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Maternity leave and public appointments

(16 Posts)
llareggub Mon 02-Mar-09 14:18:35

I should probably know the answer to this one, but would be grateful for views!

I am currently on maternity leave and have spotted an advert for a public appointment. It is something that theoretically I could do alongside my current (part-time) employment but realistically I think I would probably not return to work after my year is up, although I'd like to keep my options open.

The public appointment is not, I'm assuming, one that has any sort of employment relationship with the public body, so I wouldn't be employed. The appointment does carry fees and expenses in return for the duties discharged.

My question is whether I can continue to claim SMP if I am appointed. The work is ad hoc and probably not guaranteed every month, and I'm not sure if I will return to work or not, and probably won't know for some time. My baby is due at the end of April so I have a significant amount of maternity leave left!

What do you reckon?

wobbegong Mon 02-Mar-09 14:29:43

Is this your first baby? Just asking as I thought I could do all sorts of things during my maternity leave which I just wasn't up to- waaaaaaay too busy looking after junior.

llareggub Mon 02-Mar-09 14:32:57

Nope, 2nd!

I've worked out the logistics, all doable. I've got very flexible childcare too.

wobbegong Mon 02-Mar-09 15:15:43

ah, good. Thought this might turn out to be one of those "I'll do a PhD while on maternity leave, and renovate the house, and become a JP" kinds of threads...

I think you might need to get advice from your HR dept?- or don't you want them to know? Mine are very funny about me doing even voluntary work when I am employed by them.

llareggub Mon 02-Mar-09 16:53:08

um....this is where it is embarrassing...I do work in HR!

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 02-Mar-09 17:02:55

Voluntary work doesnt affect SMP however you mention a fee. If the fee is paid to you as a self employed person, it wont affect your SMP. You'll obviously need to register as s/e etc with the tax office if that is the case.

llareggub Mon 02-Mar-09 17:13:45

Thanks...that is helpful to know.

ilovemydogandMrObama Mon 02-Mar-09 17:20:06

Think the answer is on the SMP form itself where there are a number of questions that could affect SMP...

llareggub Mon 02-Mar-09 17:22:10

What SMP form? Do you mean the MATB1? I've already handed that in, so can't look at it now.

ilovemydogandMrObama Mon 02-Mar-09 17:26:39

No, the DWP have this form that includes questions about the 'qualifying period' and dates worked in order to qualify for SMP.

llareggub Mon 02-Mar-09 17:28:30

I'm not particularly bothered about keeping the SMP, more that I'd kind of like to give this a go and if it works out well, consider it as an alternative career move. So I don't particularly want to quit my job unless I really, really have to.

I'm pretty sure that is no contractual relationship with the public body, so I won't be employed. I think it is a bit like being a magistrate, but with payment attached. Hmm.

llareggub Mon 02-Mar-09 17:32:25

ilovemydog, I've just checked their website and there is a helpline for employees. I'll give them a call and see what they say.

ilovemydogandMrObama Mon 02-Mar-09 18:48:46

Well, a bursary isn't defined as pay though, at least according to HMRC. For instance, in order to qualify for the child care element for working tax credits, one has to be employed for the 16 hour threshold, but a bursary isn't deemed pay...

I checked last week!

llareggub Mon 02-Mar-09 19:12:10

I'm not sure whether "fees and expenses" are deemed to be pay. I'll give the dept of work and pensions a ring tomorrow and see what they say.

flowerybeanbag Mon 02-Mar-09 19:26:05

I would say 'fees and expenses' is 'pay', but as long as you make sure you register yourself as self-employed, and do it that way, you can go for it without jeopardising your SMP. Sounds as though self-employment would be reasonable for this as well.

<<tries to contain curiosity>>

<<checks email inbox>>

grin

llareggub Mon 02-Mar-09 19:28:08

flowery, thanks! I'll email you.... wink

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