Boost for self-employed paternity pay

Monday 27 June 2016

Becoming self-employed can significantly change your life, not just by altering the way you work but also by having a huge impact on your personal life.

A lot of the changes that come with being your own boss are positive. From having more control over your income, to being able to choose your own working hours, there are a number of advantages that you can benefit from once you become a self-employed professional.

However, there are a few things that can become more difficult when you are no longer employed by someone else. 

Tax and your income in general can become a confusing topic once you decide to work for yourself, especially if you are making a big life change. One of the most significant lifestyle changes a person can take is if and when to become a parent, and what arrangements you will need in place to facilitate this.

When you are self-employed, it can be difficult to understand what support is out there for you, and what you are entitled to.

New rules, which are coming into force from September this year, will help people who work for themselves in Ireland have more support when it comes to starting a family.

For the first time, self-employed men will be entitled to state-funded paid paternity leave for two weeks after their child is born.

The change is expected to help more than 250,000 men who work for themselves and are about to start a family. It will also bring them in-line with women who already receive financial support if they are self-employed when they have a baby.

In the rest of the UK, and in Ireland until the new rules come into force, self-employed men can take unpaid leave from work when their child is born but don't get any support from the government.

The changes in Ireland could influence other parts of the British Isles to better support self-employed professionals who want to start a family.

From September, all working fathers, including sole traders and small business owners, will be eligible for the paternity scheme and it could be expanded to up to two years of shared parental leave in the future.

Speaking to the Sunday Independent, Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar said the decision was to reflect the changing roles of parenthood and support fathers as they become "more and more involved in raising their children".

"80 per cent of the self-employed are male and have often been overlooked. This is the first of a suite of benefits I plan to extend to the self-employed, both women and men, during my term of office as Minister for Social Protection," he explained.

Whether you are thinking about the financial implications of starting a family, or are simply struggling to understand the rules surrounding HMRC, professional accountancy services like Brookson can help you.


By Victoria McDonnell

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