Maternity allowance – new job / work


I almost never deal with maternity allowance, but have had a query about maternity allowance and its interaction with employment and studies and was wondering if the v v knowledgeable people on RightsNet may have some answers!

Since July she has been a student earning a tax free bursary and will be employed in a job from September 1st but will be going on maternity around a week later as she is due at the end of September. She won’t’ qualify for statutory maternity pay or her work’s enhanced offer as she will have been in the role for only week before going on mat leave (although will have been working for them for free on placement for 1 year by that point).

She doesn’t think she will be eligible for Maternity Allowance as hasn’t paid tax since July 2020, is not married to partner and his income and savings put them above the threshold for applying for benefits.

Wondering if she could be eligible for the lower rate of Maternity Allowance for 14/17 weeks perhaps? At first they thought there was a loophole which meant that if they got married or had a civil partnership 26 weeks before the due date, they would qualify but because of Covid, they weren’t able to get married before this point. Other information also says if you are unemployed then you may also qualify for the 14 or 17 weeks Mat Allowance so wonder if I can apply for that and if so how? So anyway it is quite a confusing situation and she thinks she will not be eligible for anything but if there are any loopholes / things to bear in mind about this, then that would be much appreciated! Thanks in advance.

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