Self employed Mums and Mat Leave

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PaniniRoses Posts: 3628
I was just wondering how any self employed mums managed/plan to manage their maternity leave? I'm hoping to take the full 26 weeks, well, I'll apply for that anyway and then see how things go, but I'm a bit torn about when to take it. I'll be finishing a contract in mid April, so if I was to start ml then I'd be twiddling my thumbs for 3 months, but I don't know how feasible it is to go looking for new business when I know I'll only be around for the 3 months. I was half thinking I'd join a temp agency for a few weeks to tide me over between the two, but that's probably not all that realistic either. Any experience to share?
babyblaBBer Posts: 2448
I went back part time when DS was 7 weeks and was dealing with the odd email from when he was 3 weeks. It sounds early but it was only a day here and there at first and I think that was easier than having loads of time off and then going back full time. My only regret was that I could only breadtfeed for 6 weeks full time & I was so clueless I didn't manage much more after that, just 1/2 feeds a night til 3 months. This time as baby is due at a different time I may have to go in once or twice in the first 6 weeks and will have to keep an eye on emails and do the odd bit from home but should be able to take a good 3 months pretty much off and then go back part time for another couple of months. Won't know for sure until closer to the time. Will be much more prepared for feeding this time too.
PaniniRoses Posts: 3628
Thanks BB. I'm lucky that I usually work from home, so it'll hopefully make things a bit easier if I do have to start back earlier than hoped. I don't have any staff (sole trader in all definitions!) so I guess I'll have to play it by ear to see how I cope with work coming in and whether I refer it to someone I know or take it on myself. I bfed DD for 6 months exclusively and I'd love to be able to do it for this baba, but I hadn't started my business then so things were completely different Did you apply for the statutory mat benefit? I need to look into it and the implications of doing any work while receiving the benefit.
babyblaBBer Posts: 2448
i'm a sole trader too so the fear is if you give work away you might not get it back! i didn't qualify for maternity benefit last time as it's based on your contributions from 2 years previous and there's a chance i won't qualify this time either as i carried forward a loss even when i started earning so have to look into it. as far as i know you can't work while receiving the benefit but not sure if maybe you could do the work and then bill later or something.
PaniniRoses Posts: 3628
Yeah, that was my worry about referring work on - would it come back to me again! I guess I'll have to see how thing are going the closer I get to my due date and work it out as I go. Since I only started the business this year I should have enough credits for statutory benefit - it'll keep DD in the creche a few days a week for a couple of months anyway! I didn't really think about this when I decided setting up on my own was a good idea!
theoracle Posts: 7664
When I had dd3 I was just at the start of self-employment so I spent the time doing the promotional and marketing activities which were non-commercial in nature (building the web-site, SEO etc) and I took the full 6 months based on the employee contributions I had in previous years. Now, because I work in 2 businesses I also have some A class stamps so will be able to qualify and will apply for 6 months again. The way I look at it I can shorten it if need be, but I cannot extend it. I'll play it by ear!
Lovelybfp Posts: 59
[quote="babyblabber":3wqlmu1j]i'm a sole trader too so the fear is if you give work away you might not get it back! i didn't qualify for maternity benefit last time as it's based on your contributions from 2 years previous and there's a chance i won't qualify this time either as i carried forward a loss even when i started earning so have to look into it. [u:3wqlmu1j]as far as i know you can't work while receiving the benefit but not sure if maybe you could do the work and then bill later or something[/u:3wqlmu1j].[/quote:3wqlmu1j] Does anybody know if this is ok to do? There are a few jobs I would like to do while I'm on MB but am afraid that I would be unlucky enough for someone to report me! I know technically that I shouldn't but if I didn't bill till I'm back and just put the takings through under a different date would that be ok?
babyblaBBer Posts: 2448
Well I'm sure technically it's not ok but it's what I'm thinkIng of doing if I can!
Lovelybfp Posts: 59
Yeah I hate the fact that it is technically wrong but when you are self employed ya have to do what is best for your business to make sure ya have a business to go back to.
solotairesuzy Posts: 78
I am in the same boat and hoping that I will qualify for maternity benefit. What qualifies you for it? I would love to do a few jobs if they came but would be afraid that I would be caught... for the modest amount that I do them for! Any advice greatly appreciated!