Can my husband get maternity allowance?

13 December 2019


I am self-employed and pregnant. I earn £36,000 a year, but if I take maternity leave and the statutory maternity allowance, my monthly income will fall from £3,000 to £595. I earn more than my husband, so we think perhaps he should look after the baby. Can he take ‘maternity’ leave instead of me?



Assuming your husband is working as an employee, he may be able to claim statutory shared parental pay. This is available if you are entitled to statutory maternity pay, maternity allowance or statutory adoption pay. To claim these benefits, you must have worked for the same employer for more than 26 weeks by the time your baby is due. You also need to earn at least £118 a week before tax. If this is the case, then you can share some of your leave or pay period with your partner.

To qualify, he will have to have been working for his employer for at least 26 weeks at the date 15 weeks before the baby is due. He also must have been earning at least £118 a week on average. Please be aware that even if your husband takes parental leave, as the mother you will need to take at least two weeks of maternity allowance.

David Samson, welfare specialist at debt charity Turn2u

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