Post # 1
So, my maternity policy is pretty good. I get 2 months of full pay, then 7 months of 2/3 pay, then an additional 3 months of unpaid leave that I can choose to take if I wish. All told, it adds up to a year.
THEN, after my year of leave, I get to take all the full-pay annual leave that I will have accrued during my year of absence. Nice, right? Here’s the really cool part: I just spoke with HR today, and they’ve said that upon my return, my accrued annual leave adds up to a whopping 11 weeks of fully-paid time off!!!!!! That’s a LOT of extra leave.
In speaking with HR, they said that I can either opt out of my final 3-month unpaid leave entitlement (leaving me with 9 months instead of a year of actual maternity leave) and tack on the 11 weeks of fully paid leave at the end to get to my year-long entitlement (basically, I’d get a year, just paid all the way through) OR I can tack the 11 weeks on the end, meaning I’d go without pay for the last 3 months of my year-long maternity leave and then get an additional 11 weeks of fully-paid leave before having to return back to work.
If you were me, what would you do? Just take the year and get paid for all of it, or take the year (including 3 months at the end without pay) and then tack the 11 fully-paid weeks on the end (making it almost 15 months of leave instead of 12)?
Potential deciding factors:
1. My job is not one that would be affected by an extended career break.
2. I’ll be having twins.
3. I’m seriously considering not going back to work at all because daycare costs basically would cancel any earning I’d do (thankfully I don’t have to decide anything until next summer–they pay the leave regardless of whether or not I’m returning, which is pretty cool).
Help me decide, bees!!
Post # 3
I think it all depends one whether your family will be fine without that income for three months. If you won’t be put in a tough spot then I would just take the three months without pay and have fifteen months of leave.
Post # 4
Not sure what I would do (sorry) but I have a question- your 11 weeks after your year, would that be all your leave for sick/vacaton time? or would you have additional time available if your babies needed you to take additional time (day here or there, or a week) in case they got sick (assuming you go back to work). I wouldn’t take the 11 weeks, if that was all I got, but if you would have additional time available if you needed it, then take it! If you aren’t going back at all, do you have benefits that you get that you would need to be employed for (healthcare, retirement, education)- if you do, then I might take the unpaid time, but if not, there really doesn’t seem to be a reason to take the unpaid time first- right?
Post # 5
@tracyann: Yes, I’d have all of my regular vacation time to use after getting back–this would judt be the backlog from the previous year.
Post # 6
@UK Bride: If you’re having twins and debating not going back at all… take the extra time off including the 3 months unpaid 🙂
Post # 7
I think I’ll be moving to the UK with that kind of maternity offer! I’m lucky I get 4 weeks paid.
My SIL had twins 2 years ago. She still isn’t back to work full time. After about a year, she started back part time working from home. Her hands are constantly full with the twins, that I don’t think she’s planning to go back full time until they start kindergarten. But the trade off is that she’s not paying for daycare, which offsets what she’s not making working full time.
Could you wait and decide closer to the end of the first 9 months? You would have a better idea of schedule and how life with twins will be to know if you need/want the extra 3 months. Just another thought – my SIL had to take bed rest 2 months before her scheduled C-section date. You may want to factor some extra time just in case for something like that and save your vacation time to put towards it. Not saying that will be you, but you never know.
Post # 8
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
Do you have to make a decision ahead of time? I would prefer to wait until the babies are 6 months old and see how things are going at that point.
Post # 9
Can you not take the 11 weeks paid, then ask for an unpaid LOA for more time if you decide you are not ready to return to work
Post # 10
@lovekiss: They want me to decide now because it will affect the contract for the person doing my maternity cover.
@julies1949: Unfortunately not–as the 3-month unpaid period is only for extended maternity leave, I’d have to take it before ‘returning’ and taking my paid time off.
Post # 11
I would do the 15 months. I’m 6 days in on a 12 week maternity leave and already wishing it could be longer. Can your family survive without your income for 3 months though?
Post # 12
I think in your case it would be smart take take the 15 months. If you’re thinking about not going back, that three months would be a good time to figure out if the finances can handle being a one income family, and if you can’t, then you have three months of paid leave to come to grips with the idea of going back to work. If you decide to stay off, you can bank 3 months pay for an emergency.
Post # 13
@MrsDW: Yep, we can survive, it’ll just mean that we can’t save much during those months. We’ve been putting chunks of my salary straight into savings each month (saving like mad for the babies!), so our lifestyle wouldn’t need ridiculous cutback in terms of actual monthly spend, especially since DH has been promised two raises–one of which is half of my whole salary!–over the next year.
Sounds like the 15 months might not be a bad idea… I guess it would be a good way to pilot the reality of being a SAHM on one income!
Post # 14
If you can afford the three months off, take the 15 months off!!