Having conversations with your boss or senior leadership team to enhance your parental leave payment can seem intimidating and many women may not realize it is open to negotiation. However, with the increasing cost of living and financial pressures, having a maternity leave plan in place that supports you financially can alleviate some of the stress when it comes to your journey of parenthood.
This article provides guidance on how to approach your company to negotiate better maternity compensation. Preparation, backed by data to support your case, and knowing how to present your argument are essential for successful negotiations.
Comprehend the Contents of Your Current Policy
Initially, carefully review your existing maternity leave policy outlined in your contract. Seek clarification from your HR department if there are any ambiguities or clauses you do not understand.
Furthermore, ensure you input your maternity leave entitlement into the NuggBase, a database provided by Nugget Savings that offers greater transparency on parental leave policies and compensation, which also enables you to compare your employer against industry norms.
Your policy might also incorporate alternatives beyond the traditional maternity/paternity policy, such as improved parental leave. Consider whether this option would be more advantageous for you and your partner.
Apart from financial benefits, seek out perks that can enrich your experience, such as flexible working arrangements, IVF leave, or compassionate leave.
Finally, ensure you inquire about any updates to the policy, including when it was last revised and by whom, as the updated policy may be more favorable than the one specified in your contract.
Consult the HR Department
As mentioned earlier, if there are any aspects of your contract that are unclear, clarify them with HR.
Additionally, it is crucial to ascertain whether your HR department routinely evaluates their parental leave policies to ensure they align with industry standards and provide a fair package.
Analyze the Figures
To effectively negotiate your maternity pay, understanding the financial implications of your maternity leave on the company is essential. Identify any extra non-monetary enhancements, such as reduced hours or remote/flexible working upon your return, which would be beneficial.
Once you have a proposal, ensure you calculate the associated costs. Then, provide data on how your current financial situation would compare to the existing policy and the implications for your family under the new proposed adjustments.
Moreover, consider aspects of your policy that could be omitted to provide assistance, such as eliminating a clawback policy.
It is also advisable to seek guidance from publicly available support centers, such as Citizens Advice, ACAS, Maternity Action, CIPD, and Working Families.
Arrange a discussion with your supervisor
Once you have a solid argument for an improved maternity leave, set up a meeting with your supervisor to present your proposal and cite the information you’ve gathered to support your case.
Ensure you offer a clear outline of the topics you wish to raise and make notes. Monitor the conversation and actions throughout so that you can follow up with an email after the meeting.
Advocating for enhanced maternity compensation is not solely about the finances; it’s about nurturing a supportive workplace for your journey into motherhood. So, embrace the process, request what you are entitled to, and remember that the answer will always be no if you don’t make the request.