How hard people work is completely independent of their reproductive ability
The rules state that holiday entitlement continues to accrue when on maternity leave (as does seniority). If an employee has 9 months off, I then have to pay them for another month's holiday in the remaining 3 months of the year. Yes, the maternity leave is paid for by the government, but the employer pays the full rate for the 4.2 weeks holiday.
I'm not pleading poverty, but as a sole trader, it means that there's no money for the nice things in life this year or next.
We have 5/20 off on maternity leave at the moment; as you accrue holiday while off on maternity leave, 9 months maternity leave earns you 4.2 weeks holiday in the remaining 3 months of the year. Throw in pregnancy-related sick days and midwifery/hospital appointments (average 5-7 days) and each pregnancy costs us over £1500 (plus the hassle!)
We've had a rise of about £5k gross this year, but that and more has gone out in expenses from our mini-baby boom.
It'd be nice to give our staff a rise, but we've not got the money, so it's not going to happen.
Marrows, I'd just add 'pee just before you get out of the swim' to the list of HIM advice... and also 'if you start on coke, keep going on coke', otherwise you'll probably have a sugar crash and feel dreadful.
Otherwise love and hugs all round; I'm really not supposed to be here...