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Employed by NHS, on mat leave, going self employed?

(18 Posts)
marleymooo Tue 08-Apr-14 16:18:22

I wonder can anyone help? I am currently on maternity leave from my full time nhs job. I have been offered some work in the same field, thorough a different health authority. If I register self employed, I can do this work without affecting my smp. However does anyone know if it will affect my occupational maternity pay, the top up to smp?

OPYonisSister Tue 08-Apr-14 23:03:26

Be really careful. My understanding is that while on Mat leave you can't do any work, for any one. If caught your leave is automatically terminated and you have to return to work. If you don't/can't you have to pay back your OMP and can be dismissed.

fridayfreedom Tue 08-Apr-14 23:09:03

As above. The NHS can't pay you for work when they are paying you on mat leave . You are either on mat leave or not.
Certain it would be gross misconduct/fraud and a dismissible offence.
Had a colleague who was found to be working in a care home whilst on sick leave and was sacked.

Viviennemary Tue 08-Apr-14 23:10:57

If you are on paid maternity leave you aren't allowed to work for another employer. It would be the same as working when on sick leave and be a disciplinary issue. That's the rule as far as I am aware.

redbinneo Tue 08-Apr-14 23:11:34

I would think it was fraudulent, certainly immoral.

AugustRose Tue 08-Apr-14 23:25:22

As far as I am aware if would be fraudulent do that. Even if you are only self-employed, if you are claiming SMP/maternity allowance you are not allowed to work. When I was on maternity leave my DH had to do the work for our business other than a few days of paperwork which I classed as keep in touch days.

ElBombero Tue 08-Apr-14 23:31:46

Mmm similar position here...

I am employed full time nhs on mat leave, yet openly working on a self employed basis too. I advertise this on Facebook open. I looked into it and as long as it's on a self employed basis your ok... I think.

fridayfreedom Tue 08-Apr-14 23:37:50

But why should the NHS pay you to be on Mat leave and therefore not available to work yet you are still working. Unless you mean times when you wouldn't normally be working in your NHS post? I would check it out thoroughly.

ElBombero Wed 09-Apr-14 04:56:42

Off there maternity benefits document

If you do any work in a self-employed capacity during your MPP, then such work will not affect your SMP.

ElBombero Wed 09-Apr-14 04:57:04

Pt 3.12

flowery Wed 09-Apr-14 07:22:41

A lot of misinformation here.

If you are claiming SMP from an employer, you are allowed to do as much self employed work as you like without it bringing your maternity leave or SMP to an end.

So that bit's fine. Whether you are allowed to work elsewhere while receiving occupational maternity pay is entirely up to your employer, who may also have rules about working elsewhere during maternity leave generally.

My question would be about the self employed bit. On what basis would work in the same field for the same employer (albeit different health authority) be self employed? That may well look to HMRC like an attempt to get round the SMP rules.

But genuinely self-employed work can be combined with SMP no problem.

marleymooo Wed 09-Apr-14 08:34:53

Thanks flowey. Yes it's totally above board to work in a self employed capacity while on mat leave and not affect my smp. Can't find the link right now but that is very clear on the dwp website. It wouldn't be the nhs I would be doing this work for, sorry to dripfeed, I'm in nothern Ireland and it would be for the health authority in the republic )o love on the border) so essentially in a private capacity, but covered under their indemnity. I'm not business minded but don't see where the hmrc would complain? I would still be making all relevant contributions. My main query is over the occupational maternity pay as I can't see anything in my contract regarding this. I'll give HR a call today wan to make sure everything is above board. Thanks ladies.

marleymooo Wed 09-Apr-14 08:36:11

Immoral resbinneo? Really?!

marleymooo Wed 09-Apr-14 08:36:47

Glad hmrc don't think so!

Spindelina Wed 09-Apr-14 10:16:05

There are certain circumstances (like this one) where it is financially advantageous to be treated as self-employed rather than as an employee, which is why HMRC would complain.

I'm sure others will know more than me, but the sort of things you need to ask yourself are...
- Are you expected to be in at certain times (as opposed to choosing when to do the work)?
- Do you need to do the work on their premises or at another place of their choosing?
- Do you personally have to do the work (as opposed to supplying a subcontractor to do it)? i.e. are they paying for the work or for you?
- Do they supply the materials (e.g. computer) for the work?
- Would you be unavailable to do similar work for a different client?

If yes to most of the above, you are an employee and HMRC will take a dim view of you trying to register as self-employed. Though I don't know how it works cross-border.

Supermum222 Tue 15-Apr-14 07:21:08

When I was on maternity leave ten years ago (from the NHS) my colleague was at the same time and she carried on lecturing at Uni while she was on maternity leave. Management knew about this and there were no problems.

WanderingAway Tue 15-Apr-14 07:32:18

I think that it is cheeky expecting an employer to pay you maternity pay while you are working elsewhere.

Spindelina Tue 15-Apr-14 08:21:54

Supermum222 I can't remember the chapter and verse on this one, so take this with a pinch of salt, but I'm reasonably sure that...

If you have two jobs before you go on maternity leave (e.g. NHS / university), it is fine to go back to one before you go back to the other.

If you are on maternity leave, it is fine to start (or continue) to work as a (genuinely, which OP hasn't come back to answer) self-employed person.

But it is not fine to start a new job as an employee while you are on maternity leave from another job.

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