Women who find that they are not eligible to claim Statutory Maternity Pay may nevertheless, still qualify for the Maternity Allowance (MA).
The amount of MA you get will depend on eligibility.
You might get Maternity Allowance for 39 weeks if one of the following applies:
- you’re employed, but you can’t get Statutory Maternity Pay
- you’re self-employed and pay Class 2 National Insurance (including voluntary National Insurance)
- you’ve recently stopped working
In the 66 weeks before your baby’s due, you must also have been:
- employed or self-employed for at least 26 weeks
- earning (or classed as earning) £30 a week or more in at least 13 weeks – the weeks don’t have to be together
You may still qualify if you’ve recently stopped working. It doesn’t matter if you had different jobs or periods of unemployment.
If you’re self-employed, to get the full amount of Maternity Allowance, you must have paid Class 2 National Insurance for at least 13 of the 66 weeks before your baby’s due.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will check if you’ve paid enough when you make your claim. They’ll write to you if you haven’t.
If you haven’t paid enough Class 2 National Insurance to get the full rate (£145.18 a week), you’ll get £27 a week for 39 weeks. You still need to meet all the other eligibility criteria to get this amount.
You may be able to get the full rate by making early National Insurance payments. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will send you a letter to tell you how.
To find out more visit the following HRMC web page: https://www.gov.uk/maternity-allowance
Employers should note that the Maternity Allowance is claimed directly by the individual from the Government and any SMP payments must stop when MA payments start. The claimant must keep the employer informed of the date when the Maternity Allowance payments are due to start.
Understanding Employee Rights Maternity Pay
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