I am currently on maternity leave from my full-time job. I have two months of SMP left, and then my remaining three months leave will be unpaid. Whilst working for my employer I also did marking for a university on an ad hoc basis as a second job. This was PAYE and I was always sent a p45 after each payment. I have been asked by the university to do some marking whilst I am on maternity leave. Will this impact my last months of SMP? The university will only pay via PAYE so I am unable to do this on a self-employed basis.
If you were employed by the university in your qualifying week (the 15th week before your due date), you will be treated as having two employers for SMP purposes. Returning to work for one employer does not affect your right to SMP for the other. However, if you were to take a new job during maternity leave, that would affect your right to SMP.
It may be possible to contact HMRC to see if they have records as to whether you were employed by the university for the qualifying week. If not, and if HMRC consider that the issue of a P45 means that taking up more marking would be a “new” job, this may affect your entitlement.
There is nothing, however, to stop you from taking other work during your three months’ unpaid maternity leave, provided this is not during hours you would otherwise be working in your full-time job.