More than a third of self-employed mums miss out on maternity pay worth over £5,660

While self-employed new mums aren’t entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay, they are entitled to Maternity Allowance – yet many are missing out on the £145.18-a-week payments, it has been revealed.

According to a report in The Sun, that equates to maternity pay worth more than £5,660 for self-employed mothers.

The report mentions a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by mortgage broker John Charcol, which shows that, between 1 January 2013 and 1 December 2017, self-employed mums filed 127,400 successful Maternity Allowance claims.

However, conducting their own survey of 100 mothers, the broker discovered that three in 10 didn’t claim for their last pregnancy.

A 2018 study by self-employed trade body IPSE and Kingston University found that there are 594,000 self-employed working mums. This equates to 213,840 people who could be missing out.

How much is Maternity Allowance?

Provided you’ve paid enough National Insurance (more on that below), Maternity Allowance is £145.18 a week or 90 per cent of your average weekly earnings (whichever is less) for 39 weeks.

If you haven’t paid enough National Insurance to get the full rate of £145.18, you get £27 a week for 39 weeks.

You can claim Maternity Allowance once you’ve been pregnant for 26 weeks and the earliest payments can start is 11 weeks before your baby is due.

How do I qualify for Maternity Allowance?

You need to pay Class 2 National Insurance Contributions (NICs), including Voluntary National Insurance, for at least 13 of the 66 weeks before your baby’s due.

Also within the 66 weeks before your baby’s due, you must’ve been self-employed for at least 26 weeks – earning at least £30 a week in 13 or more weeks (which don’t have to be consecutive).

How do I claim Maternity Allowance?

Fill in a MA1 claim form and send it to the address on the form along with the following:

  • proof of your income, such as original payslips or a Certificate of Small Earnings Exemption (if applicable for the 2014 to 2015 tax year)
  • proof of the baby’s due date, such as a letter from the doctor or midwife, or your MATB1 certificate

Jobcentre Plus can provide you with a paper copy of the form, as well as braille, large print, and audio CD versions.

Maternity Allowance is paid every two to four weeks and you can claim once you’ve been pregnant for 26 weeks, with payments starting up to 11 weeks before your baby’s due.

Do you think self-employed mums get adequate financial support when they fall pregnant? Let us know in the comments.

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