Self-employed mothers now account for one in seven self-employed people in the UK, many of whom work as highly skilled freelancers. So let’s talk about a very important topic, ‘Can I freelance while on maternity leave?’. Our guide will help you familiarize yourself with the financial aid available to self-employed mothers and explain some steps you can take to make your math vacation more affordable.
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Not surprisingly, self-employment is an attractive prospect for parents. In theory, it can offer better wages, more flexible hours, and the opportunity to work from home. But what about taking time off to have a baby? Because a self-employed mother does not receive statutory maternity pay (SMP), the thought of taking maternity leave can be scary.
Work as a freelancer during maternity leave
If you are a volunteer earning an MA, you can work (and pay) up to 10 “Keep in Touch” (KIT) days while on maternity leave, just like employed mothers receiving SMP. This gives you the opportunity to stay in touch with your clients while you are out of the office, keep your business running, and return to work when your vacation is over. Ten days of paid work can usefully increase your income while you are on maternity leave, but remember that if you miss more than 10 days, you will lose your right to a Maternity Allowance (MA).
Things are a bit different if you are an employee doing freelance work on a complementary basis. While you are on maternity leave from your permanent job, you can do the same amount of self-employment for other companies.
Maternity Pay for Freelance Journalists
While employed mothers are generally eligible for the SMP, the equivalent for self-employed mothers is Maternity Allowance (MA). If you qualify for the full MA amount, you will currently receive £ 145.18 per week, or 90 percent of your normal weekly earnings (whichever is less) for 39 weeks.
To get this, you must have worked for at least 26 weeks in the 66 weeks before your child’s due date and an average gross weekly wage of £ 30 for at least 13 weeks. If you don’t qualify for the full amount, you may be able to get a reduced amount of £ 27 per week. You can use the government maternity payment calculator to check what you can get. You can also find the MA claim form on the government website.
Financial assistance to have a child
As this is a financially limited period, it is worth making the most of the benefits available. Like an employed mother, self-employed women are entitled to free NHS dental care and free prescriptions during pregnancy and up to one year after the birth of the child.
If you are a first-time mother and receive certain benefits, you may be eligible for the Sure Start Maternity Grant, a one-time payment of £ 500 towards the costs of having a baby. Be sure to claim Child Benefit, which is currently £ 20.70 a week for your first child and £ 13.70 for children thereafter. This benefit is not subject to tests of resources, but if you (or your partner) earn more than £ 50,000 after-tax, you must pay a tax charge.
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