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what do self employed people do about maternity pay?

(23 Posts)
nailpolish Fri 11-Mar-05 13:35:08

need advice for a friend - she is basically considered self employed and is due a baby in june, just found out from her agency that she is not entitled to any mat pay except statutory, which she says she cannot survive on, she is talking about going back to work when the baby is only 2 wks old (at the most!) and im worried about her, its getting her down

she is trying to think up other ways of raising money, benefit entitlements (she says she will tell her dp to go live somewhere else so she can get lone parents benefit even), etc etc

she already has a 2.5 yr old ds

any advice appreciated

TIA

Enid Fri 11-Mar-05 13:38:30

I dont' think you get anything I am afraid (apart from child benefit)

Then there are the normal low wage type benefits, family credit etc

motherinferior Fri 11-Mar-05 13:39:35

No, you don't get anything. I had to save up six grand for each of my mat leaves.

motherinferior Fri 11-Mar-05 13:41:30

It is a total pig, and I am so sorry, I didn't mean to sound smug or unsympathetic, it really p*sses me off too.

Enid Fri 11-Mar-05 13:42:49

yes agree, utterly unfair and out of step with todays society blah blah blah. In fact if I got pg now this would be the first time I would get maternity pay, almost worth it just for that

nailpolish Fri 11-Mar-05 13:44:15

its ok MI, i understand

i think its bloody ridiculous, i couldnt believe it when she told me

is there a law to say you must take so much time off after having a baby? i heard somewhere its 2 wks, but tell me if im wrong

pinotgrigio Fri 11-Mar-05 13:45:10

Maternity allowance should be available to help the self employed. A friend has just qualified and she only works a few hours a week as a self employed Phoenix Cards trader.

nailpolish Fri 11-Mar-05 13:46:24

you do get stat, but its only about £100 a wk, is that right? for 26 wks? can you take it in a lump sum?

wordsmith Fri 11-Mar-05 13:46:25

NP. when you say she is 'basically considered self-employed', is she ACTUALLY self-employed? Is she paying her own income tax and NI? Does she qualify for any benefits such as holiday pay, sick pay etc? I don't know the legal position but I would imagine if she is receiving any employer benefits such as above then perhaps she isn't actually self-employed.

If she is self-employed then, yep, she gets £102 or whatever for 6 months.

But like Enid says if she can't manage on that she would probably be entitled to other benefits. WTC and CTC aren't limited to employed people. (Tho the forms are flippin' difficult to fill in if you are self-employed.)

nailpolish Fri 11-Mar-05 13:48:51

she works for an agency, she doesnt get sick or holiday pay, but the agency pay her tax etc, thanks wordsmith

she has looked into tax credits etc, and will get child benefit obviously

CAN you get your stat in lump sum?

if you go back to work before the 26 wks is up do you then lose out on the stat?

motherinferior Fri 11-Mar-05 13:49:17

Good point Wordsmith.

I am actually technically a Limited Company (very Limited as I am only five foot tall) so the arrangements for dd2 were slightly different from dd1 (when I was still self-employed) but the net result of not very much money was the same.

wordsmith Fri 11-Mar-05 13:49:22

NP no you don't get it in a lump sum you get it weekly/monthly either with a book or straight into your bank a/c. here's the guide for maternity allowance - hope it opens OK, it's a pdf.

nailpolish Fri 11-Mar-05 13:51:58

THANKS wordsmith for the link

youre a gem

wordsmith Fri 11-Mar-05 13:53:47

If she works for an agency there should be something in her contract that tells her what she's entitled to if she goes on maternity leave. Again, I'm not an expert but I know that if you are self-employed yet only work for one employer the Inland Revenue will consider that you are in fact employed, not self-employed, therefore ineligible for all the lovely tax benefits that we self-employed people get <insert ironic grin emoticon>.

wordsmith Fri 11-Mar-05 13:57:10

No probs NP, I had to go through this twice when I was expecting! I saved all the links in favourites! here's another link which may be useful

lucykatie Fri 11-Mar-05 14:27:11

she has to have a min of 2 weeks off afetr the baby is born.

littlerach Fri 11-Mar-05 14:32:54

I had to claim Maternity Allowance, there is a huge backlog, so I received about 2 months worth in one go, but obviously 2 months later.
IIRC, you cannot work whilst claiming this, so if she did go back to work, she would lose out on the rest.
It works like SMP, so claim from 11 wks before etc.

katierocket Fri 11-Mar-05 14:46:34

I've been self employed for 3 years and it seriously pisses me off that all you get in the stat minimum. If I get pregnant again I will have to save to be able to even pay the bills while I'm off and there's not a hope in hell of being able to take 1 year off.

katierocket Fri 11-Mar-05 14:48:00

MI - can I be nosey and ask why you're now a Ltd company? are there benefits? (feel free to tell me to take a hike if you don't want to answer!)

FooFoo Fri 11-Mar-05 21:09:45

If you are a limited company your company assets are separate to your personal ones so if you go bankrupt they can't take your house etc away.

Steppy1 Fri 11-Mar-05 21:28:16

Hi KR, I hope that you don't mind me posting on this thread. I run two limited companies and it basically means that the liability is only limited to the assetts within the business, so as foofoo says below, means that this has no impact on my personal assetts

nailpolish Sat 12-Mar-05 08:32:25

thanks everyone, ive sent my friend all the info youve given me, youve all helped loads xxx

motherinferior Sat 12-Mar-05 14:16:39

KR - it's better taxwise too. Will email you. Oh no, I can't find your address, can you email me?

To cut a long story short, my best mate nagged me for years to become one; it's much cheaper in tax terms. you have to pay a lot more to an accountant (well I do anyway), though.

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