Maternity Allowance and what counts as a Keeping in Touch (KIT) day

(5 Posts)
mrsmooms Wed 28-Aug-13 23:01:01

Hoping someone else has been in the same position as I'm having trouble getting my head around this! I'm self-employed and have been claiming Maternity Allowance (MA) since DD was born at the end of April.
I've just been asked to do some work by the company I was previously freelancing for, which I don't want to turn down as obviously want to keep working for them once MA ends. I know I'm allowed to do up to 10 Keeping in Touch (KIT) days without it affecting my MA but am not sure what I should count as 1 'day'.

The agreement I have with the company states that a day is 7.5 hrs and I invoice and am paid for full days plus additional hours at the equivalent hourly rate.

In terms of doing the actual work though, I tend to fit this in as and when, eg 2 hours on one day, no work for a couple of days, then 3 hours the following day etc.

So .. should I just wait until I have done and been paid for for the equivalent of 10 full days' work, ie 75 hours, before informing the JobCentrePlus that my MA should end, or am I really supposed to count each tiny piece of time I work on each day as one full KIT day?? And does anyone know whether MA can be pro-rated after this time depending on exactly how much work I do or is it just stopped completely?

Sorry if the above is confusing, writing it down has made it seem even more complicated to me!

mikkii Thu 29-Aug-13 00:29:44

My recollection is that any work during a day makes it a KIT day, regardless of the number of hours.

MrsMargoLeadbetter Thu 29-Aug-13 06:25:20

From my conversations with DWP my understanding is:

- a KIT is taken each time you do work, as poster above says. So 1 hour, 4 hours or 15 hours would all be considered a day if you worked them on a date. There is no financial limit as to what you can earn, ie they don't set a limit.

- once you have done 10 days you call DWP to stop MA. There is no pro rata options you are either on MA or it stops for good.

- DWP don't need to see any evidence of your KIT days, however if you were asked I assume you'd need to be able to produce evidence eg an invoice.

Do call the DWP MA line if you are unsure, they were helpful.

HTH

LadyCurd Thu 29-Aug-13 06:37:16

What the above posters sy, but if your invoices just say one day I doubt anyone could prove you didn't do it in a day. I had used up all my kit days two weeks before my MA ended but was only working one day a week. I contacted them and they decided to pay me my MA for last two weeks at very slightly reduced rate which I wasn't expecting at all, but was great. So always worth speaking to them, they are very helpful.

As an aside there is an awesome loophole where if you are on SMP (not MA)you can work as many self employed days as you like. Was ace first baby but was on MA by second so only did the 10kit days

mrsmooms Sun 01-Sep-13 19:26:17

Thanks very much for the useful info.

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