Recognise maternity leave in self-employed income support grant

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Anyone who has claimed Maternity Allowance in the three years from April 2016 to April 2019 is expected to have a reduced grant under the Self Employed Income Support Scheme as announced by the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, last week.

The payout is set to be based on average monthly self-employed income during those three years. Many young mothers will have had nine months on under £150 a week in that time and only been allowed to work on ten days during  those nine months, drastically reducing incomes from their normal level. Some may have had more than one spell of maternity leave during those three years.

This petition is to request, or perhaps that should be demand, that any weeks in which Maternity Allowance was paid in the three crucial years should be omitted from the calculation. The payout should only be based on time the person was available to work, and exclude the many months when they were banned from working whilst receiving Maternity Allowance. If no adjustment is made to the scheme as announced, it would be institutional discrimination and a failure to be fair to young families at this critical time.