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Question for people with self-employed DH/DP

(6 Posts)
HPonEverything Tue 02-Aug-11 12:45:43

I wondered what you are doing regarding "paternity leave"?

My DH is a self-employed tradesman and very very busy, he is now booked up til next Summer with only a break for Xmas, and he has arranged 2 weeks off from my exact EDD (October) onwards and booked in jobs around that.

However if the baby is late it is very unlikely that he would be able to bring a job forward (as he works mostly with a partner who needs to know what he is doing and has arranged something for just himself for the 2 weeks after my EDD, not to mention the issues of messing customers around).

I picture us sat around twiddling our thumbs whilst I go overdue, then the baby being born and DH having to go back to work immediately.

I'm sure I'll manage on my own if that's the case hmm but I just wondered what others are doing and how you are managing the paternity leave situation?

rooks14 Tue 02-Aug-11 14:29:25

My DP isn't self employed but we're in a similar situation!

DP graduated in mid July and so has been going to interviews over the last few weeks to start immediatley. As far as the government is concerned, I don't have any dependants yet, so as a student, I'm supposed to live with my mum and dad over the summer (I'm 21 and live in manchester with partner, parents live in london) or work to support myself (I'm due tomorrow!). I'm not entitled to any maternity benefits because I don't pay taxes, but I'm not entitled to any benefits because my student loan is classed as income (I don't get any grants, have to pay every penny back!) which is only £3600 a year, which doesn't even cover a quarter of my rent.

The only way we can survive is if DP gets a job starting immediatley. Most companies don't give paternity leave until you've worked there 3/6 months (fairly I think) but it means that it's going to be a struggle for him to even have one day off to come to the hospital with me when I'm in labour! Am really worried about having to cope completely by myself sad

(sorry for waffling, it makes me so angry that if i were to drop out of uni and split up with DP i'd get given a flat and could sponge for the rest of my life. Just because I'm determined to finish my degree and have been with DP for three years, I physically can't afford to survive for the summer without borrowing ridiculous amounts from the bank! Surely in the long run it makes sense to support people who are going to complete their education get better jobs and repay through taxes the help they received earlier in life, rather than to my friends who have no intention to ever work.....)

Ellypoo Tue 02-Aug-11 14:38:28

We are in the same situation! My DH is self-employed, but we haven't totally decided exactly what he will do yet. There is no way we can afford for him to take 2 weeks off because SMP is so low, so I think he will probably just try to do shorter days for a couple of weeks, but it's really hard when you don't know when the baby will arrive - like most self-employed people, he gets booked up weeks in advance, so it's really hard for him to move things if the baby is early or late! Sure we'll work it out one way or another though - rubbish that there is no SPP equivalent for self-employed people: if he isn't working, he isn't earning!!

nunnie Tue 02-Aug-11 14:53:16

My DH is a contractor, so getting time off isn't an issue as such the issue lies with the money he loses if he takes time off. I have been relatively lucky that both my DS's have arrived at weekend and he took a week off with DD and his intention was to take 2 days off with DS but DS came early and I needed an EMCS so he took a week off. This time we haven't really discussed it as it all depends on the delivery method and if everything goes well.

I don't get SMP as I am a casual worker which has been pretty casual since the birth of my son 10 months ago.

DH does well has with the previous two, done extra hours in the build up and worked weekends to try and cover some of the loses, don't know whether this is an option for your partner or not?

SoBroken Tue 02-Aug-11 14:57:12

We are in the same boat, if DH took 2 weeks off we'd go under! Very awkward for us too, as we have an older child and I'm a SAHM so while I'm in hospital, we literally have no childcare unless he doesn't work. First baby I was in hospital for five days with anaemia etc, I'm worried about that happening again.

My solution has been to borrow a month's rent from my dad which we will pay back slowly, so if we need a few days here and there, we hopefully can manage.

Agreed that it is very unfair that there's no provision for self employed dads at all, it's horrible that we won't get to spend any bonding time at all with our new DS. Added to which we can and have never had a family holiday because the cost of him taking time off would ruin us. Self employment really sucks in a recession.

HPonEverything Tue 02-Aug-11 15:36:17

Oh I feel awful whinging now, our issue isn't really financial as I get full pay from my work for 4 months, it's just me selfishly wanting him around for the first couple of weeks.

It's just hard to plan because in theory the baby could come any time over a period of 6 weeks or something, so how do you juggle the jobs and manage customer expectations. Compared to you guys though I feel really lucky blush

Rooks I feel so bad for you, I'd like to think my DH's partner will cover if DH is still at work during the labour part and that the customer will understand.... I think if I was your DP I'd be going home 'sick' when I got the call, new job or not!

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