enhancements I have already claimed from my company)

It's all confusing but I hope that makes sense?

MeadowHay Thu 20-Feb-20 15:29:21

Yep it does. I need to sit down with DH and look at both the policies to figure out exactly what it would mean for us. The thing is, his enhanced pay scheme is far better mine so really financially the best would be for me to take as little leave as possible sad but I wouldn't want to go back to work so early and I worry about recovery from birth (it was long last time) and breastfeeding etc. Plus I have to work a whole 12 months afterwards or I have to pay it back too.

OP’s posts: |
undomesticgodde55 Thu 20-Feb-20 16:00:04

@MeadowHay we had the same dilemma, DP has much better enhanced pay but there is no way I'm going back to work any earlier than 6 months. That's my time with the baby and to recover as far as I'm concerned.

turnedabout Thu 20-Feb-20 20:23:07

Just out of interest, if you had to leave your job and they said you had to pay back your mat leave pay but you didn't have the money - what would/could they do about it??? Send the bailiffs round???

undomesticgodde55 Fri 21-Feb-20 07:58:48

@turnedabout I wouldn't know but that's something to consider before taking the money. If your unsure if you can pay the time back personally I wouldn't be spending the enhanced payments (SMP is from the government so you would get that if you qualify either way).

My contract says I must pay 3 months back and with the type of work I do I wouldn't find a nursery to fit around my shift pattern, so having DP at home full time is another reason we're doing SPL.

undomesticgodde55 Fri 21-Feb-20 08:05:47

@turnedabout I just read your previous comment, feel free to correct me but I think you have parental and shared parental leave confused? By what you have described both the mother and partner takes the first 6 months off together. Shared parental leave as I understand is when one goes back to work and ones stays at home. Only one can claim the SMP+enhancement Eg.

My DP will get his standard 2 weeks parental leave when the baby is born and I'll get 6 months mat leave. I curtail my mat leave and he then takes 6 months SPL to make up the full year taking on any SMP not used and his company enhanced pay.

So in your example if we both worked for your company I would receive a full annual bonus and my DP wouldn't?

undomesticgodde55 Fri 21-Feb-20 08:20:29

**perternity not parental. God even this thread if now getting confusing with all the different types of leave available! It's should be so much simpler

RhymingRabbit3 Fri 21-Feb-20 08:30:38

Shared parental can be taken at the same time, or on after the other. So you could have both parents at home for 6 months, or the mum for 6 months and then the dad for 6 months (or however long).

recreationalcalpol Fri 21-Feb-20 08:33:57

I’m self employed so I get no maternity pay, however my DH’s employer (big four auditors) offers six months parental leave at full pay, regardless of the sex of the parent taking the time off. This is how it should be. The only way to narrow the gender pay gap is to equalise parental leave and pay, so that no one becomes the default parent.

RhymingRabbit3 Fri 21-Feb-20 08:38:42

@recreationalcalpol if you're registered as self employed you should be able to claim maternity allowance though.

undomesticgodde55 Fri 21-Feb-20 08:42:23

@RhymingRabbit3 ah ok I didn't realise my bad. So would both parent receive pay if the both took the first 6 months off and would they both have to return to work at the 6 month point? Just purely out of interest now.

@recreationalcalpol I totally agree. It needs to be equal for both parties regardless of sex.

recreationalcalpol Fri 21-Feb-20 08:44:22

if you're registered as self employed you should be able to claim maternity allowance though

I tried to claim with my last pregnancy and they made it so difficult that I gave up. It’s less per week than my hourly rate and it wasn’t worth the hassle with a colicky newborn smile

Cruddles Fri 21-Feb-20 08:45:06

My company has decent maternity pay and matching SPL. As the dad i took 10 weeks SPL in 2017 for my son, my company didn't have any real policy in place so i think they used me as the impetus to get policy and processes in place, with much needling and checking from me. I then took 6 months SPL last year when my daughter was born and it was very stay forward to organise. I often pan my company and how it's run but in this case they were superb

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