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Maternity benefits

(10 Posts)
Berol Thu 04-Oct-12 14:28:43

My sister is 36 weeks pg with first baby. She is self employed but is employed one day a week. Finding it difficult to work out if she will be entitled to maternity allowance as she will get SMP from the one day a week employed job.

Can anyone advise please?

nextphase Thu 04-Oct-12 14:50:46

You can claim SMP from 2 jobs...

Might be worth calculating what is worth more - MA or SMP if she will only get one?

MrAnchovy Thu 04-Oct-12 15:32:51

... but you can't claim MA if you are eligible for SMP from any job, sorry.

vj32 Thu 04-Oct-12 20:06:52

She must be earning a lot to get SMP only working one day per week!
Agree with Mr Anchovy you can only get MA if you can't get SMP - they require you to have a signed form if you are employed from your employer stating they will not be paying you SMP.

Grumpla Thu 04-Oct-12 20:10:21

If she's eligible for SMP (and that should all be sorted out by now if she is) then that will be worth more than maternity allowance. SMP you get a chunk of time paid at 90% of your normal wage (9 weeks?) and then go down to a flat rate of (I think) about £110 a week. MA you just get £110 a week throughout.

But if she's any doubts or yet to apply just call the job centre plus they can send out claim form etc and talk her through it.

MrAnchovy Thu 04-Oct-12 20:27:41

Not necessarily Grumpla. The minimum wage to qualify for SMP is £107pw (and if only employed 1 day a week, the OP could be on not much more than this). SMP is paid at a maximum rate of 90% of salary, which would be £96.30 a week for 39 weeks. Anyone paying Class 2 NI that is eligible for MA gets £135.45pw for 39 weeks which could be £1,500 more. Even more significantly, MA is not subject to income tax whereas SMP is so if earnings are more than £8,105 for the year, that SMP becomes only £77.04pw net and MA could leave you over £2,200 better off.

This is an unfortunate quirk of the system, it only affects people who are self employed but also have employment earnings between £107 and £188pw throughout the 66 week test period who would be better off (after tax) claiming MA but are prevented from doing so by eligibility for SMP. Apart from resigning the employed job early enough to not qualify for SMP (which is probably undesireable in the round), the only way around it is to arrange with your employer to work overtime in the test period to increase your earnings for SMP: if 36 weeks pregnant this is not going to be easy.

nextphase Thu 04-Oct-12 20:28:44

Ok, I bow to Mr Anchovy's knowledge.

Just thought that at 1 day a week, the 90% part of SMP might actually be less than she could get in MA, as earning £150 in one day is good money! But earning that over 4 days is more likely!

Agree, the SMP part should be sorted by now - tho iirc, you can submit the paperwork until just after baby is born, it might just delay the first payment.

nextphase Thu 04-Oct-12 20:30:57

PS its 6 weeks at 90%, then 33 weeks at £135.45, or 90% of average weekly earnings, whichever is LOWER.

MrAnchovy Fri 05-Oct-12 09:50:03

"Just thought that at 1 day a week, the 90% part of SMP might actually be less..."

Yes, it could easily be significantly less, particularly as it is taxable, which is exactly what I was saying hmm - the problem is that you don't have the choice.

MrAnchovy Fri 05-Oct-12 09:56:25

"iirc, you can submit the paperwork until just after baby is born, it might just delay the first payment."

No, if you do not give 28 days notice of the date you want to start ML (without good reason e.g. early birth) some of your SMP may be lost, not just delayed.

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