I'm a self-employed writer and hope to return to working on my book a couple of months after giving birth (yes, it's clearly my first and I have no idea what I'm letting myself in for, but I also have a book deal and a deadline!). My question is how does this affect my husband's rights to paternity leave? I've looked at the gov.uk advice: https://www.gov.uk/paternity-pay-leave/overview Beyond the initial 2 weeks, it says he can get 26 further weeks if I've "returned to work" but it assumes I'm employed by a company. Any ideas? What can I do to maximise the amount of time my husband is around to help me!
Yes he can take it. The mother needs to be entitled to maternity leave, statutory maternity pay or maternity allowance, and must have returned to work (and therefore stopped receiving maternity pay).
If you are self employed you won't be entitled to maternity leave as such, but as long as you are entitled to maternity pay (probably maternity allowance unless you were employed during and before your pregnancy) and have stopped receiving it in order to return to work, your husband will be able to take additional paternity leave.