From Here To Paternity

at

politicalmoose

Having a baby?

The author traces the iniquities of a system that fails everyone.

Frilly Keane writes:

That’s nice.

Isn’t it?

The Lads getting paid paternity leave. Like the Girls; Two hundred and thurty yoyos a week, just like the Girls.

Not for the 26 weeks mind, so they might have sum’ting to say about that. But I suppose when they can breast feed on demand after they have their whole’s ripped open they’ll be getting all the weeks they want; maybe even post-natal Pensions. I’m all for it, look after the Daddies. Happy Daddies makes life much easier for new Mammies.

But here I am wondering if the Lads will be getting their employers to top up their Social Welfare €230.00 per week?

Like the Girls, if they‘re Guards, Teachers, Public Sector etc, Semi- State etc and Bank employees before a certain date etc, Big Charity NGO etc; they too, like the Girls will automatically get Employer top ups to full or near full pay for the duration of their Paternity Hols.

The closest number I can get back-up for is 18%. That is 18% of the current work force is in this employer bracket.

That’s nice.

But if the Lads are in Industry, Private Sector SME IBEC country, it’s anyone’s guess. IBEC say that most small businesses don’t pay the Girls top up. IBEC also say that 59% “Usually” top up. (My whole is it 59% by the way) but if they say so. I wonder will it be the same for the Lads and their Paternity leave?

Yep, here I am again, giving out about the them-n-us in our Maternity Hospitals & Labour Wards.

So let’s go back to the numbers. Of all the Girls that have babies on the day you read this, 18% will certainly be getting their full pay.

To demonstrate my view on Maternity Leave Inequality I’m going to use the current average industrial wage for the first quarter of 2016 as the measuring jug; the CSO currently quote that figure as €707.99.

That’s nice. The difference between €707.99 per week and €230.00 per week is very nice.

To save ye doing a few sums that’s € 477.90; per week; for 26 weeks. That’s €12,427.74 of a difference in just six months.

That’s right – what Social Welfare stump up is over twelve grand less than the Average Industrial Wage.

How do you feel about PRSI now?

Look back over your last 2 P60s and tot up your PRSI contribution and your Employers Contribution. EE + ER. How far apart is it from €5,980.00? (€230*26) Then Maternity Benefit is only what you’ve paid for yourself. FFS; now it’s a Rebate.

Is it news to learn that many Girls not in that 18% will work right up to their due date because they can’t afford not to? Is it news to learn that many of these girls will fake their due date?

They did in my day because there had to be a 4 week run in ahead of the due date, now its 2 weeks so I’d say it’s not as widespread as it was back when I was doing out the MB10.

But the unfairness hasn’t changed. My experience is my own, fair enough, because every Girl has a different story to tell. But I still hear stories of Girls needing one more week at work to pay off the Mothercare/ Mama’s n’ Papa’s order.

I still hear stories of Girls needing to get back to work just to put credit in their phones. I still hear stories of Girls with new-borns taking other kids out’ve of child-care because the €230 per week won’t stretch to it. Nor will it stretch to the Mortgage. Or even her half of it.

This is inequality because it’s unfair. And it’s our fault for letting it off.

It is not the fault of the 18%, it is not the fault of the so called remaining “usually” 59% from IBEC (again my whole, it’s more like 29%.) It is the fault of the F U Jacks. And that’s pretty much every single one of us at some stage.

I’d love to know the real number of the Girls that go back to work in debt. Girls with loaded credit cards, scaldy over-drafts, loans from the Credit Union, Provident, Baby Daddies and other Family members (who’d be the first to whinge about it btw.) Anyone?

I seriously doubt the Paternity Daddies will be going back to work that much out’ve pocket that they have to go the Provie man.

Here’s my thing, either put everyone on full pay or nobody, and then you’ll see the Public Sector get it back up to full pay for everyone. Or at least (where it is applicable and makes sense) let the value of the Maternity (and Daddies too) Benefit reflect the total PRSI Contributions for say the previous two years. Mind you with Leo in the gig, ‘M’uck knows who’s going to get looked after.

it’s just me, but there is something very heart-breaking about the Girl with a cranky colicky teethy five month old that’s down to her last fiver before she gets back to work and still needs to find sum’ting that fits, the Girl that can’t join the other new Mammies for coffee and cake, the Girl that has to hear “tis your turn to pay the rent”, the Girl that loses her place in the Baby Room because she doesn’t have the month in advance for the Crèche, the Girl that has to hand over her first few weeks/ months wages to someone else. Maybe it’s just me.

I hope it’s not.

Happy Father’s Day.

