Will you get paid maternity leave?

posted 5 months ago in Pregnancy
Post # 61
Member
41 posts
Newbee

It’s sad that the US is lagging behind soooo much. I reallly wish you guys would get proper parental leave; at least until baby is old enough to no longer depend on breastmilk alone and can eat food.

I live in Austria and parental leave is generous there. This is how it works in my case: Depending on my pregnancy situation I can go on Mutterschutz 8 weeks before and 8-12 weeks after birth. I’m not supposed to work during that time and I still get fully paid including an additional amount to cover for holidays and Christmas. That’s called Wochengeld (weekly payment). Mutterschutz can be extended if baby is born premature or you’re having twins/triples/whatever.
After Mutterschutz I go on Karenz (parental leave) and I’ll receive Kinderbetreuungsgeld (childcare payment) by my health insurance. I can share that parental leave with my partner/husband tho there are some other conditions tied to it which I don’t know. Anyway, I will need to choose between five different payment schemes and I’ll have to tell employer which one until last day of Mutterschutz.

The first payment scheme is called Pauschalvariante (flat rate model) and it is based on length of leave. You can choose: 30+6, 20+4, 15+3, 12+2 months. The longer the leave, the lower the rate. Like I’d get around a € 1000 per month if I’d choose the 12+2 model. Btw the additional months are if you’re sharing parental leave with your partner. If I don’t I only get to do the orginal months – 12 months in this example.

The second payment scheme is called Einkommensabhängiges Modell (income-based model) and this one can only be taken 12+2 months. However, instead of the lower flat-rate you’ll receive 80% of your salary of months before going on Mutterschutz and it’s capped at € 2000. It’s a popular option, especially amongst high earners. There are some complicants if you are a lower earner than your partner, but I won’t be getting into that.

As long as you’re pregnant and on leave your employer is legally obligated not to fire you until either 4 months after birth or – if you’re on leave – until 4 weeks after end of leave. Additionally if you’ve worked at the same company for a minimum of 3 years already you can request to work part time. Your job is protected the same during that time.

Yup, that’s generally how it works in my country.

Post # 62
Member
2020 posts
Buzzing bee

I’m in Australia and we get the standard 18 weeks at minimum wage paid by the government. It comes to roughly $635.00 per week, after tax.

I also have a considerable amount of paid leave saved up so what our payroll person is doing is topping up my weekly pay using whatever hours of leave is needed to ensure I get the same weekly pay I’m used to getting. Once the 18 weeks is up, I will switch to using my 6 weeks in long service leave I’m now entitiled to and then when that is finished, I will exhaust the rest of my paid leave to take me to January 2nd. This means I will get roughly 7.5 months off fully paid but I will be using up all of my leave entitlements (except for sick leave).

In Australia your paid leave continues to accrue while you’re on parental leave though so I should still have a few days owing when I get back.

My husband is getting his two weeks’ worth of dad and partner pay from the government (again, at minimum wage which is way less than what he earns). He will also take an additional week off unpaid. Unfortunately although he’s been at his job for a number of years and always working full time hours, he has only been considered casual for part of each year and permanent part time the remainder of the year and only just officially signed a contract as full time permanent a week or two before I gave birth so he never had a chance to build up any paid leave (and misses out on claiming his employer’s two weeks at full pay paternal leave offer). It would have been nice to have him for an extra couple of weeks but oh well, it could be worse.

Post # 63
Member
4988 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

I live in the UK so I can take a year although not all of it is full pay. 

Men get two weeks paternity leave and then can take holiday, however we will be saving while ttc so that my husband can take 6 months off unpaid. I think it is so important that fathers bond with their baby too

Post # 64
Member
347 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

I’m in the UK and feel extremely lucky.

I’ll have 6 months fully paid, 3 months unpaid, then 4-6 weeks annual leave I can use. Though I’ll probably return to work at 9 months and use my leave to do reduced hours for a couple of months instead. 

My husband will take 3 months off when I go back to work and will get full pay for 1 month and half pay for 2 months. He’ll also have 4 weeks off with me after I have the baby using a mixture of paternity leave and annual leave. 

Post # 65
Member
105 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

I’m also in the UK, and it’s very employer specific. My company offers 6 weeks at full pay, then up to 6 months at half pay, 6-9 months at statutory and 9-12 months unpaid. I plan to take up to 9 months and then use my annual leave (up to 32 days) to do a gradual return to work with shorter weeks/days for a while. My husband (same company) is allowed 2 weeks full pay paternity leave, and will take 2 weeks annual leave to have the first month off. 

This contrasts to my friend to works for an American company in the UK who recently got 6 weeks at 90% and then up to a year at staytory. Fortunately due to her husband’s income they are entitled to extra support from the government which adds around £400 per month which will mean they can afford for her to have the full year off. 

