Pregnancy & Birth Clubs <
13/02/2014 at 10:52
Hi. I'm not making any decisions yet but have come to realise that returning to work after maternity leave might not be the best option for me. I just wanted to speak to other people who are thinking the same? And what your intentions are? Will you be finding another job whilst you're off, or can you afford to be a SAHM? My biggest worry is that I'll end up spending all of my maternity leave worrying about whether I'll be able to find another job and so on. Does anyone else feel that way?
13/02/2014 at 11:14
If had been in my old job (where I was desperately unhappy & constantly stressed) I would not have returned.
I guess I would have spent some maternity leave job hunting but I had planned to sign up to recruitment agencies and get temporary admin jobs to keep afloat.
In my last place the maternity leave was the standard 90% pay for 6 weeks then SMP. I dont think I would had to have paid the 90% back but someone else might know - just something to bear in mind - From previous posts I know your work offers a package thats not exactly the norm.
If you are already stressed about this, thats not good for your pregnancy. And it wont aid family life either. Its a tough call and something to discuss with your OH.
13/02/2014 at 11:17
Yes they do but only if you take 3, 6 or 9 months. I'll be taking 12 which is just the statutory so normal government based package. Good point re the 90% for 6 weeks - will look into that.
13/02/2014 at 11:22
I don't think the 90% is paid back. It talks about it on the direct go website and there is no mention of it. I don't think that's an enhanced part of SMP, I think it's part of what the company have to pay under SMP so it shouldn't be repayable.
Maybe a hr bod can help more though.
13/02/2014 at 11:27
H and I are discussing this a lot. We need to sit down and do the maths with regards to the cost of childcare and travel to work versus our current earnings. It's proving to be a headache but I'm pretty sure I don't want to return to my current place of work (it's not a nice place to work these days). Whether I look for a job whilst on maternity leave, have a couple of years off or be a SAHM I'm not yet sure so we'll sit down soon and work out what we can afford.
You don't pay back the 90% that you get the first 6 weeks. I think you only have to pay back if you have an enhanced package. I am not returning, although haven't told work this yet. My contract states to give as much notice as you can whilst on maternity if you decide not to return and that it doen not affect your maternity pay.
My plan is take a year off and in the last 2 months or so start looking for a part time job.
13/02/2014 at 11:36
I don't have a job to go back to Pep. I'm a freelancer so will need to start looking for jobs at some point during maternity leave, although hopefully only part-time contracts.
I once had a job that really stressed me out too. I hated the people and my boss was a bully who thought he had full access to all hours of my life. My last day was very unplanned. My boss and I had a big argument in the middle of the office. I walked out and never went back and instantly felt so much relief and happiness. You don't have to stay in a job that you hate, there are other jobs out there x
I'm not planning on going back to my job. I get 12 weeks at 90%, 6 months statutory and 3 months unpaid. Obviously they'll then owe me a whole year of holiday so another month and a bit pay will be due at the end once I've handed in my notice. I've got written confirmation from them of various scenarios, including if I don't go back, then I still get my accrued holiday paid and don't have to pay back any of my enhanced pay.
Because of the commute and the nature of my job (evening events etc), it just isn't something I want to keep doing with a baby. I may go back to something similar when the kids are older but by the time I pay out for childcare and travel it's just not enough extra to warrant leaving the baby (in my head) for that amount of time each day. Plus I don't love it so think I'd end up resenting it a lot.
We'll see how we go financially, H has just moved to a well paid job so we could in theory just about scrape by with me not working. But we love our holidays and little extras so I think I will want to have my own money and be able to contribute to the luxuries. In an ideal world I'd find something locally (or drivable at least), three days a week. I have an inkling my mum would love to go part time and have the baby one day a week so then she'd have two days at nursery. I know it's easier said than done to find the 'ideal' part time job but I plan to start looking in Jan 2015 eventhough my mat leave doesn't start end till late March, and we have quite a few big companies around here so fingers crossed something will work out.
