Doing a second job on maternity leave: ask the expert

I am on maternity leave from the NHS. I also have a part-time job (bank work) for a private health company. I am not due to return to work until January 2010, but the private health company have asked if I can cover some weekend work over the next month. Will this affect my maternity pay?

Hand holding sign which says Maternity Leave


So you want to know if doing a second job on maternity leave will affect your maternity pay?

The general rule is, if you work for another employer (who is not liable to pay you statutory maternity pay) whilst on maternity leave, you lose your entitlement to Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) for the week in which you work and for the remainder of your maternity pay period.

However, your maternity pay is not affected if you were employed by that employer in the 15th week before your Expected Week of Childbirth (EWC).

Therefore, as long as the private health company is not paying you any SMP and you were employed by them 15 weeks before your EWC, any work you do for them now should not affect your entitlement to SMP. You should notify your employer paying your SMP (the NHS) of any work that you do for your second employer during maternity leave a minimum of seven days before you commence working.

In relation to any contractual maternity pay that you are receiving from the NHS, you would need to check their policy to make sure there are no implications.

This gives a general overview only, based on the information available at the time of writing. It cannot be relied upon in any particular case. Specific legal advice must always be considered to include consideration as to whether the legal position contained has changed since publication. For further information and advice, please contact Lemon&Co Solicitors on 01793 527141 or visit their website:

More reading:

Comments [70]

  • Maria Blant says:

    Hi I work for the NHS full time and will be entitled to occupational maternity pay (6 weeks full pay, 12 weeks half pay + SMP then 13 weeks SMP only. I have also done private work on my day off for the last 5 years. Will I be able to continue my private work without it affecting my occupational maternity pay or SMP? Thankyou

    • Mandy Garner says:

      Hi, If you have done the second job since before the 25th week of pregnancy it will not affect your SMP and I doubt it would affect your CMP,but check your maternity policy to be sure.

  • Kristina says:

    Hi, I took a one year maternity leave but my last 3 months will be unpaid. Will it be ok to work to start new job during the last 3 months of unpaid maternity leave? Thank you

  • Louise s says:

    I work for the NHS and have done for 6 years. I’m currently 12 weeks pregnant and my due date is 05/08/23. I have started a second job this month. Will this 2nd job affect my SMP from the nhs?

  • Sylwia says:

    What about changing my mind in terms of Mat leave? Ive opted cor 12 months Mat leave and said I would w to work although now I wish I just applied for 9 months mat and not returning to work. Any advice l? I still have 5 months of Mat leave left

  • Zoe says:

    Hi, I am going on Mat leave 5th December 22. My company went into liqudation in June 22 and I have been doing agency work since June. I only qualify to received Maternity Allowance from the government which is helpful but not enough to cover the bills. Can I work more then the 10 KIT days without affecting my Maternity Allowance pay? I would ideally like to work 1/2 days days a week to boost our income.

    • Mandy Garner says:

      I’m afraid you can’t work more than the KIT days if you are claiming Maternity Allowance. If you were on SMP you could do self employed work without the SMP being affected, but Maternity Allowance is different.

  • Anon says:

    Hi. This is my case. I am on maternity leave and in tier 2 working visa. Been working for the NHS for 3 years. I am thinking of applying for a work from home while on maternity. Will there be an issue at all?

  • Nana says:

    Hi. I have only worked for 5months in the NHS and thus do not qualify for SMP. I started my first NHS job after I was already pregnant. I’m not sure if I qualify for maternity allowance. Can I do locum during my maternity leave if I do not get any monies during my maternity leave

  • Angela R says:

    Hello, i work as a permanent staff in the NHS and also do agency work on the side. I will be on maternity leave and also entitled to SMP. I will however like to do some agency work after 6 months before returning back to work as the SMP income is so low. Will this have an effect on my SMP? I’ve heard about KIT days how does this work?
    Thank you

  • Chloe Bailie says:

    So if I qualify for SMP for 2 jobs that are different companies I get 2 separate amounts of pay? Not the SMP split between them?

  • Angelica Maciak says:

    I am living in UK and currently I am getting SMP from UK based job. But I am getting foreing income as well? Will you be able to help if I will loose SMP?
    I work for foreign company before 15 weeks EWC. I cam not find any information about it.

