Employment and careers
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Returning to work after maternity leave

hayleyb249hayleyb249 Member Posts: 2 Listener
edited February 10 in Employment and careers
Hi, just after some advice. I’m due to return to work after maternity on the 1st April. I’m unsure whether or not it will be beneficial for me to do so. I’m on a zero hour contract so won’t be guaranteed more than 16 hours which is what I’d need to work to get paid more than what UC would pay me. If I quit my job to look after my baby myself would UC still pay me or does it not work like that because I left voluntarily? I’ve just set up a new claim so waiting for that to go through. Also it’s SMP so if I did quit I wouldn’t have to pay it back. Thanks


  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 8,008

    Scope community team

    edited February 10
    Hello @hayleyb249 and welcome to the community. 
    It's difficult to give more detailed advice without a little more information (ideally whether you are on a single claim or joint claim and whether you receive help with housing costs). 

    But a few notes:
    If you're only working 16 hours, with a child on your claim it's possible you would still be entitled to some Universal Credit, especially if you will also have childcare costs.

    To answer your question though: if you are down on your claim as lead parent, you shouldn't have any work commitments until your youngest child is 3, so you can choose not to return to work and UC should still pay you.
    After your child turns one they can ask you to attend occasional meetings to discuss future plans for work, at age 2 they can ask you to think about ways they can support you to return to work and possibly look at things such as preparing your CV and once your child is 3, unless there's another reason you can't work, they'll may ask you to start looking for 16 hours a week employment. 
    Community Manager
  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Posts: 4,239

    Scope community team

    Hello @hayleyb249

    Hope you're well and just wanted to wish you a warm welcome to the community :) 
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  • Masuma12345678Masuma12345678 Posts: 50 Member
    I hope you are well and just to wish you a warm welcome back to the community 
  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 5,039

    Scope community team

    Hi @hayleyb249 :) How are you? Have you managed to take a look at the advice above? 
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