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Becoming self employed whilst getting maternity pay, where do I stand?

(20 Posts)
Eddas Fri 18-May-07 15:22:04

Does anyone know how I stand if I start up a business whilst being paid maternity pay? ie would I stop getting maternity pay?

I know I could just start it up and not tell anyone until my maternity pay finishes but i'd rather not run the risk of having to pay it back if i cannot do both.


twofalls Fri 18-May-07 15:26:04

You are still entitled to statutory maternity pay. It would just have to switch from being paid by your employer to being paid by the government. When you register to become self employed you do so here - 08459 15 45 15 - perhaps it would be worth phoning them to find out how you go about it.

twofalls Fri 18-May-07 15:27:14

Although if you actually get paid any money whilst you are self employed (rather than just setting it all up), you are not entitled to anything. Hope this makes sense!

Eddas Fri 18-May-07 17:45:54

Thanks twofalls

Yeah that's what i thought. thing is what i want to do is a bookkeeping business so it would take a while to establish myself and get enough clients to stop being employed aswell. Was hoping to start whilst on maternity leave but won't if it means losing maternity pay. Ho hum, will have to just be either poor for a bit whilst i set up or work aswell. Neither option appeals at the moment but plenty of time as on maternity leave until December!!!

twofalls Fri 18-May-07 18:19:40

Mmm, that is a tricky one. Why don't you give the helpline a call to see if they can help. There might be a way around it. I know when my DH set up his own business he claimed unemployment benefit for 3 months (his previous firm had gone bust). Might be worth seeking futher advice.

Good luck. I became self employed 3 months ago (marketing) and haven't looked back!

Eddas Fri 18-May-07 18:44:15


lovelymoo Fri 18-May-07 19:20:25

You can always start the business up that can take a couple of months and then when you get clients you can advance date the invoices to after your maternity pay ends and get them to pay you then. My friend did a similar thing with HR consultancy.

gemmum Fri 18-May-07 19:24:26

I'm no expert or anything but i always thought you could be self employed whilst being employed aslong as there is nothing in your employment contract against it? Is it not just employed paid work you can't do whilst on maternity leave?

Eddas Fri 18-May-07 20:40:12

Lovelymoo(like the name), that had crossed my mind too. Not sure how quickly things would get going but wasn't planning on starting just yet, ds is only 5 weeks!!

gemmum, i will have to look into it a bit further i think to see what stops the entitlement to SMP as you are right you can be employed and self-employed.

popsycal Fri 18-May-07 20:41:31

i did it during statutory maternity pay but only had a week overlap but i was employed as well as being self employed if that makes sense

popsycal Fri 18-May-07 20:42:09

also i didnt earn anything in that time....

Judy1234 Fri 18-May-07 20:52:59

You can certanily be an employee and then work weekends self employer or in another employment unless your employment contract restricts it but not sure of the rules on SMP. If you were back at work you'd get your wages so I suppose you get the SMP because you're on maternity leave but it's a payment based on national insurance contributions so may be you do still get it? I suspect not and if you don't get SMP then you get maternity allowance I think, if you didn't have enogyh NI contributions etc which is presumably a benefit paid to those who have had babies and didn't qualify for SMP and you wouldn't get that if you had an income I think.

Eddas Fri 18-May-07 20:53:46

Just had a look at DWP website and it says about SMP and then starting work for someone else. In this case SMP stops. But doesn'e say anything about SMP and then becoming self employed. Although i'd imagine the same rules apply. Pressumably if i don't actually get any money then SMP would continue but if i do earn anything it'll stop. If i didn't earn anything it would be because i didn't get any work so therefore wouldn't have actually started self employment anyway and would go back to my job.

Well everything points to having to do nothing until SMP finishes or nearly finishes and then either do both or just see what happens with just being self employed

At least i've got a fair while too ponder

Thanks for all the replys

Eddas Fri 18-May-07 20:57:15

xposted Xenia, thanks. I think i'm going to have to sit on the self employment until december and then start it up and continue with my employment aswell.

All I need then is a cheap babysitter and i'm well away

lou031205 Fri 18-May-07 21:39:03

Yes, if you work (even in your own home), you stop being entitled to mat pay (whether SMP or Maternity Allowance)

NKffffffffd3c41a79X114d177cc29 Tue 04-Sep-07 18:20:25

Does anyone know what you do about maternity pay when employed and self employed? My earnings are under the tax threshold for employed work but over if include self employed work.I found out i was pregnant only 2-3 weeks after starting self employed so i don't know where that leaves me!Can anyone help?

flowerybeanbag Wed 05-Sep-07 08:41:08

Hi NKF...
You may well be entitled to maternity allowance, here is some information which should help you see whether you can get it and how to claim as well.
Congrats by the way!

Jilk Sun 31-May-09 11:35:46


Does anyone know whether it is possbile to work on a self employed basis whislt on statutory maternity leave?

I am hoping to take 12 months maternity leave and supplement my income by working on a consultancy basis, as I do already, whilst I am on maternity leave from my main employement. My addtional employers contibution of maternity leave ends after 6 months meaning for the following 3 months I will be on statutory maternity pay, followed by having no income, it is only legitimate to work in the final 3 months?.

Thanks all

Feeltrapped Sun 14-Jun-09 20:42:25

You can work on a self employed basis whilst on maternity leave without it affecting your SMP. I am intending to do this later this year.

Hope the link works:-

bejbus Tue 21-Jun-11 22:42:31

I'm Self-Employed for the last 2 years and I earn approx £600 pm. This is commission based job so my earnings depends on how much my team sell in a month. I only work few hours per week just by making/answering phones/e-mail and delivering orders to my own customers. For the last 10 months I'm also employed full-time through the agency. I'm going on Maternity leave in 2 weeks and I will get 39 weeks SMP from them. I'm not coming back to my full-time job after mat leave and I want to keep my home business running. My commission will be still paid even if I don't work a lot so I don't want to close my business down. I wonder if it won't make me into trouble. Can I legally get my SMP and keep my home business running?

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