FYI, for anyone who’s arsed: . Also note, I’m not unaware of the carry-on Girls, and now Lads, who are self-employed have to get through just for that €230.00 per week.
It may look like I’ve ignored ye, but I promise it is not intended to be a slight or to be blasé in another example of the F U Jack, I’m one of ye now, and it’s the bed we’ve (well most’ve us) made ourselves.
The unfairness of our taxes and levies versus our Welfare benefits is a far different and wider battle; and one for anudder Friday. Or better again, maybe tis one for Taft and his charts. I also didn’t include Child Benefit in the above as its Statutory and therefore right across the board…

Frilly keane’s column appears here every Friday. Follow Frilly on Twitter: @frillykeane

Illustration: Political Moose

62 thoughts on “From Here To Paternity

  1. The Gawm

    “I’m particularly glad that these lovely children were here today to hear that speech. Not only was it authentic frontier gibberish, it expressed a courage little seen in this day and age.”

  2. Mani

    Reading this is the closest I’ll get to experiencing what it’s like to have severe dyslexia.

    1. Robert

      might be a few good points in there but the writing style (faux twee?) is truly infuriating

      1. Waddy Dilson

        Oh bejaysus begorrah, tis fayrce so t’is. Fayrce altogether.

        Absolutely horribly painful cr**

        1. Caroline

          He must be off on his holidays, maybe he’s at the football. Would be great to get some Euros themed videos. I look forward to them if so.

  3. Waddy Dilson

    “”tis your turn to pay the rent””
    F*****g what?
    This is just painful. I honestly don’t understand why this maniac is given a platform here.

          1. Waddy Dilson

            Yes definitely, of course rent doesn’t need to be paid when on maternity leave.

            If I must –

            The quote I took from frilly’s ramblings was clearly a snippet from an imaginary conversation between a couple who have a child together. In that situation it is never anyone’s TURN to pay the rent, it’s a strange and outlandish comment.

          2. Frilly Keane

            Nothing imaginary about it Waddy

            I can promise you there are plenty girls out there who have been asked for their “half”

            Make no mistake about it

          3. Waddy Dilson

            I assume Anne dances on the grave of chivalry, what with how it’s so patronising to her pretty little @$s

  4. rory

    Frilly has written some great stuff. I wonder though, it must be tiring churning this stuff out. Why not give Frilly a break and let another commenter write a column instead?
    I think Mani should give it a go.

      1. Anne

        I know you’re not supposed to talk about it.. but what about the women who start a job, get pregnant soon after starting, come back, get pregnant again, come back, get pregnant again.. and then avail of voluntary redundancy to top it off when they come back on the final go.

        What about paid time off for single people?
        Single Leave we could call it, coz the weather’s nice.. to hang out with yourself, no kids required.

        1. Caroline

          Nearly every employer who offers a maternity top-up now has a clawback clause in their contracts.

          I’m not sure what else can be done about the despicable problem of predatory pregnancies. They are a cancer on humanity.

          1. Anne

            What kind of clawback clauses do they have, do you know?
            You owe us the money if you p*ss off and never come back? I doubt it..

          2. The Real Jane

            That’s exactly what it is, In my place, you’ve got to come back for a year or pay your whole maternity leave pay back. It’s not pro rated, either.

          3. Caroline

            Yes, basically. The top-up is conditional on you returning to work for a minimum period, usually six months to a year (and generally being revised upwards in most companies). Depending on how much it works out at, it can be worth a roll of the dice to see if they’ll pursue you for it, imo.

          4. Anne

            ” it can be worth a roll of the dice to see if they’ll pursue you for it, imo.”

            Yeah, I’d say so..
            And if you’re sick, you couldn’t come back.

            But I agree with the principle of it. I’ve seen a few cases of continual maternity leaves, and for the person to leave then again when they finally return. Not many now mind you. But I’ve seen it a few times.

          5. The Real Jane

            Well it is easy to be critical when you don’t really know someone’s circumstances. To be honest, if we were to have another I’d probably have to leave work too – we simply couldn’t afford creche for two.

          6. Caroline

            The cost of childcare is a huge issue in women leaving work. As are policies against part-time work, failure to agree parental leave etc.

          7. The Real Jane

            Well yes, I had agreement that I could have flexible working before I came back, but this has not materialized. It’s easy to get agreement in principle to lots of different things, much harder to pin down exactly when it can happen.

          8. Harry Molloy

            it’s not an unreasonable clause for a discretionary benefit, I’ve had similar for education, they pay for my diploma but I have to hang around for a couple of years after. it’s a protection from people fleecing them.

