Do I qualify for maternity allowance as a sole trader?


I’m an IT consultant and I am expecting a baby! I’m over the moon, but also getting a bit worried about money. I won’t be able to work for some time following the birth, obviously, but as I am self-employed, I need to find some way to get a maternity allowance. Are you aware of any schemes?




Yes, you are entitled to maternity allowance for a period of 39 weeks if you pay Class 2 National Insurance for at least 13 of the 66 weeks before your due date. You can start claiming after the 26th week of your pregnancy.

If you have recently stopped self-employment, you are still entitled to maternity allowance if you were working for a minimum of 26 weeks in the 66 weeks prior to your baby’s due date and you were earning at least £30/week over any 13-week period.

The amount of maternity allowance you’re entitled to will depend on how much Class 2 National Insurance you’ve paid, so you will receive either:

  • £139.58/week or 90% of your average weekly income (whichever is less) for a maximum of 39 weeks
  • £27/week for a maximum of 14 weeks

If you haven’t paid enough Class 2 National Insurance to qualify for maternity allowance, please contact JobCentre Plus when you apply. This is often the case if you have not yet filed your Self-Assessment tax return. HMRC will then contact you to let you know how to make an early payment.

2 years ago

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