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Working hours: benefits rules - Calculating work hours: Maternity Leave

If you are doing paid work for an employer or are self-employed but on a low income, you may still qualify for certain welfare benefits. Benefit entitlement can depend on how many hours of paid work you do per week.

Calculating work hours: Maternity Leave

Income Support

You are not treated as being in full time paid work if you are on maternity, adoption or paternity leave - even if you are a full time worker when you are not on leave.

For Working Tax Credit you could count as being in paid work so you should get advice on which benefit you would be better off claiming. Use our Find an Adviser tool.

Working Tax Credit

If you are on maternity, paternity or adoption leave or within the first 28 weeks of a period of sickness, you continue to be classed as working the same number of hours you were working immediately before the period of leave. If you don't return to work at the end of your leave you will no longer count as being in paid work.

If you are self-employed and off work for reasons of maternity, paternity or adoption, like an employee you can continue to be classed as working the same number of hours you were working immediately before the leave began. If you don't return to your business at the end of your maternity period you will no longer count as being in paid work.

If you are on maternity leave, all Maternity Allowance and the first £100 of Statutory Maternity Pay, Statutory Paternity Pay or Statutory Adoption Pay is ignored as income.

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