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?

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:

Comments [14]

  • 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

      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

      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

      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

      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

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