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Mixed self-employment and employment and maternity pay

(8 Posts)
grainmum Wed 06-Feb-13 15:11:36

Hi, I'm getting a bit confused here and have been on the phone to Job Centre Plus/SMP helpline who just seem to be able to tell me what is already on the internet, so I thought I'd see if any of you can help me.

I am self-employed for the majority of the time. For half a day per week I am employed and I earn above the threshold for National Insurance.

I am about to submit my application for maternity leave/pay to my employer and I think I will be eligible for some maternity pay but not quite the full amount. My question is whether I am also entitled to Maternity Allowance given that I am self-employed and pay NI contributions?

Any help/experience gratefully received!

flowery Wed 06-Feb-13 16:26:31

Have a look at the technical guidance here. It's actually pretty easy to read and understand. You'll see that if you qualify for SMP from an employer, you can't also claim MA from either another job or self employment.

grainmum Wed 06-Feb-13 17:31:46

Thanks for that. The thing that's annoying me is that as I understand it if I had more than one job I'd be able to apply for SMP from each employer. As it is my wages from my one afternoon per week means that SMP will be less than the full amount, about £100 rather than the max £135 per week. So by being self-employed and having this little part-time job I'll actually be £35 per week or £140 per month worse off confused.

nightcap Wed 06-Feb-13 17:48:25

I had a similar thing, only my two jobs were consecutive rather than at the same time, and found it a nightmare to try and get my head around whether to claim for SMP or MA.

I think (and bear in mind I may be remembering this completely wrongly) if you have done both self-employed and employed work, you can choose which of the two to apply for, so you can work out which one gives you the better deal, for me it made more sense to apply for MA. So I was able to get the full £135, and it sounds like from your details above you'd be eligible for that too.

I'm fairly sure that's right - but I barely trust my brain anymore to get things right so anyone feel free to correct me if it's wrong...

grainmum Wed 06-Feb-13 18:05:15

Thanks, and I am hoping that that might be the case. From the people I spoke to today and from what I've read it looked like you have to apply for SMP first, and can only apply for MA if you are declined SMP. The really irritating thing was that the SMP helpline and the MA helpline are completely separate! So when I said for instance would I be able to claim MA for the balance, the lady on the SMP helpline said I'd have to phone the other number to ask that!

nightcap Wed 06-Feb-13 19:06:49

That's weird, I wonder if I'm remembering wrong or if they changed the rules? I do remember not getting much help trying to figure out which one I was supposed to apply for but it was definitely never mentioned that I had to try for SMP first, they just told me if I was eligible for MA to apply for that so I never tried applying for SMP, I got the impression you could opt for either.

So MA was the only one I applied for, the only thing I had to check was that I had the right dates from their ridiculously complicated table. I did speak to the MA helpline and they said that would be fine. Had a slightly fraught wait for the official letter telling me I had it, because it was so complicated I kept expecting they'd come back and say I had a tiny element wrong and was therefore getting nothing, but it went through fine.

Grumpla Wed 06-Feb-13 19:09:17

Bear in mind with MA you don't get the 8 weeks at 90% or whatever it is, you just go straight on to the weekly rate. So you might still be better off applying for SMP.

grainmum Wed 06-Feb-13 20:05:23

On one afternoon per week 90% is less than the full SMP and I think they always choose the lower figure.

Looking at the technical guidance that flowery has linked to it clearly says that "To get MA you must not be eligible for SMP from any employer." I think I will be eligible for some just not the full amount.

I think what I'll do is wait to see what my employer comes back with then try a claim for MA for the balance. There is also this sentence in the technical guidance "If you are employed and self-employed, earnings from your employment and earnings you are treated as having from self-employment can be added together to help you get as much MA as you can (upto a maximum of the standard rate)."

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