What to expect if you’re expecting

Sophie Kwiatkowski looks at what you can expect in terms of maternity/paternity leave and pay under the NHS.

We are frequently being asked the question, ‘What am I entitled to as a self-employed dentist in terms of maternity/paternity pay?’.

So, let’s look at maternity pay first. If you are an NHS dental performer, you are entitled to 26 weeks of maternity pay.

This is providing you meet the following criteria:

  • You have been on the NHS dental list as a provider or performer for a period of at least two years. The last 26 weeks must have been continuous and immediately prior to the 15th week before your baby’s due date. This effectively means that you must have been on the NHS dental list prior to becoming pregnant
  • Take your leave until 11 weeks before your baby is due
  • Don’t carry out work during your maternity leave, although you may attend the practice in order to keep in touch with colleagues
  • You may be required to confirm that you intend to work with an NHS employer (either at your existing practice or another one) for at least three months after your leave has ended.

Money talks

The amount of maternity pay you are entitled to is based on your net pensionable earnings. The NHS Business Services Authority looks at your earnings during weeks 18 to 25 of your pregnancy.

You can also claim maternity allowance of £148.98 per week from the government, which gives you payments for 39 weeks, if you meet the following criteria:

  • Have been self-employed or employed for at least 26 weeks of the 66 weeks before the baby’s due date
  • Have earned at least £30 per week for 13 weeks or more.

A MAT B1 form  will need to be completed to claim this. Any maternity allowance claimed will be deducted from your NHS maternity pay.

For paternity pay, the same NHS criteria apply, and you are entitled to two weeks.

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