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A quick guide to Maternity Allowance for the self employed

June 16, 2015

2014-12-22When I was pregnant I found it really difficult to find information about what I was entitled to in the way of maternity benefits as a self employed sole trader.

So I thought I’d write a really concise guide in case it is of use to anyone else!

If you are self employed and live in England, Scotland or Wales you are entitled to claim Maternity Allowance from HMRC during your maternity leave, which is very similar to Statutory Maternity Pay.  Here’s how it works:

  • Once you are 26 weeks pregnant you can apply by submitting a Maternity Allowance form (MA1) which you need to print out, fill in and post.
  • Maternity Allowance payments can start 11 weeks before your baby is due – you say when you want it to start i.e. when your maternity leave will commence.
  • Maternity Allowance is paid into your bank account every 2 or 4 weeks as you prefer.
  • Assuming your income has been more than approx. £8k per year you will be entitled to £139.58 per week (2015) in Maternity Allowance.
  • You can claim Maternity Allowance for up to 39 weeks.
  • You can work up to 10 Keeping In Touch (KIT) days whilst claiming Maternity Allowance in order to maintain contact with your business. If you work for more than 10 days you are required to stop claiming Maternity Allowance.

Here’s the official HMRC site, and here’s a link to the form.



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