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Increasing numbers of women are doing more than one job – either in order to make ends meet or to get the flexibility they need or both.
In addition the ‘portfolio career’ where people have a number of jobs – sometimes a mix of employed and self employed jobs – is expected to become more popular in the future as workers decide they don’t want to put all their eggs in one basket.
The changing ways in which we are working is not always reflected in the benefits system, however. Workingmums.co.uk receives many emails from women inquiring about their maternity rights if they do more than one job. Here we give you some information on what is currently available.
If you do two jobs and both are jobs for which you are eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay you can get two lots of SMP. To be eligible you need to have worked for the same organisation from before you were pregnant to at least the end of the 26th week of your pregnancy and to have earned at least an average of £113 a week in the eight weeks leading up to the end of the 26th week of your pregnancy.
If you are only eligible for SMP in one job and eligible for Maternity Allowance [MA] for the other – for instance, because it is a self employed job or you have not been in it continuously since just before you got pregnant until at least the end of the 26th week of pregnant – you can only get one lot of maternity pay.
The same goes if you do two jobs which qualify for MA. Given MA is no more than the statutory rate of £140.98 a week while SMP is usually six weeks at 90% pay followed by the statutory rate for the remaining 33 weeks, it doesn’t stretch very far even if you have been putting in all sorts of hours on your multiple jobs.
In addition women on MA cannot do more than 10 Keeping in Touch days during their maternity leave without losing MA. Any hours of work done on a particular day is counted as a whole day. Meanwhile, women receiving SMP can do self employed work without risking losing SMP.