When it comes to returning to work after a career break such as caring for children, your...read more
What happens if you do more than one job and you get pregnant? If you qualify for SMP on both jobs you can claim it for each role and start and finish your maternity leave at different times for the different jobs without the SMP for the job you have not gone back to being affected.
If you can’t get SMP you can claim Maternity Allowance. However, you can’t claim both SMP and MA at the same time and you can’t claim two lots of Maternity Allowance.
However, if you get SMP on one job, you can return to the other job if you were doing it before the 26th week of your pregnancy without your SMP from the other job being affected.
You can also do any self employed work during your maternity leave without your SMP being affected.
What happens, though, if you do one job on which you can claim SMP and another job which only qualifies for Maternity Allowance and the money you can get on MA is higher than what you would get on SMP? Can you claim MA on that job and go back to the other job earlier?
Karen Holmes of Turn2us.org.uk, which provides advice on tax credits and benefits, says the regulations on MA state that to get the benefit you must not be eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay from any employer.
She says: “When you claim Maternity Allowance you must send a SMP1 form (SMP exclusion) from each employer that you were employed by in the 15th week before your baby is due. This form contains the reasons for that employer not paying you SMP. If you do not enclose a SMP1 form from each employer, Jobcentre Plus will return your Maternity Allowance claim form to you with a note telling you to ask your employer (or employers) if you are entitled to SMP.”
However, the SMP1 form assumes that people will claim SMP if eligible. It is unclear if you can claim MA on the second job if if you are eligible for SMP on the first, but don’t want to take it.
If you were able to claim MA, the regulations state that a person will be disqualified from receiving MA if “during the maternity allowance period she does any work in employment as an employed or self-employed earner, for more than 10 days, whether consecutive or not, falling within that period”. Holmes says this seems to imply, unlike with SMP, that working for another employer does affect MA as it states “any work in employment”, rather than specifically the employment on which MA is based. She states: “If this is the case, a decision maker would decide whether any further payments could be made, but a mother would lose MA for at least the number of days worked over the 10 days allowed.”