    1. mildred st. meadowlark

      I’d love to read Mani’s take on current affairs.

      I think badatmemes should get a whack at it too. He could do a late-might chat show/thinkpiece type thing.

  5. Yeah, Ok

    If you’re going to insist on presenting this muck every week, can you please run it by a proofreader, preferably one who speaks English? Things like “have their whole’s ripped open “, missing capital letters, random wrong words and atrociously hard to read “quirky” colloquial language is why Frilly is doing this crap for free rather than getting paid for real writing.
    Sure, I’m being a nasty grammar Nazi but F me this is brutal stuff every week.

  6. Anne

    To make matter worse Frilly, maternity benefit was made taxable from July 2013.

    http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/reference/case_studies/case_study_taxation_of_maternity_benefit.html

    “When a woman goes on maternity leave she may qualify for 26 weeks of Maternity Benefit. The standard rate of Maternity Benefit is €230 each week so a woman who qualifies for the standard payment will be paid €5,980 of Maternity Benefit in total.

    Revenue will reduce her tax credits and weekly standard rate cut-off point to account for the tax payable on her Maternity Benefit. The tax due on the weekly Maternity Benefit (€230 x 20% = €46) will be deducted from her weekly tax credits and the total amount of Maternity Benefit will be deducted from her weekly cut-off point.”

    So, they’ll do that straight away when you go on maternity leave.. reduce your weekly tax credit and add the 230 to your weekly cut off point – (33,800/52 = 650 a week standard cut off point, that you pay 20% on.. after that you pay 40%)

    But get this –
    “If a woman does not have her Maternity Benefit topped up by her employer a refund of tax may arise which can be calculated when she returns to work (see Example 2 below)”

    A lot of people know diddly squat about taxes and won’t know that they’ll be entitled to a refund.. but they’re deducting the tax credit straight away by 46 euro.

    The amount in the example of (€32,800 annually) for standard cut off point is now €33,800

  7. Anne

    They explain it in example 2

    Sally is not paid by her employer while on maternity leave so the following applies. Sally earned €700 per week (€36,400 a year). She paid tax, PRSI and Universal Social Charge weekly. Her tax and Universal Social Charge were deducted on the assumption that she would continue to earn the same amount for the rest of the year.

    When she goes on maternity leave and starts getting Maternity Benefit she is no longer liable to pay the Universal Social Charge or PRSI (since these are not charged on Maternity Benefit). She may get a refund of Universal Social Charge. When she returns to work she will probably also get a refund of tax since while she is on maternity leave her tax credits are more than the tax due on her Maternity Benefit and she may also have paid extra tax on her salary before going on maternity leave.”

    If she goes back within the same year she took maternity, she should (probably they say) get the refund of overpaid tax (due to revenue deducting the 46 euro) through her employer.. if it’s the following year, which i would think it would be in a lot of cases, she would need to know to request a P21 balancing statement to get back the over payment.

    RE this ‘ while she is on maternity leave her tax credits are more than the tax due on her Maternity Benefit
    It’s basically worked out like this.. 230 x 20% = 46 That’s your gross payable tax…
    Your tax credit is about 63 euro a week. So your credit is more than the tax due, as they say above.

    RE ‘ and she may also have paid extra tax on her salary before going on maternity leave’
    €46- €63 is -17.. You’re not due to pay any tax (the 46 euro shouldn’t have been deducted) and you’re due a refund of 17 euro per week on the tax you’ve already paid. 17*26 =442

    And the 46 they’ve taking x 26 =1196

    1638 of a refund, that I’m sure is sitting in revenue’s coffers in a lot of cases.

    1. Caroline

      Huge if true. I’ll spread the word among the mommy network *sounds blast on breast pump*

      1. Anne

        Do.. particularly if they’re salary isn’t being topped up.. They’re being screwed in that case, and they should look for the over payment back.

        1. Anne

          “Her tax and Universal Social Charge were deducted on the assumption that she would continue to earn the same amount for the rest of the year. ”

          That’s how they’re basically screwing them.

          We have a Pay as you earn system, no assumptions should be required.. that’s horsepoo in my opinion and screwing those who don’t get a top up and are already worse off, and don’t know that they are overpaying and don’t know how to get a refund.

          Great country for women (especially the less well off ones) all the same isn’t it.

    2. Anne

      This part wasn’t meant to be in italics.. fupp it

      If she goes back within the same year she took maternity, she should (probably they say) get the refund of overpaid tax (due to revenue deducting the 46 euro) through her employer.. if it’s the following year, which i would think it would be in a lot of cases, she would need to know to request a P21 balancing statement to get back the over payment.

