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Maternity allowance?

Hi,

I’m nearly 20 weeks pregnant, I’m working currently but as I do casual/sessional work and (unknown to me!) was already a few weeks pregnant when I started in this job, I won’t be entitled to any maternity leave or pay. I’m hoping to work as long as I can into the pregnancy (due 30th April and not too sure what’s realistic!?) but will have to give notice before the birth which is a shame as I really like the job.

Fortunately my husband has a good job and is very supportive and he says we can just cope on his salary for now as I won’t be working to start with when baby is here, but this feels weird as in the past I’ve always worked and been financially independent. We won’t have that much money and I’m not sure if he realises how expensive babies are! Also I worry about the extra pressure it will put on him, and/or if anything happened meaning he couldnt work. Also I’m concerned I won’t be paying national insurance or into my pension scheme when I stop work. I’ve been wondering about maternity allowance but don’t really understand it. Are you not allowed to work at all if you’re on MA? I can occasionally get sessional work here and there and don’t want to not be able to pick things like that up if they come along.

Any advice would be really appreciated as I’m starting to get quite worried now ... Thanks :-)

19 Replies
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Hi, I'm not sure myself but this is a good site to look at, I found it a few weeks back when looking for info for our daughter. Hope it helps and good luck with everything xx maternityaction.org.uk/advi...

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I’ve been in the phone to them so many times as I was made redundant whilst on mat leave. They were brilliant!

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I would think you can not work if you're maternity allowance. I know I can't work on my maternity leave. Might be worth contacting citizens bureau advice or job centre as they deal with MA

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I agree. I believe that if you work, it would mean you are not entitled to maternity pay!

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You should be able to apply for a maternity allowance - look on the government website x

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I was in the same position as you. Found out I was pregnant whilst doing agency work. You can get the maternity allowance form and information from gov.uk website. Also you will be entitled to child benefit which is about £20 per week. You may be entitled to other help such as child tax credit, working tax credit, income support depending on your partners income. You can do the benefit calculator on the gov.uk website to find out. You can claim MA from 29 weeks. Another option (which I did) is you can claim job seekers allowance/Universal Credit if you are in and out of assignments. This will help build up your NI contributions. This does mean signing on and off which is a bit of a pain. I claimed this until my due date.

Hope that helps. Good luck with everything x

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Hi, I'm just trying to find out more about child benefit as I hadn't realised I would be able to claim for this. Please could you tell me how you actually go about claiming it? Thanks :-)

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Hi.

When your baby is born and you go to council to register your child's birth, they will fill it in for you.

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I didn’t know about this. I’m going to register my baby on Friday so will ask them about it. Thanks

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Thank you :-)

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Hi, here is the link gov.uk/child-benefit

Tells you eligibility, how much you get, how to claim etc

x

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Agree with everything everyone has said above, you should be entitled to maternity allowance. Also check how far in advance you need to tell your employer of your plans. My Midwife suggested going on maternity leave at 36 weeks but I know a lot of women in my work go at 38 weeks. Obviously if baby comes early then you will start at that point.

In terms of expense, I’ve read some useful articles with suggestions of how to limit the cost such as using reusable nappies instead of disposable ones, only having things like sleepsuits and blankets to begin with, buying a Moses basket only for the first few months as you wouldn’t be using a cot anyway etc. Worth looking up tips like this. If you don’t mind some second hand things, there are often bundles of clothes and things available on gumtree and Facebook marketplace. I would say the main things you’d need to buy outright are a new mattress for the Moses basket (to avoid the risk of SIDS) and a good car seat (any previous knocks can affect it). Good luck, I’m sure you’ve got this! Xx

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Thank you all so much for your help and advice. I am so glad that this forum exists! Ribena1987 yes I think we are in a similar position although I have got sessional work which will continue up until my due date... it's after then that it's going to get more difficult. I will try to read up on it more and will find out about child benefit and Universal Credit too although they seem really confusing... are they affected by my husband's income? It is all such a minefield and not really what anyone needs when they're pregnant and feeling rough :-/

Thanks again!

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Have a look at this

moneysavingexpert.com/famil...

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Tax credits are based on your joint income. I'm self employed and received statutory maternity pay which is based on your income I think 26 weeks before you falling pregnant and also national insurance contributions. If you go onto the .gov.uk website it explains it on there what you maybe entitled to. Also whilst on maternity leave your allowed 10 days keep in touch days.

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Anyone is entitled to Child benefit regardless of income (although if your partner earns over a certain threshold he would need to declare it via a tax return I believe). Child tax credit is based on income on a sliding scale. The MA form is epic! I still haven’t gotten around to filling it in yet x

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Babies in my opinion are not expensive at all. I am breastfeeding so don't need to buy formula. Nappies are cheep- and can use cloth nappies during the day. We have enough money but bought most things second hand because did not see the point to waste money one things he won't need long. My boy is nearly 6 months old and we probably spent on him £500 so far (including pram, Moses basket, clothes, baths, manual breast pumps, we nearly used 1 Calpol by now, 1 tub of sudocream and few dummies) i think babies are as expensive as one wants or can afford. He started eating veg now - So i buy a head of organic broccoli £1- steam it, mash it and freeze in little portions - enough for 5 feeds. Same with rest of vegi. Yesterday we went to our children's centre Xmas fair and I bought 20 hardly used books for £3 (cleaned at home with antibacterial wipes and they are good as new) Last Xmas I was pregnant and in after Xmas sale I bought lots of Xmas outfits for this baby for £1-3.5 a piece.

My neighbour buys everything new for her baby but can't afford it and always complains about not having enough money. I think there's no point to do it and create headache for yourself.

Good luck with figuring things out!x

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Are you classed as an employee or a worker? If you’re an employee, you are still entitled to up to 52 weeks statutory maternity leave, even if the dates mean you’re not entitled to statutory maternity pay.

Although your employer wouldn’t have to pay you anything while you’re off, it does mean that you’re entitled to return to the same job so I would definitely check it out since you said you don’t really want to give notice as you like the job.

You can also take up to 10 “keeping in touch” (KIT) days without affecting your maternity allowance.

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Thank you, I will check this out as I'm not sure if I'm classed as an employee or worker

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