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Going freelance, I don't understand MA

(7 Posts)
yesnoyesnoyesno Mon 03-Mar-14 08:56:05

I have read lots of threads about it and the government site but I still don't understand MA sad

Absolutely hate my job but TTC #2, thinking I should suck it up for the maternity leave money as we can't go for that time without any.

If I were to quit now and start freelance before getting PG, what do I need to earn above to get the full MA, and is it for 9 months?

If i started freelance now while still working FT, would that help?

I will be freelancing long term I think; I like working office job but there is nothing PT and with more than one DC the childcare will be ridiculous.

Thank you for your help, I would be able to sleep much better if I didn't have to deal with this bloody job.

Rockchick1984 Mon 03-Mar-14 09:24:48

If you start freelancing now and paying your class 2 NI contributions, you will qualify for MA. Doesn't matter what you are earning as long as you're paying your conts.

Yes it's for 9 months, but obviously if you're only just building up your business you may struggle to start from scratch again after taking off 9 months, you can still only do 10 KIT days the same as you would in employment, before it would be considered that you are working again and the MA would need to be stopped.

You would get the same amount as SMP but without the 6 weeks at 90% salary.

Hope that helps! smile

MrsMargoLeadbetter Mon 03-Mar-14 10:20:21


Yes, paying your NI Class 2 contributions is the key. It is currently £2.70 a week. I pay mine by DD. I then pay more NI (Class 4) when I do my annual return.

Once pregnant you will then receive up to 39 weeks of £136.78 for Maternity Allowance. As rock says you can do 10 KIT days. These days don't have any earning threshold and you don't need to tell DWP (although you do need to record them in your accounts as normal) unless you are doing more than the 10 days as you need to have the MA stopped.

I guess my only observation (again as rock says) is that it can be difficult to stop and start with freelancing. There have a been a few threads on the MN freelance board in the past about taking mat leave and the general approach seemed to be most people look less than 9 months as they didn't want to lose their clients.

I have just finished my mat leave (today is my first day back, but at home with a sick baby!) and it worked out ok in that I was able to do a couple of bits for regular clients and some new work came my way toward the end of the period. But I have been going for a couple of years, so I think that helped.

Good luck.

You have probably seen but there is info below:

It does look like you need to be earning in the qualifying period, so either self-employed or employed.

You might get Maternity Allowance if:

you’re employed, but you can’t get Statutory Maternity Pay
you’re self-employed and paying Class 2 National Insurance contributions
you’re self-employed and have a Certificate of Small Earnings Exception
you’ve recently stopped working
You must also have been:

employed or self-employed for at least 26 weeks in the 66 weeks before the week your baby is due
earning at least £30 a week over any 13-week period
You may still qualify if you’ve recently stopped working. It doesn’t matter if you had different jobs or periods of unemployment.

yesnoyesnoyesno Mon 03-Mar-14 13:21:56

Thank you ! So it's the same amount however much I'm earning freelance? What about 90% of my earnings at some point whichever is the lower?

Rockchick1984 Mon 03-Mar-14 13:29:06

That's only if you're employed but not eligible for SMP smile

yesnoyesnoyesno Mon 03-Mar-14 13:46:45

Ah thank you Mrs Margo! Sorry, I was taking so long to reply to Rockchick because it's all going around in my head.`

So I won't need to start with NI class 2 now then if I'm already paying through my current employer?

I would get work through an agency I've worked with before, they haven't taken it too personally in the past when I've turned things down, I hope that would continue and that they'd have enough work for us to live on. Maybe I should get networking and try to get independent work..

Thank you for your help. I hope your baby is better soon and your return to work goes smoothly. Is there somewhere for freelancers to talk about stuff day to day? Is here best?

MrsMargoLeadbetter Mon 03-Mar-14 15:49:03

Yes the 90% is only when employed as they have to have the money to pay you - ie the Gov aren't going to match your salary minus the 10% for 6 weeks. With MA it is "just" the 39 weeks of £136.78.

Yes you should already be paying NI2 when employed.

I do think MA is confusing. The printed info about KIT days was difficult to understand too. The helpline was fairly helpful, although I was advised (on the MN board) to ring a couple of times to ensure that I received consistent advice!

I am a regular on this board - I also know that others find good for practical advice - responses can be a little 'direct' hmm so it pays to not
to post in your business name!

Baby is doing ok thanks. Hoping to get back to nursery & work tomorrow.

Good luck.

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