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maternity pay - not as bad as people make out?

Discussion in 'Pregnancy' started by bluecharmer, May 14, 2011.

  1. I'm worried I am totally missing how maternity pay works.
    I plan to stay off until the 12 weeks at 50% runs out. If my thinking is right, at this stage i will only be a couple of hundred pounds worse off than normal?
    Lets say i take home £1500 a month, with occupational maternity pay that will equate to £750 a month, but then i will get £120 SMP a week - so an extra £480. Together that means ill take home, at its lowest, £1170??
    Dont get me wrong, i know £300 is alot of money, but it's not going to cause bankrupcy (in my case anyway!). Givent that i usually pay £250 a month in petrol, i dont think i'll notice much of a difference at all?!
    Is the case that people struggle if they stay off beyond those 12 weeks?
    OR do i have all this completely wrong?

  2. Depends how close you cut it each month.
  3. chicabonita

    chicabonita New commenter

    I thought the SMP was included in the pay- is it on top of the 50%, then?
  4. I was under the impression it was - union info on maternity pay says 50%+ SMP?
    I could be wrong. If it is included and not additional, I would struggle!!!!
  5. My understanding is that SMP is on top of the 50%, that's also what I had read
    I hope so!
  6. Remember SMP is taxed!
  7. serious?? what a joke! Thanks for the info though! :eek:) x
  8. Chica77

    Chica77 New commenter

    Yes, you get 50% PLUS SMP. I work 0.5 so there won't be much difference for me at all until i drop down to just SMP.
    As someone (Bunique?) said, it will be noticeable if you spend all your income every month.
  9. You're right, it is fine. The thing is, 12 weeks is not long - you have a couple of weeks off before due date, then if baby is late, you could be going back when he/she is 2 months old, which a lot of people wouldn't want to do. It is when you go down to smp only that it really hurts the bank balance!
  10. Sorry that sounded a bit patronising - not meant to be!!
  11. chicabonita

    chicabonita New commenter

    As the previous poster (sorry, forgot to note who it was) said, 12 weeks isn't long. Chiquita is 3.5 months old now, 14 weeks, and I would be devastated if I had to go back already- even if I weren't ebf, I just feel that she's far too small and vulnerable to let anyone else look after her at the moment- not a judgement, just an incredibly strong feeling that I wouldn't have expected to have at all.
    If you possibly can, I'd urge you to stay off for longer and budget accordingly. You can return to work at the start of the holidays and be on full pay for them, which might be useful to know.
  12. Chica77

    Chica77 New commenter

    12 weeks is nothing! In both my pregnancies i went off at 36 weeks and my son was 10 days late and my daughter 12 days late so i'd be back before i knew it if i'd planned to go back then. I had 9 months off last time and am having a year off this time.
    Definitely budget as well as you can and try to save some money and also think what you can cut down on while on maternity leave. Also remember that you can claim child benefit which isn't a lot but £80 a month at least helps with nappies, wipes etc.
  13. chicabonita

    chicabonita New commenter

    ...and probably working tax credit. It all helps!
    I've gone into reusable nappies- the kit was a gift, it cost about £250 including reusable wipes- which means we save a ton on those things and don't have to worry about finding the money for them each month. The ones we got are "birth-to-potty" so unless Chiquita is abnormally large, we shouldn't need anything else until she's in knickers. I'd definitely recommend them, the washing really isn't arduous. If you want to have a look, try www.fill-your-pants.com
  14. Thanks for all your replies.
    The main reason I intend to go back after 12 weeks is because I dont actually want to return to work, but I do need the maternity pay, and you have to return for 13 weeks or you may have to pay it back.
    I will return after May half term, work the last 7 weeks of term and include the summer holidays to ensure i get my 13 weeks "return to work" - thereby not having to pay the maternity money back. The benefit also being that i will have nearly 4 months full pay from may-sept, whereas if i stayed off longer, i would be getting just SMP over the summer holidays. I know it's a bit sneaky, but needs must!
    Whilst I know it's going to be very hard to leave my new baby, it will work out best for us! My OH is going to to take 3 weeks off work and my mum will come and live with us for the rest to help us look after the LO.
    Fingers cross all goes well!
  15. *after THE 12 weeks!!
    .... by which I mean after the 12 weeks pay at 50% - not just have 12 weeks off!!
  16. ...and then you'll quit so you don't have to go back in September? Sounds OK to me! 7 weeks is a bloody long time in the world of teaching but if you have the support of your family it should hopefully go quick enough. Also- I expect you wouldn't be class based for those 7 weeks so the work shouldn't be too intensive. Just out of interest (nosiness!) what will you do in September?
  17. Lol, I haven't explained my situation very clearly....
    My OH has a new job near to my family. Currently we live near his family. It was my intention to move back to my home town to be with him and my family for the next academic year. Now that the baby is on the way, i will postpone the job hunting until the following year. So when i am on maternity leave i will be job hunting for a Sept start - either part time or full time!!
  18. Oh, I see! Well in that case, check if you have to return to the same LEA to not have to pay back the 50% OMP- maybe you do but if you don't, and you find a job in a new LEA, then you can take longer off without having to pay back the OMP.
  19. ahhh that's a really good point actually, thanks!

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