What maternity pay can self-employed people get?

Working in a self-employed capacity has plenty of perks, but it does mean that you’ll miss out on certain benefits that employed people typically receive – such as paid holiday and sick leave. One of the main questions prospective parents have is whether they are entitled to any maternity pay if they get pregnant. Here’s what you need to know:

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Statutory Maternity Pay

The good news is that you may be able to get statutory maternity pay from the government after you have a baby. This benefit, abbreviated to SMP, is paid to pregnant employees – so long as they are eligible – during their maternity leave. The pay can be claimed for a maximum period of 39 weeks. For the first six weeks, it is payable at 90% of the individual’s pre-tax average weekly earnings.

Beyond this period, the following 33 weeks are paid at either a standard rate set by the government or at 90% of their average weekly earnings. The actual sum will depend on which figure is lower.

Who can claim SMP?

To claim Statutory Maternity Pay, you will need to have been working for the same business, without a break, for a minimum of 26 weeks, right until the 15th week ahead of the baby’s due date. You must also be earning an average of £123 per week pre-tax, and have a MATB1 certificate or similar proof of pregnancy

If you haven’t been employed anywhere for long enough or are a sole trader, you may be able to claim another allowance called the Maternity Allowance. Check your status with an accountancy recruitment agency such as https://talentfinance.com.

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What about Company Directors?

Statutory Maternity Pay can still be paid to company directors if they meet the above criteria. The same level of notice must be provided along with a MATB1 form or similar which confirms that you are pregnant and gives the expected due date. This is required even if you are the only person in your own, owned, sole trader company.

Other types of statutory pay and parental leave may be applicable too.

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