Maternity leave is often a time when women are trying to keep finances ticking over while they spend time with a new baby. But if you don’t have any savings set aside for the arrival of your bundle of joy, the reduction in finances it can be a big financial shock.
If you are working before you fall pregnant, your employer will be required to pay you 90% of your salary for the first six weeks of your maternity leave before the big reduction kicks in.
Statutory maternity pay for the current 2014/2015 tax year is the lowest of £139.58 per week or 90% of your average weekly earnings. It is paid for up to 39 weeks (roughly six and a half months).
As if the amount of maternity pay isn’t small enough, the payments are tax and national insurance deductible. While you could negotiate to work the 10 of your Keeping in Touch (KIT) days, that might not be enough money for say a year’s maternity leave. Once you’ve used up all your KIT days, freelancing could be a viable option for earning some much-needed extra money.
Claw back some money by freelancing
Freelancing is a great way to make some extra cash on the side without affecting your maternity pay. You just need to let HMRC know that you have made some extra income (you may need to do a self assessment tax return), but they will be best to advise on that.
Where to find freelance work
Doing freelance work while on maternity leave might not be something you want to shout about to your normal sphere of contact because you don’t want your workplace to know what you’re up to.
Use the internet to help you – websites like Indeed.com are a good starting place, along with Peopleperhour.com LinkedIn.com and Fiverr.com. They all have apps, which means you don’t have the extra hassle of logging onto your laptop while you’re tending to your newborn.
Founder and editor of www.motherswhowork.co.uk, a mother of two wonderful children, wife, entrepreneur (check out www.geekschool.co.uk) and journalist.