I don’t think we could afford to have a second baby until our first is 3 (at this age all children are currently entitled to up to 30 hours per week childcare for free, which is a fantastic offering from the government). 

I admire anyone who returns to work two weeks post partum! 

Out of interest, how do American bees work in breastfeeding with such a low level of leave? I note a lot of people mention point at work, but this is definitely not something my office could facilitate so I will have to wean before returning to work I think. 

Post # 66
Member
753 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2019 - City, State

I work for a small-ish business (90 employees) but I’m one of the only 5 females employed here. We get $0 maternity pay, and only the bare minimum leave time required by law, which in my state is 6 weeks for “standard” delivery and 8 weeks for “complicated” delivery, but I have no idea what the actual parameters are. If I want to bing home any money when I’m out I’ll have to pay out of pocket for short term disability – even that I would have to have for at least 9 months before giving birth, and the cheap-ass company my employer uses only pays out basically as much as they’d make in from my payments before birth and during leave.

The maternity leave situation is laughable. I’m in a position where I could easily work from home while Fiance watches the baby (or get a PT nanny) and come in 1-2 days/wk for 4 hours. I’m going to try to pitch that when the time comes. 

Post # 67
Member
347 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

You can only get 39 weeks of statutory pay in the UK though you are entitled to 52 weeks leave. 

I continued breastfeeding after returning to work at 9 months. Your employer should provide somewhere for you to pump if you want to.

cyprusbride18 :  

Post # 68
Member
1165 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

I’m extremely fortunate my company is generous by US standards so I’ll get 16 weeks at full pay and then can take as much unpaid leave as I want. I’ll likely take 6 months then come back at 3-4 days week for 3-6 month before returning full time.

Post # 69
Member
2561 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

misstomorris :  are you covered by FMLA? If so, they legally have to allow you 12 weeks. Granted, it’s unpaid time but still. 

Typically 6 weeks is for a vaginal delivery, 8 weeks is for a c-section. 

Post # 70
Member
8 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: February 2014 - City, State

My company just changed it’s policy in Jan. (thankfully). We get 6 weeks full pay for regular birth and 8 weeks paid for c-section (under short term disablilty). Then 2 weeks at full pay for parental leave, and 2 weeks full pay working 50% of your time as transitional. You can also use any accrued sick/vaction time before your transitional. I am due in July and was initially high-risk, so I’ve used all my sick days but I will be taking an extra week of time with my vacation I saved. All this is in conjunction with 12 weeks of FMLA. I will be out 11 weeks exactly.  

With my first I was only offered FMLA with no pay. I took the time and saved as much as possible before my leave. That was a tough time financially but we made it work. 

 

To be honest, I love my son but I’m okay with going back to work. Ideally I’d like 5 months; that’s when I feel like they’re more resiliant and whatnot, but I don’t think I could stay with him at home for a year. I would probably lose my mind listening to baby songs and feeling the pressure of having the house clean or dinner ready because I’m home all day. To each their own. 

Post # 71
Member
325 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

 

sarathemermaid :  yeah, I also wonder that. I have a VERY generous leave policy…22 vacation days per year and 12 sick days per year. I’d have to not touch a single hour of it for 2 years to have enough to cover prenatal appointments and 12 weeks of FMLA. 

Post # 72
Member
2142 posts
Buzzing bee

US bee at a non-FMLA workplace. I’ll get 8 weeks paid and 8 weeks unpaid, although, I can’t take all 16 at once — I’ll need to return for 3-4 weeks before the final 4 due to scheduling/staffing needs. Even still, I’m pretty happy about it. That’s a new policy at my workplace to allow that much; last year the maternity leave was set at 4 weeks unpaid.

My husband (also small, non-FMLA workplace) isn’t getting as lucky. He’ll get 2 weeks max unpaid leave and has been specifically told he can’t take more than 5 days off in a row. So he’ll take off the 4-5 days at birth and then likely a few days when I return to work.

Post # 73
Member
7280 posts
Busy Beekeeper

misstomorris :  if they have 90 employees your employer falls under FMLA. Unless you have been there less than a year and/or work less than 1,250 hours a year. 

Post # 74
Member
753 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2019 - City, State

LilliV :   beevincent18 :  Yes, I can take FMLA but I/we are in no financial positon to take 12 weeks off, all of which being unpaid, so that’s not really an option for most people and shouldn’t be seen as a benefit. 

Post # 75
Member
7280 posts
Busy Beekeeper

misstomorris :  gotcha. Your phrasing made it seem like they wouldn’t even let you take 12 weeks if you could afford it which would be illegal. Being able to afford unpaid leave is a whole other issue. If your employer’s STD policy sucks have you looked into getting a policy on your own? Or Aflac? I have an Aflac policy that covers maternity and while it isn’t that cheap it is worth it if you are planning on getting pregnant. Plus it covers all sorts of other hospitalizations for my whole family in the event we need them. 

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