I was just wondering if it is possible to work at all when on SMP. The SMP amount per month is so ridiculously low that I will not be able to survive on it in London and was therefore wondering if I can do any kind of work -whether is on employed, self employed or part time basis whilst receiving the SMP? My employer might be able to offer me occasional work from home and thet would be very helpful indeed.
Forward financial planning by saving and reducing your expenditure, move to a cheaper area, presumably yours wouldn't be the only household income. Remember your opportunities to socialise and cost of travel to work , lunches etc could go down.
Check your eligibility for working tax credit / child tax credits. Unless you or OH earn over £50k individually, you'll also get child benefit. It's only about £20 / week but every penny counts. Unfortunately not everyone can afford to live on SMP and therefore go back to work earlier than they might have liked. You also need to consider the cost of childcare in your area. Mine is going to be more than my monthly mortgage payment!
We had a lady on SMP as a self-employed part time dogwalker about a year ago. She was already registered for tax as self employed as she'd been running an Usborne Books thing for some time, although her main job was and remains in the public service (think uniformed emergency service people and you won't be far wrong). There've been no comebacks as far as I'm aware.
I looked into this as I could have done freelance stuff but no you can't or you're maternity pay will be cut immediately. I'm also in London and it was an unexpected pregnancy so no saving up. I sold a lot on eBay....
"If you do any work in a self-employed capacity during your Maternity Pay Period, then such work will not affect your SMP"
However if you become employed by someone who is not your current employer, your maternity pay will cease. And certainly doing any work for your current employer (beyond the 10 KIT day allowance) would mean your SMP must stop.
Annoyingly, the same does not apply with Maternity Allowance (rather than SMP) - ANY form of work over the 10 KIT days allowance would mean MA ceases.
Maternity Action is a good resource, if the gov.uk site doesn't give enough detailed information.
I went back after 3 mts on my first and 6 weeks on my second. I work mostly from home (using childminders/nannies etc) so understand its different but honestly, I found it great to get back to my normal life and have a head break from the craziness of babies. Its truly not a bad thing unless you are really suited (like its a calling) to being a stay at home mom. I love still feeling like myself but having these great little kids now in my life. So I'm all for going back to work as long as you don't tend to do 12 hr work days. I would understand that that would be tough for all involved. People in this country are so precious about mat leave, as if its a god given human right....I disagree. You either prepare the cash and the situation to stay home for a certain period or you go back to work if that is the only way you can afford to live. No shame in that at all.