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Maternity leave

34 replies

ChanningsPony · 19/03/2017 20:11

Posting for a mate of mine. She's pregnant and a very basic maternity package of 90% for 6 weeks and then SMP.
I was a student when I had my kids over 8 years ago, so never had to deal with this but it seems like a really shit package to me?
My job has 90% for 6 weeks and then decreasing % for 6 months.

What is standard now and does she have any chance of fighting for more? Any suggestions would be brilliant, thanks.

OP posts:
chickenjalfrezi · 19/03/2017 20:17

Why on earth would she 'fight it'?

You wouldn't accept a job with a 20 day holiday entitlement and then go back and ask for more holiday because it suited you now...

GreenGoblin0 · 19/03/2017 20:17

that's the minimum employers are not obliged to offer any more.

unless the employer has a policy offering additional occupational matenity pay for which she meets the criteria there's nothing she can "fight" for

BikeRunSki · 19/03/2017 20:21

That's fairly standard OP.

You'll find lots of organisations that offer better deals, but many who offer the same. I think it's the legal minimum.

There was a thread recently-ish by a lady who was considering challenging her maternity package. Might be worth searching, but I am not sure what's there is to challenge if it's legal and its in your contract of employment.

ChanningsPony · 19/03/2017 20:21

Sorry, "fight" may have been the wrong word.
Personally, I think it's a bit short sighted to not offer over the basic. The office is full of young women and my friend is the first to have a baby. I think they'll struggle to retain their staff if they can't offer a better package.

I take what you say about holidays and agree but if I felt I needed more, I'd ask for it.

OP posts:
ILikeSalmon · 19/03/2017 20:25

That's very common
It's the statutory
Ita less common to get anything better
And I should know as I work for a large HR & payroll provider so we deal with alt of businesses from schools to small businesses

BikeRunSki · 19/03/2017 20:26

This is the thread I was thinking of. Bit different because the lady in Q was already receiving an enhanced maternity package.

Tickyboovicki · 19/03/2017 20:28

That's the same of the maternity policy at my work unfortunately! Being an environment with mostly young female staff it just is what it is 🤷🏻‍♀️

BikeRunSki · 19/03/2017 20:29

The office is full of young women and my friend is the first to have a baby. I think they'll struggle to retain their staff if they can't offer a better package.

Maybe they can't afford to pay all those young women enhanced maternity pay? If your friend is the first to go on maternity leave maybe they have no experience of retention issues? Maybe what they are offering is industry standard anyway? Maybe they're happy to take their chances?

RaindropsRoses · 19/03/2017 20:31

That's what I'll be getting, pretty standard nowadays I think unless you work for nhs, government or some big organisations. I would never think about asking for more if that's what is in the contract!

countingdown2gin · 19/03/2017 20:55

Yep I'm going to be getting this and had the same with my previous employer with my first DS.

I think you're pretty lucky to get any enhanced maternity now.

Emma2803 · 19/03/2017 22:04

That's pretty standard to get statutory maternity pay only unless like Raindrops said you work for a big company.
She can certainly ask for enhanced mat pay, but chances are they will say no!!
I had it and it was indeed shit!!! But just have to get on with it!!

TestingTestingWonTooFree · 19/03/2017 23:18

If they've an office full of potential mothers you can imagine the flood gates argument if they spontaneously increase the package. Bit late to think about it when already pregnant.

Caterina99 · 20/03/2017 00:34

That's the standard I'm afraid. I've never had a job offer enhanced benefits, and I'm a professional accountant on a good salary, so fairly decent job. I agree it's important to support pregnant women, but I don't know how many small businesses could afford to offer enhanced benefits.

She should have considered this before she got pregnant, and looked for a different job if the package wasn't what she wanted.

actino · 20/03/2017 08:26

A friend in the US worked for a company that offered no maternity pay and only a few weeks unpaid leave (also SMP does not exist there). When she was pregnant, get and a few colleagues made a case for maternity pay to management and were successful.

It is not too late for your friend to try!

HelenDenver · 20/03/2017 08:35

The retention issue arises if women leave the job for somewhere with a better package or don't take the job in the first place of course . As the employer presumably isn't seeing this, I doubt they'd change.

I dealt with a company that did make this change for someone who negotiated it well before she was pregnant, but of course it had to be a general policy thereafter.

HelenDenver · 20/03/2017 08:35

And I do believe that woman would have left without the change!

KoolKoala07 · 20/03/2017 08:47

Maybe business owners should be forced to increase maternity pay, along with paying holiday and now the work place pension. Why not cripple businesses a little bit more Hmm

2014newme · 20/03/2017 08:51

It's statutory.
Actually very few people leave a job for a better maternity package somewhere else. I work in hr, the cost of additional maternity pay is hard to justify because bandying around "loyalty, people will stay longer" blah blah isn't necessarily quantifiable. Unless women are actually leaving for jobs with better maternity pay it's a hard sell. My chief executive says he would rather pay more to people at work than people who are off. Fair enough.
No idea what you mean by "fight it".

HelenDenver · 20/03/2017 09:07

It's all a balance, isn't it, 2014? If You think the salary is good but the benefits minimal, say, you will probably be happy!

2014newme · 20/03/2017 10:07

To increase maternity pay needs a business case where the benefits outweigh the cost. Saying that people may leave for better mat pay elsewhere isn't a business case, it's a guess. I don't think your friend will be successful "fighting" this op

gigi556 · 20/03/2017 12:14

My company offers enhanced pay but you have to have been with the company for 2 years by the time you are expected to give birth. I haven't been with the company long enough and to be honest, I'm happy with statutory as you have to pay back the enhanced pay if you don't come back and I have no idea how I'll feel about returning to work in 12 months. I'm from the USA and I think the maternity benefits are generous!

Bellaposy · 20/03/2017 12:36

That's very common. I'm in a fairly large law firm with lots of mums and it's standard practice.

dilapidated · 20/03/2017 13:04

I'm due to go on maternity leave in 6 weeks and only get SMP.

My job is hard work and the realisation of how little I will have during the next 9 months gives me no incentive for going back there after.

My job is in demand and despite being pregnant I've already had offers from other companies to take me on when I decide to go back to work.

I would feel more loyal to my existing employer if the maternity package was better.

It doesn't just mean that money will be tight when I'm on maternity leave but that ever since I found out I am pregnant I have had to cut back to put money away to give me any chance of affording to stay off past the initial 6 weeks.

This might not be the case for many households but if like me you are the breadwinner and still want to take time off, that's the way it is.

SunnyDayDreaming101 · 20/03/2017 13:28

Just what everyone else is saying really, this is pretty much the norm now unless you work in the public sector.

I find it hard to swallow that the private sector follows government guidelines but the public sector (and therefore government purse) doesn't. This is a HUGE indicator that the government knows full well the statutory package isn't enough, if it was it would follow its own guidance! Angry

Redpony1 · 20/03/2017 13:42

I've never worked anywhere that offered more than that statutory amount (I work in HR).

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