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Maternity Leave for a freelancer in the UK
Thread poster: Cecilia Coopman, M.A. in Translation

Cecilia Coopman, M.A. in Translation  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:00
English to Spanish
+ ...
Mar 4, 2005

Hi,

I would like to know about some experiences of translators in the UK.

I know that a mother to be will not be able to work at full capacity near the baby is born and afterwards for a month or perhaps a couple of months.

If the translator doesn't work but passes jobs to colleagues she can trust in order not to lose clients, can she still claim Maternity Leave?. Many thanks! =)

[Edited at 2005-03-04 13:28]


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:00
French to English
Maternity Leave is for employees only Mar 4, 2005

To the best of my knowledge, ML applies only to those actually employed. It is paid by the employer, and reimbursed to the employer by the government. You'll get Child Benefit, because everyone does. However, if you are self employed, I believe that you have to bear the loss of earnings yourself, just as you do when you are sick, for example. You should also look into Child tax Credit.
Alternatively, I suppose you could inform the Inland Revenue that you are no longer self-employed and then claim income support.

I think that the Department of Work and Pensions website is probably a good place to look to find out the truth, though:-)


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Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:00
Spanish to English
+ ...
You can claim Mar 4, 2005

Hi,

I've only looked into this briefly but you can claim maternity benefit. If you earn over a certain amount there is a sliding scale if you earn under you get the set rate. Even if you get translators you trust, though I wouldn't trust anyone personally, they will still expect the invoice to come from you, then what you would pass the money on and hide the invoice? I don't know how it works exactly, there will be a chance of you getting caught though because I imagine the company will file its paperwork containing your invoice...I've been trying to think of a way round the same situation, I'm based in Spain so could receive payments through my English bank account, but there is a double taxation agreement and monies are traceable. So I have resigned myself to six months off whenever I find myself in the situation.


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Cecilia Coopman, M.A. in Translation  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:00
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! Mar 4, 2005

Hi,

I was just looking for info of how the system works. I just phoned the Work and Pension Department and they explained me that Self-employed can indeed get up to 26 weeks of maternity Allowance (sorry I used the term Maternity Leave before), but you have to stop working (which means you can't invoice during that time). It is now very clear to me how it works!

As soon as you start working again you have to tell the Work and Pension Department so that they stop payment. That is how they explained to me.

For people interested, visit the website of the Work and Pension Department, go to A-Z services and click on maternity allowance (even the form is on-line). =)

Cecilia


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juvera  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:00
Member (2005)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Babies and work Mar 5, 2005

Cecilia,
you have to give yourself a few weeks, for sure. During that time you will have to see, if your baby one of those who learns to sleep relatively regularly, and content for another hour or two a day jut because you are near, or howls his/her dear little head off the moment the entertainment ceases. There are little angel babies, and there are some, who need two people to keep them happy. (Actually it helps, if you are not too soft after the first 3-4 weeks.)
Realistically, if you add together the time of feeding, nappy changing, bathtime, burping time, doing the washing, (amazing amount), catching up with sleep, etc. per day, on top of your normal household chores, you will see, there will be precious little time left.
Then, if you think you are up to it, you can start thinking of working again, and to weigh up, how much you could earn by working, or you are still better off with the maternity allowance.
When you start working again, you can gain 2-3 weeks by still being on benefit, not invoicing immediately, but send the invoices off on the 1st of the following month. You won't be able to work so much, that it would make you feel bad about it, and if you are lucky, it will be just one big job, lasting for a while, and you invoice it afterwards.
Wish you the best.
Judith


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Louise Gough  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:00
German to English
+ ...
Wish I'd thought of it... Mar 5, 2005

juvera wrote:

Cecilia,
you have to give yourself a few weeks, for sure. During that time you will have to see, if your baby one of those who learns to sleep relatively regularly, and content for another hour or two a day jut because you are near, or howls his/her dear little head off the moment the entertainment ceases. There are little angel babies, and there are some, who need two people to keep them happy. (Actually it helps, if you are not too soft after the first 3-4 weeks.)
Realistically, if you add together the time of feeding, nappy changing, bathtime, burping time, doing the washing, (amazing amount), catching up with sleep, etc. per day, on top of your normal household chores, you will see, there will be precious little time left.
Then, if you think you are up to it, you can start thinking of working again, and to weigh up, how much you could earn by working, or you are still better off with the maternity allowance.
When you start working again, you can gain 2-3 weeks by still being on benefit, not invoicing immediately, but send the invoices off on the 1st of the following month. You won't be able to work so much, that it would make you feel bad about it, and if you are lucky, it will be just one big job, lasting for a while, and you invoice it afterwards.
Wish you the best.
Judith


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Louise Gough  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:00
German to English
+ ...
Maternity Allowance Mar 5, 2005

The information about Maternity Allowance is accurate, however payment of this benefit does depend on whether the claimant has paid enough National Insurance contributions previously. Most hard-pressed freelancers will have done so, especially if they have previously worked for an employer. MA is generally paid to employed persons who earn below a particular threshold, and self-employed persons. Maternity Benefit is the term normally used to describe the payment made to employees, which employers can claim back from the government.

You are not allowed to do any work while receiving the benefit.I simply passed inquiries on to trusted colleagues and didn't get involved in subcontracting, especially as this would also have had implications for my VAT return.

The effort of building up a business again after a maternity leave break is difficult but worth it in the long run. I've done it several times and it's been more difficult on each occasion, with the squeeze on the translation market and downward pressure on rates becoming ever more apparent in recent years.


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Melina Kajander
Finland
English to Finnish
See this thread... Mar 10, 2005

Hi, there was a long discussion on this subject a while back (although not just regarding the situation in UK, but some posts there are from UK-based freelancers, too), here it is:
http://www.proz.com/topic/13571


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