Why your Maternity Pay won’t be Enough

1950's HousewifeI remember when I was growing up in the 70’s it was common place for many of my classmates to have a stay-at-home-mum. Even those that did work had been at home until the children had started full time school and then worked part-time. My mother did have a part-time job before my sister started school, but it was an evening job so she was still at home during the day and my father was with us in the evening.

Roll on 30-40 years and things are much different. People I know that have had children in the last 5 years have, on average, taken a full year of maternity leave and then returned to work part time with the baby having been put into a nursery, but it looks as though things are on the change again.

Parents-to-be are suddenly finding that it’s an expensive exercise preparing to have a baby, when you consider all the things needed.  Websites such as Freecycle are full of requests for unwanted baby items, such as prams and cots, to save money as well as clothes swapping between friends.

It’s not too surprising to find out that new mums cannot afford to have a significant amount of time off once on maternity leave. In the UK, women may have 26 weeks paid maternity leave (not necessarily full pay) or a maternity benefit. A minimum of 2 weeks of this must be taken before the baby is expected to be born. Any additional time off is unpaid.

In an ideal world, as soon as a couple started to plan for a baby, they would start putting money away to cover any time off work that is unpaid. The

problem is that routine expenditure is already pushing household budgets to the limit. High house costs, with mortgages taking a large percentage of household income, increasing fuel costs with the knock-on effect on gas and electric prices, it’s no surprise that couples are getting into debt even before the baby arrives, let alone all the additional costs when maternity leave starts.

This leave many new mums with the dilemma of having to return to work as soon as possible and certainly earlier than they would like, already in debt and with the prospect of reduced hours and a significant proportion of their wages going towards nursery fees, unless they are fortunate enough to have close family that can take on this role.

This is the ideal time to have a work-from-home business to supplement a depleting wage packet. They tend to have low start-up costs and can be developed over a small number of hours each week, a telephone and some people you know.

If you think this is something that would interest you, then contact us.


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