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Please talk to me about maternity pay for self employed

(5 Posts)
xlatia Sat 17-Nov-12 17:00:43

So I'm only 10 weeks pregnant but already trying to figure out my maternity pay. And at the speed I'm going atm it might well take a couple more months because I'm just too thick to get it. Argh! My weekly income is used as a basis, I got that far. But which weeks do they take into account? The ones immediately before the birth? But that's impossible because as a freelancer you can never exactly tell how much you'll earn in advance. confused
Or do they look at my last tax return? Then I'd be screwed because for 7 out of the 12 months in the last tax year I was on materniy leave with DS1 and didn't get a lot either...
Help please!

FreelanceMama Sat 17-Nov-12 19:13:27

Fret not. It's based on payment of Class 2 National Insurance.

If you haven't been paying Class 2 National Insurance up to now (because you don't earn enough - in which case you should have had a small earnings exception certificate) call them up and say you want to start paying now and you should be covered. That's what matters for claiming maternity allowance.

MrAnchovy seems to be an expert on this so may also offer advice.

xlatia Sat 17-Nov-12 20:41:58

Thanks FreelanceMama! I've been paying NI Class 2 for the last 2.5 years, so that's good.

What still puzzles me is what I found on directgov "You can get a weekly rate of either £135.45 or 90% of your average weekly earnings before tax (whichever is lower)." But there seems to be no mention of how the average weekly earnings will be calculated...

MrAnchovy Sun 18-Nov-12 00:10:39

You have found the information for employed people, who may also entitled to claim MA if they cannot get SMP.

Information for both employed and self employed is here, as you can see if you pay Class 2 you are treated as having earnings that will get you the maximum rate of MA.

xlatia Sun 18-Nov-12 14:58:01

MrAnchovy thanks a million for the link, that's really helpful! Now one of my biggest worries is resolved, thanks again!

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