You tend to imagine maternity leave to be filled with afternoon tea, baby shopping with other pregnant ladies and attending birthing classes four times a week. The reality of it is nesting, endlessly scrolling through social media and twiddling your thumbs. Whilst many people tell you to take it easy and use this time to rest, it's easier said and done when you're not looking at anything else but the same four walls daily.
What is Maternity Leave?
Maternity leave is a period of time taken away from the work place and is usually taken just before birth and will continue after the baby is born. You are entitled to 52 weeks maternity leave, regardless of your time of employment. Statutory maternity leave is made up of:
- Ordinary Maternity Leave - first 26 weeks away from the work place,
- Additional Maternity Leave - last 26 weeks away from the work place.
You don't have to take the full 52 weeks of the maternity leave but by law you have to have at least 2 weeks off work, 4 weeks if working in a factory.
Will I Get Paid During Maternity Leave?
You may have heard of "Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)" and if you haven't we can explain it in simple terms. If you qualify for SMP then you will be paid as follows for up to 39 weeks:
- 90% of your average weekly earnings before tax for the first 6 weeks.
- £148.68 or 90% of their average weekly earnings (whichever amount is lowest).
There are many maternity pay calculators online and can can give you an idea on your incomings during the time you have off. There are many other avenues you can look into to make sure your income doesn't decrease too much. Here are our following tips on how to keep your income "coming in" rather than all of it being spent on your newborn.
🏖️Use them holidays at a minimum:
Whilst you're still present at your place of work, before leaving for maternity, make sure you're taking as little holidays as possible. These holidays can be used before you start your maternity leave.
With your income decreasing, so will your amount of tax paid. You will be paying less tax as your tax code will be for a lower boundary and you will sit in a different category.
💬Keep in touch:
Depending on your employer, you may be entitled up to 10 "keeping in touch days" which entitle you to work or attend meetings/training days and be paid in full. These can only be done after the first two weeks after giving birth. For any one day worked after the 10 keeping in touch days, you will loose a whole week's maternity pay.
💰Buy it, Sell it, Swap it:
Spare day? Declutter your house, rooms and wardrobes and get selling your items online. When selling online, be careful of using sites such as eBay, they will have hidden fees such as 10% commission and the PayPal fees that come along with selling. Using free online apps, such as Facebook can be a better and more rewarding option for you.
You can also do this with old CD's, DVD's and Games/Electronics and make a little bit of money on unused items.
❓Questions, answers and money in return:
You can now get paid for answering a number of questions online. This can be money, vouchers or discount codes for other websites. This can also be done through leaving reviews, depending on the companies you do this for.
Whilst on maternity leave you may receive childcare vouchers and this can be used during your maternity leave for any older children you have or these can be saved and used for when you return to work and childcare is necessary.
🤑Give 10 = Get 10:
Many companies now have affiliate programmes in place and this is a perfect solution to make money from the comfort of your own home, with very little work needed. Whilst you're having a good old nosey on your social media of a morning, or over a cup of tea in the afternoon, you could be sharing a discount code for your followers and as a result of giving them 10% off, you will get 10% commission in return.
So why not sign up to our BABYGO Affiliate Programme and get 10% in return for giving 10% off to your followers. It's an easy 3 step set-up and we can have your unique code sent over to you within minutes.