Author Topic: maternity benefits - the latest I have learned  (Read 28434 times)

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Offline balmerhon

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maternity benefits - the latest I have learned
« on: November 28, 2005, 09:50:26 PM »
A while ago there was a thread on here regarding qualifiying for maternity benefits with UK employers. I just thought I'd update that with what I have recently learned.

My situation is not necessarily unusual but I will state it because obviously it won't apply to everyone.

I am on FLR-M which is up at the end of July 2006. I am due 21 April 2006. I am currently on a temporary contract that is due to expire at the end of January (renewal is possible but not at all guaranteed). I have been at my job since 20 June 2005.

My company's maternity is bog standard. They offer only what the government requires: the first 6 weeks at 90% pay and then the remaining 6 months at £107 per week. You can take an additional 6 months unpaid.

Regardless of what type of contract I am on (temp, perm, fixed contract), I am eligible for statuatory maternity pay (SMP) where I work. I believe this applies everywhere but don't hold me to that.

The big question was, am I eligible for SMP if my contract is not renewed? In my case, the answer is yes. This is because I have worked for the company the necessary 26 weeks prior to the expected date of confinement (such a great phrase). It may also because my company doesn't offer more than what the gov't requires.  My (your) company will be reimbursed the £107 week they 'pay' me by the gov't.

The other big question was, am I eligibile on FLR-M? My HR deparment were great and phoned around several places to find out the answer. Turns out, it's the Inland Revenue who had it. Apparently, you have to have been contributing to National Insurance for a certain amount of time in order to qualify. I'm working on getting this in writing and will post here when I have the exact specifics.

What they did confirm is that SMP is not a 'benefit' like the dole or other things that you aren't allowed to claim while on FLR. If anyone cares to dispute this, though, PLEASE LET ME KNOW because clearly I need to know this, as does anyone else who may read this down the road! I've been on this board too long - and dealing with visa and benefit issues too long - to take just one organization's word for something.

But so far, things look pretty good. I'll update here once I get a confirmation from the Inland Revenue.
When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life. ~ John Lennon

expat_in_scotland

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Re: maternity benefits - the latest I have learned
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2005, 09:59:05 PM »
That sounds right!  SMP is based on NI contributions.  So as long as you've met the 26 weeks of employment w/the employer by 11 weeks before you due date, you should be allright.


expat_in_scotland

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Re: maternity benefits - the latest I have learned
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2005, 08:56:44 PM »
Make sure you get the Mat1B form into your HR as soon as it's due.  Some HRs have differing rules as to when this needs to be turned in in order for them to set up your maternity leave - have a read over your contract or the company's website and then harrass the midwife accordingly.  ;)

Offline balmerhon

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Re: maternity benefits - the latest I have learned
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2005, 09:02:44 PM »
Cheers, I think I have until mid-January but will double check. I've definitely got preggo scatterbrain so reminders are a good thing!
When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life. ~ John Lennon

expat_in_scotland

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Re: maternity benefits - the latest I have learned
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2005, 09:06:33 PM »
Cheers, I think I have until mid-January but will double check. I've definitely got preggo scatterbrain so reminders are a good thing!

It slipped my preggo mind and then was a MAJOR hassle!  They used to want it at 24 weeks, but now it's earlier in some places.  If you can get two copies all the better, so you'll have one if you need to claim Maternity Allowance.

And don't be afraid to give yourself some time off to rest before baby comes.  I tried to push it.  Today, I had to say 'uncle' and give in - at the insistance of my boss and two professors, who took my doctor's recommendation to 'slow down' (which she gave me 2 weeks ago) to shoo me out at 38 weeks at last.   ;)

Offline Shahbanou

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Re: maternity benefits - the latest I have learned
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2005, 08:46:23 PM »
Any update on  this yet Balmerhon? I'll sticky this as it's useful information for a lot of people.

Offline balmerhon

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Re: maternity benefits - the latest I have learned
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2005, 10:56:18 AM »
Just saw your query Liz. I'm handing in my MATB1 next week. Will keep you all posted!
When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life. ~ John Lennon

Offline Mimsy2000

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Re: maternity benefits - the latest I have learned
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2006, 06:15:42 PM »
thanks for the info. i am in a similar-ish position and had frankly assumed i couldn't get SMP.

i am self-employeed so i will effectively have to pay myself maternity pay, but stupid as this sounds there might be useful tax incentives to do so. does anyone know where i can get this form that needs to be filled out? the MATB1? and does that go to the inland revenue?

cheers

Offline Shahbanou

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Re: maternity benefits - the latest I have learned
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2006, 06:39:48 PM »
Your midwife will give you the form.  I'm not sure what you do with it as a self employed person! Try looking here for info:

http://www.tiger.gov.uk/

Offline Mimsy2000

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Re: maternity benefits - the latest I have learned
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2006, 06:42:10 PM »
Your midwife will give you the form.  I'm not sure what you do with it as a self employed person! Try looking here for info:

http://www.tiger.gov.uk/

midwife!? wow that surprises me. i was thinking inland revenue or something. actually makes good sense though....

thanks for the website ref.

staceyj7

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Re: maternity benefits - the latest I have learned
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2006, 06:44:39 PM »
Just curious, I'm not expecting anything, but it would be nice.  Does a woman who is not working at all get benefits as well?

Offline Shahbanou

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Re: maternity benefits - the latest I have learned
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2006, 06:46:56 PM »
Stacey you should have a look at that link too, you cna out in the dates you last worked and stuff and it will tell you whether you qualify for anything. You might be able to get the Maternity Allowance.  I guess this would depend on your visa as well though, do you have an ILR or are you on a FLR?

staceyj7

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Re: maternity benefits - the latest I have learned
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2006, 06:50:52 PM »
Oh great!  I will look.  I last worked till the end of June.  (I was going to go back to work, but I got knocked up before I could!)
I should be getting my ILR around the same time as the Baby comes.  I'll do it by post a month earlier I think.

Thank you so much again!  Great topic!

Offline balmerhon

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Re: maternity benefits - the latest I have learned
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2006, 05:04:52 PM »
An update - I handed in my MATB1 with no problem. Now just have to determine exact maternity leave dates.

Stacey - I think you're like me with the ILR around the same time as baby. Not sure how that will affect any ability you have to get maternity pay but you may qualify for some of the child benefits. DH is looking into those for us now...
When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life. ~ John Lennon

staceyj7

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Re: maternity benefits - the latest I have learned
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2006, 05:07:45 PM »
Cool, thanks!  I might try and apply for the month ahead.  (I got FLR 21 May)