If you’re a self-employed pregnant woman, you are entitled to a maternity allowance. This refers to women who are still working but don’t qualify for statutory maternity pay (SMP) or who’ve recently stopped working.
The Department for Work and Pensions pays the maternity allowance for a maximum of 39 weeks for applicants that qualify. Applications must be made for the maternity allowance using the Department for Work and Pensions- Maternity Allowance claim form (MA1).
The amount of maternity allowance you can receive is dependent on how eligible you are. This can range from £145.18 per week or 90% of your average earnings (whichever is less) for 39 weeks, £27 a week for 14 weeks or £27 weekly for 39 weeks.
You must have paid Class 2 National Insurance for a minimum of 13 of the 66 weeks before your baby is due if you’re self-employed. This is in order to receive the full amount. If you haven’t paid Class 2 National Insurance then you’ll be looking at getting the £27 per week for 39 weeks assuming you meet all other eligibility conditions. To qualify for the higher rate, you may be able to make extra National Insurance payments.
If you’re an employee and don’t qualify for the SMP, you may still be able to get maternity allowance if in the 66 weeks before your baby is due you were:
- Employed for a minimum of 26 weeks
- To earn £30 or more a week for a minimum of 13 out the 66 weeks. These don’t have to be in succession
On the other hand, SMP is a weekly payment that is payable to qualifying employees by their employer at:
- 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings for the first 6 weeks with no upper limit
- £145.18 (2018-19) or 90% of their average weekly earnings (whichever of these is the lowest amount) for the remaining 33 weeks
Additional benefits may be offered by your employer if they so wish. These can include higher maternity payments. These however would be at the discretion of your employer and are in no way a legal requirement.
We hope this clears up what you need to do to receive a good maternity allowance or helped to confirm what allowance you’d receive. However, if you are still unsure about what maternity allowance you’d qualify for get in contact with our Milton Keynes accountants today to receive expert advice or give us a call on 01908 0460964.