While there are a whole host of benefits to being self-employed - including the freedom to work where and when you want - when pregnant, this independence can be a little daunting. But don’t worry - Mazuma are here to help ease that burden and simplify the process.
Let's start by answering the most crucial question. Yes, if you're self-employed in the UK, you are entitled to paid maternity leave for a maximum of 39 weeks (as long as you fulfil the criteria). We have put together this guide to explain what you are entitled to as a self-employed mum and exactly how much maternity leave pay you can expect.
Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) is the mandatory payment for those in employment. Being self-employed, you unfortunately won’t have this security. We know, it sounds scary!
So what maternity rights do self-employed mums have? The answer: Maternity Allowance! Maternity Allowance is the statutory maternity benefit specifically set up to assist pregnant freelancers.
We recommend that the best place to start is by heading over to the government's maternity allowance eligibility calculator - it’s a super useful tool! You'll need to remember that the Test Period is the basis for your eligibility assessment - 66 weeks prior to your baby's due date.
To be eligible for the full Maternity Allowance, you must meet the following criteria:
If you've fallen behind with your National Insurance payments, you’ll still be entitled to Maternity Allowance. Simply contact HMRC and arrange to pay an additional contribution to NI. This’ll bring you up to date, ensuring you meet the above criteria.
Check out this blog post to find out more about NI payments for the self-employed.
The process is simple - just as we like it here at Mazuma. Head on over to the government website, complete the MA1 claim form, and send in your application. The form also contains useful notes in case you get stuck along the way.
As soon as you know your maternity leave rights, you can apply for Maternity Allowance and get it sorted as early as 26 weeks. It’s worth noting that the Department of Works and Pensions takes around five weeks to respond.
Although there isn't a whole lot of information required, to avoid a stressful rush we’d suggest dedicating some time to gather all the documents you need. Or, speak to an accountancy firm to help you get everything together!
The supporting documentation required is as follows:
Final pointers for soon to be self-employed mums:
If you haven't done so already, with a baby on the way, there couldn't be a better time to relieve the pressure of accounts. By working with us at Mazuma, you’ll free up your time and headspace to focus on building your business. What's more? We don't cost an arm and a leg. We provide competitively priced services tailored to your unique requirements. Get in touch today!