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Update for Self-Employed Women Musicians Regarding Maternity Allowance

The issue of Keeping in Touch (KIT) days for musicians receiving Maternity Allowance is something the MU has previously lobbied on via motions to TUC Womens Conference. Read more about a recent DWP tribunal decision regarding this below.

Published: 20 September 2023 | 5:09 PM
Young woman sat on the floor playing acoustic guitar next to her baby.
If you need advice regarding pregnancy, maternity, adoption or parental rights you can contact your Regional Office for support. Image credit: Shutterstock.

Musicians can be disqualified from the remainder of their Maternity Allowance if they work over the 10 allowable KIT days. This doesn’t reflect the reality of life for freelancers who often need more time and the ability to stop and start maternity allowance so they can maintain their careers.

Whilst the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) can disqualify a woman from the remainder of her Maternity Allowance if she returns to her normal working pattern, DWP do have discretion to make a reasonable reduction in Maternity Allowance payments, if a woman works for more than 10 days.

A recent tribunal decision, where the claimant was a self-employed professional musician, supported by Maternity Action, clarifies entitlement to Maternity Allowance if a woman works for more than 10 days.

Read more about the tribunal decision.

This is a step in the right direction, but there is a long way to go before there is parity with those who are employed

Andi Hopgood, Vice Chair of the MU's Executive Committee says: “This is a step in the right direction, but there is a long way to go before there is parity with those who are employed.

“The recent Musicians’ Census has confirmed that most self-employed musicians are on a fairly low income, in addition to the fact self-employed women are earning less than their male counterparts. 

“It’s almost impossible for a lone parent to survive on Maternity Allowance and we must continue to campaign on this. Especially around the very unfair rules that those who are employed can work self-employed as much as they like whilst on maternity leave. It’s an incredibly unfair system.”

Maternity advice

If you need advice regarding pregnancy, maternity, adoption or parental rights you can contact your Regional Office for support or visit the advice page below.

Read our guidance

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