      RE this ‘ while she is on maternity leave her tax credits are more than the tax due on her Maternity Benefit ‘
      It’s basically worked out like this.. 230 x 20% = 46 That’s your gross payable tax…
      Your tax credit is about 63 euro a week. So your credit is more than the tax due, as they say above.

      RE ‘ and she may also have paid extra tax on her salary before going on maternity leave’
      €46- €63 is -17.. You’re not due to pay any tax (the 46 euro shouldn’t have been deducted) and you’re due a refund of 17 euro per week on the tax you’ve already paid. 17*26 =442

      And the 46 they’ve taking x 26 =1196

      1638 of a refund, that I’m sure is sitting in revenue’s coffers in a lot of cases.

  8. Anne

    “add the 230 to your weekly cut off point – (33,800/52 = 650 a week standard cut off point, that you pay 20% on.. after that you pay 40%) ”

    For the above, i should say they minus the 230 from your weekly cut off.
    650-230. So you pay the higher tax at anything over 420, as you’re getting the maternity money too.

    That deduction of the standard rate cut off, won’t affect those not getting a top up of income from their employers.. but the deduction of the tax credit is very unfair in my opinion.. it presumes women are having their salaries topped up to full wages, when they’re not in a lot of cases.. and a lot will be overpaying tax and it’s up to them to go looking for it back.

  9. ahjayzis

    Can someone make a translator app?

    I mean I could read this, but it’d be such an unpleasant deciphering experience it’s not worth the hassle.

  10. Anne

    Was just reading this –

    http://www.revenue.ie/en/personal/faqs/taxation-welfare-benefits.html#section4

    There is bound to be massive over payment of tax from mothers on maternity leave.. watch this space. It’ll be reported in a few years time.. (you can only go back 4 years on any over payments)

    Introduction

    In his Budget speech in December 2012 the Minister for Finance announced that Maternity Benefit, payable by the Department of Social Protection (DSP) from 1 July 2013 would be liable to tax..

    You do not need to do anything*. Revenue will receive Maternity Benefit details directly from the DSP. If you pay tax through the PAYE system your annual tax credits and rate band will be reduced by the Maternity Benefit amount. Your employer will be advised of the adjusted tax credits and rate bands on the employer tax credit certificate.

    And that’s regardless of whether or not you receive any payment from your employer during maternity leave.

    Arse holery answer too here –

    10. I am in employment and will be receiving Maternity Benefit from 1 May 2016. I will not be paid by my employer while I am out on maternity leave. How will my Maternity Benefit payments be taxed?

    Revenue will receive the Maternity Benefit notification from the DSP and collect the tax due by reducing your tax credits and rate band by the Maternity Benefit amount.

    You shouldn’t be due to pay tax on 230, but they will reduce the amount of the payment, via a reduction in your tax credit, when you should be getting the full tax credit.. as you’re not receiving any other income.

  11. Catherine McEntee

    Are you feeling broody Anne, going to all the ‘trouble’ you have Anne-splaining, copy & padting and all?

    There was a strong undercurrent in your primary postings on this thread, that you resented your colleagues having their little angels, that they seemed to be shelling them out like peas and that people without children should maybe be awarded leave of work to arse about the place just to ‘even the score’ so to speak.

    Working parents have enough to deal with, worry about and be guilt-tripped about without having to justify themselves to selfish, resentful, immature office yahoos that still require wet-nursing and arse-wiping. Don’t like it, move to China, the ladies there will only inconvenience you with one episode of maternity leave……

    Our little darlings’ tax will be used to take care of you in a few years in yourpension, they will be
    the future army, law enforcement, social workers,
    your doctors, nurses, carers etc.

    There is immense joy to be had in having a family, watching them develop and grow and navigate life in their own unique way

  12. Anne

    ‘Some women ride the system when having babies’
    http://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/the-sisterhood-dont-like-the-truth-women-cant-have-it-all-34754817.html

    Some.

    Hence why you have companies now including claw-back clauses in contracts for women in relation to maternity leave top up payments, as mentioned by others above, which I agree with. I’m supportive of women getting maternity benefit.. I’m joking about single people get paid leave.

    I have an interest in our tax affairs.. I’ve copied and pasted information on how maternity benefit started to be taxed since 2013 and my own explanation of what I think is the unfair way it’s being deducted. Particularly for women not getting a top up payment. It might be beneficial to someone and they might get back the tax they will be overpaying, due to how revenue are reducing their tax credits ..

    I don’t like discussing something without a source for the information. If you don’t find it beneficial and you were already aware of how this is being taxed, please feel free to ignore it.

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