If it came to it and we needed it then I'd go back to work in London but it'd be in a different location so I didn't have to get the tube and have a shorter commute than I do now.
13/02/2014 at 11:39
13/02/2014 at 11:40
Thanks for all of your replies everyone. Its nice to know that there are others out there who aren't going back and will be looking for work on the other side!
13/02/2014 at 11:44
Sorry Pep, didn't mean to make you cry. I know how awful it can be though. Does your H know the full extent of how unhappy your job is making you? Big hugs x
13/02/2014 at 11:56
13/02/2014 at 12:01
Pep, I'm in a slightly different situation I that I resigned my position shortly after finding out I was pregnant. I still work a handful of days a month at the museum, but it's not a career. If I had still been at my old job I wouldn't have returned after mat leave, though. I would have only gotten SMP (which includes the 90% pay at the beginning, so even if you don't return I believe you don't need to pay that back), so the mat allowance I'll get is barely any less, so I'm not too worried about that. My sister is in the states, so different rules apply, but she was contractually obliged to return to work for 6 weeks after mat leave, so might be worth looking at what your employers rules are, if you get anything more than SMP you might need to pay it back or return to work for a short while.
While we could probably get by with me being a SAHM, I don't want to be home every day. My plan is the start applying for part time jobs in my field when the baby is 6 months. It takes ages to get anything, so I doubt I'd have anything by 9 months, but would likely have something by 12 months. I don't want to stress out about it, though, so I'm keeping the 'it's okay to be a SAHM' thing in the back of my mind. I don't think job hunting will be as bad as it was when I was temping before. Having a baby will be a full time job in itself, so the job hunt won't be coupled with a feeling of being useless IYSWIM.
I didn't have a job (I was working as a supply teacher and there wasn't much work around while I was pregnant) so I don't have a job to go back to. We have survived living off H's salary alone. At the end of the day, you have to do what's best for you as a family, both financially but also for your happiness too. We agreed that by the time I would pay for commuting (and having to buy a new car) and childcare, we'd be worse off than me being a sahm and living off H's salary alone. We've made cutbacks but at the end of the day our family is happy and in my mind that's what's important.
13/02/2014 at 12:03
Pep, my advice would be to stay on their books, continue to be signed off (you won't have a problem with the GP, I'm sure of that), have your maternity leave 90% and then, sometime after that, after much deliberation, when you're in a different time and place, hand your notice in. In your shoes that's what I would do. You don't need to worry about a proper handover, they shouldn't harass you if you're on sick leave. If you don't know whether you're going back you needn't stress about what they do with your work. Make the break mentally from them now, just not financially :)
13/02/2014 at 12:06
Exactly what Counter said. They've used you. Use them back.
13/02/2014 at 12:11
I worked with someone who was signed off from about 8 weeks, came back for a couple of weeks and then was signed off again about 14/15 weeks and never came back. Just be aware that at a certain point your maternity leave will kick in automatically (I think it's around 36 weeks but I'm sure someone will know the answer for definite).
13/02/2014 at 12:13
Pep, they'll sign you off as long as you need. they'll react to what you're telling them. Maybe they'll do you a fortnight certificate initially, but it'll go to 4 weeks I imagine and before you know it you'll be there :)
13/02/2014 at 12:23
13/02/2014 at 12:45
I used to work with someone who was off 360 days a year. Seriously. She would come back for a few days a year to reset the the clock and then go off on the sick again. She got away with it for years.
In my last place any pregnancy related absences were only allowed to be counted as one absence, regardless of how long it amounted to or whether the lady in question came back inbetween sick notes.
Take your two weeks off, keep away from your emails, ignore your phone and see how you feel. If you don't want to go back then go back to your docs instead. I know it seems easy for me to say as an outsider but it honestly is that straight forward. I know when you're actually living it that it all seems so much more difficult but you don't have to go there if you don't want to, especially if it's affecting you and the baby xx
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