I am confused about how I keep my freelance work going during maternity leave and am unable to find any actual information from HMRC or the DWP that clarifies what is ‘working not earning’. How does the DWP ‘check’ or police if you’re working – the only info I can find states you must tell the Jobcentre about any work you do while receiving Maternity Allowance. If, while I am on maternity leave, my husband maintains my website and social media using my accounts, my parents take work (completed before the MA period) to galleries and exhibitions for me and I am still receiving payments for sales, will it not appear to the DWP as though I’m still working? Obviously I will provide them with info about any work I do undertake as Keeping in Touch days, but I’m concerned that it’s a very ‘square peg round hole’ situation and that because I won’t have a way of proving it’s not me keeping my business running they will assume I’m still working.
Do not confuse the DWP and the HMRC responsibilities. Keeping In Touch days concern DWP. Income and Profit from a business entity concerns HMRC for payment of taxes. Naturally, you would be expected to make all necessary arrangements to protect your business interests while you are on maternity leave so no rules have been broken as you are not working.
I am not really surprised that no-one at DWP would be able to give clear information on this. They are not trained for it and it would require a good understanding of each case and they don’t have the time for that.
So to summarise, have you broken the rules on KIT – NO. Have you broken the rules on working while on maternity leave – NO. Have you broken any tax rules – NO.