Working during maternity leave

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Kenickie
Kenneth Attenborough
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Working during maternity leave

Post by Kenickie »

This year, another university asked me to do some teaching for them. The way they did it was I had to invoice them after, rather than being put on their payroll. They've asked me to do it again this year, along with some marking, which will all take place during my maternity leave.

I'd like to do it - the money's not particularly great but it's quite nice to do and actually would be quite good to do a bit of teaching during my leave.

The advice here https://workingfamilies.org.uk/articles ... tal-leave/ suggests that it's ok if it counts as self-employment. I think it sounds like it would because of me having to invoice rather than becoming a temp employee.

I have a few questions though and don't know who I would check it with - my HR or someone external?

1) the website is about stat maternity pay - it's during the period where I'd be paid more than SMP so is it down to my employer's discretion whether they could stop paying me their extra mat pay? The link says 'If your contract normally lets you work elsewhere, your employer cannot have a special clause preventing you from doing so during maternity leave. To do so would be maternity discrimination.' Which suggests not, although maybe they could not stop me working elsewhere but could say they won't pay me mat pay?

2) the area of law around what counts as self-employed seems to be quite woolly. I'm wary of taking this on and then someone official saying it's not SE work - it would be a bit catastrophic if I stopped being entitled to stat maternity pay because of earning a few quid elsewhere! I don't know if there's anyone who could confirm I was SE - would it be down to the uni I'm doing the extra work for?
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Beatrix
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Re: Working during maternity leave

Post by Beatrix »

I don’t know enough about the law, however my first point of call would be HR. I’d want assurances from them that they’d ensure you didn’t lose out on any mat pay you are contractually entitled to as well as statutory pay.

When I started working on mat leave, the first 10 days were KIT days so I was paid my usual salary and then after that they paid me for hours worked and added what I would have got in mat pay as an employee, I didn’t need to invoice them. I’m assuming you’ll be doing more than 10 days of work?
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Kenickie
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Re: Working during maternity leave

Post by Kenickie »

Thanks. I'll have KIT days through my employer but this is another university, which is why it's SE - I think it would only be about 2-3 days.
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Rebel Pebble
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Re: Working during maternity leave

Post by Rebel Pebble »

I know bob all about the maternity pay issue. But as far as the self employment question goes, it is indeed very woolly when it comes down to HMRC. There's a raft of theoretical tests, like do you use your own equipment, do you book your own travel, that kind of thing.

The thing I would be checking first, though, is if the payroll of this Uni can deal with Sole Traders, which is ideally what you would want to be. Because if they can't then you have the PITA of either going through an umbrella company (and losing a percentage) or making yourself a Ltd company. I would say if they are cool with paying you as a Sole Trader (which would indicate they've done it before) then that's a good sign HMRC will also be cool. You want to avoid having to work as a contractor under IR35 under any circumstances as it's even more of a minefield now.
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Beatrix
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Re: Working during maternity leave

Post by Beatrix »

Oh sorry, I missed the another! Duh. Could you speak to HR at your place and ask about any conditions they place on enhanced maternity pay?
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Kenickie
Kenneth Attenborough
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Re: Working during maternity leave

Post by Kenickie »

That's a good idea, both.

It's all online teaching so I do it in my house, using my own equipment.

I'm not sure what basis I was paid on last year - I assume sole trader? I did the work, sent in an invoice, and then they paid me, and so now I'm doing a tax return this year. Does that sound like sole trader?
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Rebel Pebble
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Re: Working during maternity leave

Post by Rebel Pebble »

Yes, that would be Sole Trader, ie the least amount of faff. It means, I assume, you already have a UTR and are set up with HMRC for self-employment which is good.

Only 2-3 days on your own equipment from home using your own materials sounds like pretty clear cut SE to me.
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Kenickie
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Re: Working during maternity leave

Post by Kenickie »

Thanks. I guess also you'd hope that HMRC wouldn't spend lots of time investigating me earning a couple of hundred quid Vs someone earning tens of thousands with the same employer over a year but claiming to be self employed. But because it's such a small amount of pay, that's why it would be a total disaster if it stopped my mat pay!

I had a UTR from years ago, so just registered as self employed again when I did the work in November, and just need to get around to doing the tax return at some point before next April.
If your back's against the wall, turn around and write on it.
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