  • Tina says:

    Hi, I’ve had a read through the comments but I am still unsure based on my current circumstances. I work full time with NHS (7+yrs) I’ve been on Mat leave since May 2021 I opted for 1year leave. I receive OPM and SMP my leave ends in May 2022. I have to return back to work for a compulsory 3 months at the end of my leave before I can resign from my current post. However I want to apply for a 2nd job now (non nhs) on a contract or permanent basis and eventually fade out of my current role. I understand my SMP will stop which is fine but I not sure if the NHS will ask me to payback my mat leave pay or just stop the monthly payment.

    • Mandy Garner says:

      Hi, You say that you have to return for three months at the end of your leave. Is that part of the OPM terms and does it state that you have to repay the OPM part of your maternity pay if you don’t return for this period? It all depends on what your OPM policy says.

    • Sylvia says:

      Hey. Could you let me know if you got sorted? Im in the same situation here and not sure what to do. Im die back may’ 22

  • Nikki says:

    Hi There
    I have been working two jobs for 3 years now, one is office where i will claim SMP and the other is zero hours contract in local theatre which i am hoping i can pick up some shifts now and then throughout maternity. Will this affect SMP?

  • DANIELA says:

    I work for a company since 4 years ago and I’m currently getting my SMP on my maternity leave.
    Can I start a second job from home to make extra money? Will I lose my smp benefit from my main job?

    Thank you

    • Mandy Garner says:

      Hi, If you start a new job during maternity leave, your SMP will stop the week you start the new job. However, you can do self-employed work without your SMP being affected.

  • Lucy harris says:

    Hi would like some advice.
    My SMP has now ended and I am now on sml (statutory maternity leave) . I would like to keep having the further 12 weeks of, but I have a full time job starting while on sml.
    Can I still claim sml in one job while working full time for another job, I would like to see if I like the new job before I finish my other job. Thank you.

  • Clare says:

    Hi, I have 2 x permanent contracted jobs in 2 different NHS trusts. Both parties are aware of the other. It appears I qualify for SMP at both – is it possible I will I receive SMP from both jobs?

  • Chryssoula Korovessis says:

    Hi, I currently have two part time jobs and have my tax split evenly across the two. I haven’t told either job that I am expecting yet. Can I claim SMP from one job when the time comes, and then work for the other? I do about 20 hours in the job that I wish to claim from and about 16 hours from the job that I would like to continue with during mat leave. Thank you

  • Janet says:

    Hi, I took a one year maternity leave but my last 3months will be unpaid. Will it be ok to work with an agency picking some shifts during the last 3 months of unpaid maternity leave. Thank you.

  • Taiwo says:

    Am currently working with 2 jobs which am starting my SMP next week, can I continue with my zero hours job without affecting my SMP although have stopped working for them when am 20 weeks pregnancy but want to start at 32 weeks pregnancy now that have started my maternity leave I hope it won’t affect my SMP.

  • Rita says:

    Hi, I work full-time with the NHS on a tier 2 Visa, took a one year maternity leave but my last 3months will be unpaid. Will it be ok to work with an agency picking some shifts without it affecting my Visa.

  • Elizabeth says:

    Hello, I work for the NHS and will be going on maternity in July 2020 with them paying me OMP and SMP. I am also on a zero hours contract for a private health care company. I haven’t done any shifts for them for around a year but I am still on their books and would like to pick up some shifts when I am on maternity leave. Will this affect the OMP and SMP for my NHS job?

  • Sarah hussein says:

    Hi I work for the NHS and I am currently on mat leave, I’m getting smp and omp from the nhs job. I have also been working for an agency since May last year! am I still able to work for the agency without my maternity leave pay being affected?
    I was thinking of doing a few shifts a month

  • Bella says:

    Hi, I will be on maternity leave sometime this year and I have a part time job I do once in a while with an agency ( I have been with them for over a year now). I was wondering if I go to on maternity leave with my main job, can i still work occasionally with my part time job?

  • Kayleigh says:

    Hi, I’ve had a full time job for one company and I’ve been on a zero hour contract for another company for a few years now. I only recieve SMP for my full time job. I was wondering if I could work my zero hour contract one day a week while on maternity without it affecting my SMP? And if so how many hours can I work while on maternity? I was hoping to work one or two shifts a month while on maternity but don’t want my SMP to stop.

