First of all, I just want to let you know that this is going to be a little bit of a rant (I need to get this off my chest as it has been bothering me for a while) so sorry in advance if it comes across as ranty!
I have been on maternity leave for 8 months now and I can say that I am absolutely enjoying my time off work with my little man, however, there is just one thing that is always at the back of my mind, something I cannot help thinking about at the end of the month.
Why is maternity pay so crap??
I really do not understand why maternity pay is so low? How is it possible for some to live off less than £700 a month. How do you pay your rent and your bills with that amount?
I feel like such a burden to my partner who has to use most of his pay to cover our rent, bills and shopping because my pay is so low when we used to split everything equally.
Though he never complains (he just says it is his responsibility to look after us) I feel really bad that I can’t take him out for a coffee or treat us to a meal out because doing so could leave me with no money if something unexpected pops up.
I wish the people who make these decisions for statutory pay could see how hard it is for families to get by on it. Sometimes I feel like I am being punished for deciding to have a baby and not go back to work right away.
It would be nice if the government could look at other countries who give a much more generous allowance and better time off.
“Sweden has one of the most generous parental leave systems in the world. Parents are given 480 days of leave per child, and 420 of these days are paid at a rate of 80% of your salary up to a capped limited of 910 SEK a day.” (that’s £81.24 a day!!)
Does the government take into account the cost of buying new baby clothes every 3 months, milk, nappies, toys, books, rent, electricity I could go on, even with a partner who works it’s still a stretch?
“statutory maternity pay after six weeks is paid at a maximum rate of £124.88 a week – a breathtakingly measly amount. Way below minimum wage for a full-time working week.”
I do understand that the government has to make cuts and balance its book so maternity pay isn’t going to be high on the agenda but I really do think it needs to be looked at.
It is just so hard coming from full pay to something that is below the minimum wage.
I have actually checked and how much people get on benefit and in some cases it is more than maternity pay. How is that fair? Why not pay women on maternity leave the same as someone on benefits or even more (I know, controversial!)
Also, why are we only paid for 9 months when we take 12 months off, do our bills and expenses all just disappear after 9 months. I would really like to know the reasoning behind this.
“The current maternity leave system is unfair, preventing many mothers from looking after their children in the way they think is best.”
How does the government not see a problem with this how do they expect us to survive on this money, now I am not asking for much I don’t expect to get paid my normal pay while on maternity leave but I am just asking for a little bit more that’s all?
What are your thoughts on maternity pay? Do you think it’s enough are you able to survive on it or just getting by?