Advice & Support

Self-employed and pregnant. What are my rights?: ask the expert

Self-employed and pregnant. What are my rights?: ask the expert

I have been a self employed agent with a company from earlier this year and have signed a yearly contract with them starting from that date. I have found out that I am pregnant and the baby is due in the autumn. I haven't told my principal yet as I am waiting on scan and test results coming back. I know I will be entitled to Maternity Allowance, but I would like to know what my rights are regarding my contract as I am fit and healthy and wish to continue working right up to my due date and returning after minimum maternity leave. Do the company need to keep me on? Will they still pay my commission during my maternity leave and also do they have to keep the position open for me to return after the baby? 

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Self-employed maternity rights: ask the expert

Self-employed maternity rights: ask the expert

I am a self-employed consultant who is exclusively working for one company. I have to provide my reports, attend regular management calls, work full time and get approval in case I take any of the 25 days of holidays a year. I do everything like a normal employee just that I have written self employed on my contract. Do they have to take me back after maternity leave or not? If so, for how long?

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Self-employed tax liabilities: ask the expert

I have more than one self employed job at home and I want  to know how much tax I should be liable for. I understand I should be able to claim tax relief and offset some of my expenses again tax,  especially if being self employed you are not entitled to maternity pay. Is this correct?

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What tax relief can I claim as a self-employed worker? Ask the expert 

I am an ex banker and want to know if I have more that one self employed job at home eg three part time jobs, how much tax would I be liable for ? I understand I should be able to claim tax relief and off set some of my expenses against tax, especially if being self-employed you are not entitled to maternity pay. Is this correct?

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Self-employed consultant and maternity rights: ask the expert

Self-employed consultant and maternity rights: ask the expert

My situation is rather complex. I am a self-employed sole trader providing consultancy services for a large financial firm in London but from a regional office. I work with two other partners and essentially I get paid a £10,000 per annum fixed retainer and other income which is split with the Head Office. It pretty much resembles a franchise model whereby our income and costs are split with the Head Office and whatever is left in the pot is then split between the partners. Anyhow, I am due to have my baby in June and I am planning to stop work for a month as soon as I give birth. Now my earnings are based on what I have generated over a year and I draw my income as and when I wish and pay tax on all earnings remitted to me in any tax year. Even though I will stop work for a month, I will still be paid my monthly retainer plus my agreed share of the income generated in the month although I can postpone the payment of both until next month or a later time. Indeed what I draw every month is irrelevant as I declare the yearly income on my tax return on a remittance basis. As I won’t be working in the period, will I be entitled to maternity allowance for the time I am away from the office? Sadly, I am pressured by my fellow partners to return to work as soon as possible if I wish to retain my share of earnings. Also, the time off I intend to take will need to be taken as holiday rather than sick or unpaid leave. My plan is to return to work for six weeks and then have two weeks off and again repeat this process two more times. Am I entitled to anything in the two week periods of absence from work? If so, how many stay in touch days am I  allowed to have in the two week periods, or in general in the first six months under the proposed plan? For your information, we have no formal partnership agreement regulating matters of maternity leave and pay, sick pay and pension provisions. However, I am aware that other regional offices of the same firm do have agreements in place allowing for six months' maternity leave on full pay (i.e. retainer plus 100% of the agreed share of income) plus very generous pension provisions and sick leave. My fellow partners have refused to sign an agreement with these terms in the past. One more question. Since I work for one company and from the same office and also the same hours as individuals employed by the company, should I not be treated on an equal footing as an employee? My service contract makes no mention of maternity pay or rights and uses the word ‘worker’. However, I do believe that my fellow partners and I fulfil all of the criteria of a ’master and servant’. If so, how could the employee's rights be exerted in my case? Would I need to seek legal advice and/or take the company to court? Obviously this is the last thing on my mind.

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