  • Kerrie says:

    I am currently on my 5th month of maternity leave from a company I work 35h for.
    A part time job has become available in a sector I’m extremely interested in. I wonder if I can gain a new part time job, while on maternity leave – but with the intention of returning to my current job after the full year of Mat leave?
    This will give me a good amount of time gaining experience in the new sectors part time position, while my child is still young. Then once I’m due back at my current job – I will do both Initially with the hope that I can phase one in and one out (long term) but with no fixed plan on how that might happen. My intention would be to return to my current job and keep the part time job also till I find a position with more hours (which will take time) within the new sector I wish to work in.

    • Kerrie says:

      Is it just my pay that will end or will my leave end, also?
      And, as I’m committed (financially) to return to my current job, do I lose my smp? As it’s clear that if you replace your old, qualifying job, with a new one and leave your original post. Where do I stand with gaining a new position with the commitment of continuing mat leave and returning to that same job after the 52w?

      Thank you!

      • Mandy Garner says:

        Hi, Your SMP would stop the week you start any new job that you take up during maternity leave.

        • Kerrie says:

          Thank you. I wonder if my entitlement to take maternity leave will also end, would I need to go back to work when I start my new part-time job or am I still able to take my 52 weeks leave from my original job and return as planned at the end of the year? Thank you

        • Kerrie says:

          Thank you. I wonder if my entitlement to take 52 weeks off from my original job will end also if I start a new part-time job during my maternity leave? I would still like to return to my original job and keep part-time job, but work during my maternity leave from my original job in the part-time job… Thank you

  • Georgina beacham says:

    I currently have 2 jobs and have worked these for a number of years! Can I claim smp for one job if I work the other? I want to go straight back to work after having the baby but only in one of my jobs as I am able to take baby with me! If I do this will I lose my maternity pay for my other job?

    • Mandy Garner says:

      Hi, If you have been doing both jobs continuously for a number of years you can start and stop your maternity leave at different times without your SMP from the other job being affected.

  • Caroline hanson says:

    Hi I am currently have 2 jobs one that I am getting maternity pay for. The other job I have been with since November and I’m wanting to do one shift a week will I lose my maternity pay.

    • Mandy Garner says:

      Hi, If you have been doing the second job since before the 26th week of your pregnancy you can return to it without your SMP being affected. Is it SMP you are getting?

  • Zoe says:

    I currently work 3 jobs. My main job is a teaching assistant. I will be get SMP from this job. My other 2 jobs are care roles. I have done them both for over a year now, but don’t earn enough ton either to qualify for SMP. Can I work those jobs whilst getting SMP from my teaching assistant role? And is there a certain amount i can earn? I’m worried my SMP might stop and can’t find any information that confirms whether I can or can’t! Thanks

  • Dan says:

    My wife works full time for NHS and is looking to do some administrative hours for my company up until her due date (I’m a therapist and registered business as sole trader). Once the baby arrives she will have SMP from NHS but can I also pay her an additional wage or SMP?

    • Mandy Garner says:

      Is she only going to be working before her due date and what week is she currently in? Is she past the 26th week of pregnancy? She would not qualify for SMP from you, but she could do a second paid job up until her due date, depending on what her NHS contract says about second job. She cannot start a new paid job after going on maternity leave without her SMP being stopped from her NHS job. However, she could do self employed work without it being affected.

  • Toby says:

    Hi, was wondering if I take up an evening job 2-3 hours a day whether it will affect my pay SMP or get a letter from HMRC?

    • Mandy Garner says:

      If you do any new employed work during maternity leave you will lose your SMP from the week you start. You can, however, do self employed work without affecting SMP.

  • Katrina says:

    I understand that if I work for 2 companies and 1 doesn’t pay SMP that I can work for the second company without loosing SMP.

    I am currently working full -time for a company but and I also do additional hours for the same company hourly paid In a different department. Can I continue my hourly paid role while on leave without loosing SMP (this is in addition to the KIT days)

  • Amy Gore says:

    I am currently on maturnity leave and my smp ends at the end of august but would like to start a part time before do you know what the situation with paying tax is on the part time job? My marturnity pay for this tax year will be well under the yearly amount you can earn before you get taxed. Thanks

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your Franchise Selection

Click the button below to register your interest with all the franchises in your selection

Request FREE Information Now

Your Franchise Selection

This franchise opportunity has been added to your franchise selection



Click the button below to register your interest with all the franchises in your selection

Request FREE Information Now

You may be interested in these similar franchises