Working hours: benefits rules - Calculating work hours: Maternity Leave
Benefit entitlement can depend on how many hours of paid work you do per week.
- Last reviewed 01 November 2023
Calculating work hours: Maternity Leave
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.
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.
Working hours do not affect Universal Credit. You may be entitled to Universal Credit to top up your income when you are on maternity leave. Use our Benefits Calculator to check what you will be entitled to.
Check benefit entitlement
Find out what means-tested benefits you might be entitled to, including tax credits.
Search our database of grant-giving organisations.
Find an adviser
Search for advice and support services near you.