14. Aug 2019 |

Do I Get Maternity Pay If I Am Self-Employed In The UK?

If you are pregnant and independent, you are entitled to receive financial support from the government. Let’s face it, working for yourself can be pretty much awesome, especially because you don’t have to bear with the wrath of your superiors or attend unnecessary meetings. The downside about being self-employed is when you are pregnant and independent, you cannot be guaranteed a statutory maternity pay.

Maternity Pay
If you have registered as self-employed, and made sufficient contributions to the national insurance, you’ll be classified as having enough weekly earnings. (© Pexels)

Take heart because, in this article, we will show you just how financial support from the government can be gained. We will help you by answering some of the most asked questions and equip you with the various ways of protecting yourself moneywise during this period.

Do I Get Maternity Leave If I Am Self Employed?

This is a question that has been bothering many people, and the answer is “yes,” it is possible. What is needed in order to make this possible, is to: Have a small earning exception card or contribute some money to the national insurance and be registered to the HMRC.

You must also be earning an average of minimum 35 pounds a week and keep in mind that if you desire financial support from the government, don’t be under any employer or else you will be suited to acquire the Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP). Those that are not eligible to receive SMP can, however, claim maternity allowance.

How to Find Out If You’re Eligible for Maternity Payment If You’re Self Employed

To begin with, you need to go to the government’s website for maternity payment, and fill the maternity allowance calculator. This is considered to be a simple resource to use and easy to acquire. Always remember that the test period is an essential basis for your acceptability test. A test period normally is of 66 weeks before the child’s birth date.

In case you want to be fully compensated, the following criteria needs to be adhered to:

  • You must be self-employed for at least 26weeks.
  • You need to pay your national insurance for at least 13 weeks of your 66-week test period.
  • Out of 26 the weeks of self-employment you must have earned at least 30 pounds.
  • The only time you’ll be considered qualified for this financial support is when you aren’t claiming a statutory maternity payment from an employer.

How to Apply for Maternity Pay When Self Employed

When applying for a maternity allowance through the HMRC, you’ll need to print and download this form from their website and have it posted together with the evidence of your child’s birth date.

If you have registered as self-employed, and made sufficient contributions to the national insurance, you’ll be classified as having enough weekly earnings. This is beneficial since you’ll get maternity pay, without having to submit proof of income.

What is Needed in an Application for Maternity Benefit?

As you begin, don’t let the burden of paperwork overwhelm you. Have a specific period set aside, so that you can gather what you require and ask for help if you need it.

  • A completed maternity pay claim form.
  • Evidence of the baby and it should be a letter for the due date confirmation from the midwife, and it should be issued at 20 weeks before birth.
  • There should be proof of income like original pay slips.
  • Possibly if your partner is also self-employed give their business info.

How much is the Maternity Allowance?

This question haunts many people, especially after everything is completed. Well, this depends on your class 2 national insurance payments.

  • If you are self-employed and have been paying contributions to the national insurance contributions for the 13 weeks in your test period, you are most likely to expect about 146 pounds per week for a maximum 40 weeks.
  • If you are earning an amount less than 145 pounds during the test period, then you are entitled to 90% of your average weekly earnings.
  • If your contributions to the national insurance don’t give you the entire package, you may still qualify to be given 27 pounds per week for a maximum number, of 39 weeks.

There are still more criteria that determine your maternity payment.

  • If you are to do unpaid work for a self-employed person, you are entitled to apply for maternity pay for 14 weeks.
  • If any of the above is unsuitable for you, there is still employment allowance. This one offers you about 57 pounds a week for the six weeks before your delivery and two weeks after you have delivered.

Is It Possible to Work While on Maternity Leave?

This question bothers many people and the answer is, “Yes, it is possible.” You can work while on maternity leave but, the time is limited to only 10 days. What needs to be done is for you to ask the relevant authorities and inform them about the work you’re doing while getting a maternal payment.

Other Benefits for Pregnant Women and Parents

  • Free Prescriptions and Dental Treatment

In the UK, if a lady is pregnant, she can access free dental healthcare for a year after the child’s birth. Free prescriptions are also available for pregnant ladies even for a year after the child’s birth.

In Wales, Ireland (Northern) and Scotland, you are entitled to free prescriptions at all times only if you are pregnant or have delivered.

  • Paid Antenatal Care

No matter the period you’ve been working, you still have the right to be given time off from work and attend your antenatal appointments.

Well, you might be wondering what are antenatal appointments? This healthcare includes:

  • Parenting classes and other doctor-recommended meetings.
  • Medical and midwife appointments.

Self-employment comes with benefits like freedom to work where and when you want and saying goodbye to all the issues that come with employment. The problem with self-employment is that independence might come with a lack of financial security during pregnancy.

At least in the UK, this cannot be the case. What’s even better is that you can get maternal pay if you are self-employed. With much having been said, we hope that you have learned a great deal from this article.

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