Maternity Pay for the self-employed

I am self-employed but I am expecting my first baby. Am I entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay?

1st August 2012

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) is only payable to employees, so I am afraid you are not entitled to this particular benefit.

However, you may instead be entitled to Maternity Allowance, which is payable to the self–employed or employees not eligible for SMP.

As self-employed, you may be eligible if:

  • You have been paying Class 2 National Insurance contributions or hold a Small Earnings Exception certificate
  • You have been self-employed for at least 26 weeks in your ‘test period’ (66 weeks up to and including the week before the baby is due)

You can claim Maternity Allowance as soon as you have been pregnant for 26 weeks. To obtain a claim form (form MA1) call the Jobcentre Plus on 0800 055 6688.

By Jo Nockels

Disclaimer: The information provided is based on current guidance (at date of publication) from HMRC and may be subject to change. Any advice shared here is intended to inform rather than advise. Taxpayer's circumstances do vary and if you feel that the information provided is beneficial it is important that you contact us before implementation. If you take, or do not take action as a result of reading this information, before receiving our written endorsement, we will accept no responsibility for any financial loss incurred.

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