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Preganancy, employment, furlough etc - advice needed

13 replies

romaniac123 · 22/07/2020 14:37

Hi all, long time lurker, first time poster!

So, I learned on Sunday, and confirmed with a second test on Monday that I'm pregnant with our first baby, my period was around a week late. So I estimate we're having a March 2021 baby.

What I'm really worried about at the moment is in relation to my job.
Long story short, I've been furloughed since April, prior to that they had us on a 3 day week for a few weeks. They still haven't said if and when they anticipate bringing us back (I work in the events industry). Probably in November once furlough support ends, but even then I think they'll make some of us redundant, and the rest of us they'll ask to work reduced hours until the end of the financial year.

Prior to learning I was pregnant I had been planning to apply for new jobs anyway as for various reasons I'm unhappy there, but now that I'm pregnant I feel like that's been scuppered. Ironically, one key reason for me wanting to leave is that my employer doesn't offer any maternity benefits, other than government statutory Sad.

Am I right in thinking that if I got a new job in the near future I wouldn't qualify for SMP and might only get Maternity Allowance?

Another question I have is, is it likely I could find another job where the company would offer me their employer maternity benefits even though I wouldn't be long in the door before I would be off on maternity leave?

While I do feel happy about the pregnancy this has put a dampener on everything and I genuinely feel worried I won't have a job by the time the baby arrives, or will be effectively working PT Sad.

Thanks in advance Smile

OP posts:
Pumpertrumper · 22/07/2020 14:52

Firstly, big congratulations!

Secondly, the chances of you finding an employer who will offer their benefits to someone already pregnant when hired are very very slim! This would be a unicorn employer as most have a qualifying period of between 6-24 months for their mat benefits and those who don’t still require too many weeks for you to qualify, unless you got a new job right now, which I imagine isn’t likely. Short answer, not impossible but not at all likely.

I’m sure someone much better versed on mat allowance will be along shortly to answer your other question but I imagine that too will be down to you being employed over certain weeks, I believe it’s much easier to qualify for though.

Personally I would officially inform your employer of your pregnancy and that you look forward to returning to your regular role/hours (and handing Mat B1 in) when they reopen.

I imagine any employer would tread carefully regarding redundancies/reduced hours after that. Xx

ivfdreaming · 22/07/2020 15:09

Yup zero chance of an employer voluntarily giving you enhanced maternity pay - can you imagine if any existing employees who weren't offered it caught wind of it - I wouldn't want to be you/employer!

I'd stay at current firm as long as possible as then you'll st least get maternity allowance which is pretty much the same at SMP

Can't see any events companies hiring this side of the year so best to stick it out where you are or you could end up with nothing

romaniac123 · 22/07/2020 16:15

Yeah I wouldn't be applying for an events job - have wanted to get out of the industry for a while and have been applying for jobs outside in recent months, in universities, public and private sector but unfortunately didn't get past interview stage.

If I were to be made redundant (I'm in a team of 5 in the UK and I genuinely think they are planning on making 2 redundant based on workload) would I still get SMP or would it only be maternity allowance?

Also, if hours were to be reduced, to probably 3 days a week, this would be across the board. Would SMP for first 6 weeks be 90% of salary based on hours I'm working when I go off on maternity leave?

OP posts:
Springawake · 22/07/2020 16:21

Congratulations ! I've just found out I'm pregnant too with baby number 3 also due March 2021! Sorry can't offer any advice over working etc but just wanted to congratulate you

ivfdreaming · 22/07/2020 17:27

It depends on the date of your redundancy - for SMP you need to be employed up to I believe 15 weeks before the due date. If not then it's Maternity allowance

romaniac123 · 22/07/2020 17:48

Thanks @Springawake - congratulations to you too Smile

OP posts:
Shawla92 · 23/07/2020 07:33

Hi there :)

Congratulations on your pregnancy!

As another PP has said I would inform your current employer of your pregnancy right away as they will hopefully tread more carefully if/when they decide to make redundancies.

With regards to finding a new role and receiving their Occupational Maternity Pay package I would also agree with other PPs and say this is highly unlikely. I work for the NHS & their policy is an employee has to have worked for them for 52 weeks before the X week of delivery to qualify for Occupational Maternity Pay. I suspect other companies in public sector and some larger private companies will have similar rules in place on their maternity policy.

With regards to receiving SMP or maternity allowance I would go on GOV.UK & have a read up on this as their advice is usually very clear and there are calculators you can use to look at what you are entitled to.

Hope you have a smooth pregnancy xx

Danielle95lab · 23/07/2020 09:53

So if you're still in your current job when you're 25 weeks pregnant you'll get SMP. I was at risk of redundancy when I was 20 weeks, but had a month of consultations and a notice period which meant I was still 'employed' in my 25th week, so the company had to pay me SMP whether I was there or not.

If they make you redundant anytime soon, you'll only get standard government maternity unfortunately. And a new job most likely won't offer any maternity purely because you have to be working for your employer for something like nearly a year to qualify for any company maternity rights.

I would try stick it out where you are as long as possible but if you've left before 25 weeks, it will be normal maternity I'm afraid x

ivfdreaming · 23/07/2020 10:04

I wouldn't inform my employer until the very legal minute if you are in a job at risk of redundancy - fact is a lot of people have the misconception that you can't be made redundant if you are pregnant but they CAN if the reason for redundancy isn't solely because of pregnancy - and god knows most employers have enough reason for redundancies at the moment especially in the sector you work in

jojanna · 23/07/2020 10:26

I guess my situation is similar, in that I was made redundant at about 10 weeks pregnant, so I'm anticipating applying for maternity allowance. It was never clear what the maternity policy was at my company (Tiny company, most likely had never had anyone go on maternity leave before. When I asked the query was elevated to the CFO and I never heard a peep!) - so I assumed it would be SMP. The maternity allowance at least appears to be better than I expected - £151.20 for 39 weeks (in the maximum case anyway). I'm at about 23 weeks now, so will get the application in soon-ish - hopefully I'll know more then!

Jupiter15 · 23/07/2020 10:29

It’s not true that you wouldn’t ever find a company or organisation that wouldn’t give you enhanced maternity pay. The organisation that I work for offer enhanced maternity pay for all employees regardless of how long they have been employed.

romaniac123 · 24/07/2020 09:26

Thanks everyone, this is really helpful. I’m not having my scan until 15th September now and not keen to make any announcements until then.

I’m aware it’s possible to be made redundant while pregnant if this isn’t the reason for it. All of my colleagues are at risk of either redundancy or being asked to take reduced pay/reduced hours in the coming months.

I’ve seen a few jobs I’m interested in that I’m going to apply for and see what happens, fingers crossed I could find somewhere like that @Jupiter15Smile. At least I figure that I’d end up with a more secure job that pays better for once I’m back after possibly a short maternity leave

OP posts:
Staplemaple · 24/07/2020 09:28

It's not impossible, but it's very unlikely and not the norm. Not to be negative, but it's worth being realistic.

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