Self Employment and Paternity Leave Needs to Change
My husband and I started our business in 2007, the year before we got married. It’s not easy running a small business in today’s economy, where everything you can dream of can be bought online with the click of a button from massive shops like Amazon. We have managed to make our business a success by being available to offer expert help and advice, often at unreasonable hours, by delivering things to local customers and often spending hours after the shop is closed helping them set up. And through it all, sometimes we come home at less than minimum wage. But we work with animals, and you do that for love and passion, and as long as we’re paying the bills, we’ll keep going as I know we’re helping people and making a difference to our local community. We love our business and our jobs! So in short, we’re both self employed. When I found out I was pregnant, I knew it would be tough financially, but at the same time, am grateful for the fact that as a self employed worker, I was entitled to take maternity allowance for 39 weeks. It’s not exactly a lot of money – £145.18 at the time of writing per week. Not enough to live off by any stretch of the imagination, but we knew that we could tighten our budget and make ends meet. Maternity options are a little more limited for those who are self employed as you don’t have a company maternity policy to fall back on, but on the whole I’m not complaining about them.