Parenting and self-employment

Becoming a parent is a magical time in anyone’s life, but it can cause concern when you are freelance and not eligible to traditional parental leave following their arrival. This advice section covers all you need to know about the initial questions you may have, plus the topics you might want covered further down the line.
Parental rights

Parental rights: What are freelancers entitled to?

Your rights as a freelance parent are different to those of an employed person. As a self-employed parent, you are not entitled to statutory maternity or paternity leave or pay, but there are some other options you may be eligible for.

So, what are you entitled to as a freelance parent?

In this episode of the Freelance Corner podcast, Olga Fitzroy from the Shared Parental Pay Equality campaign, and James Millar from Working Dads, join our hosts to discuss the rights of freelance parents.


Webinar with 'Pregnant Then Screwed' campaigner Olga Fitzroy

IPSE talks to Olga Fitzroy from Pregnant Then Screwed about the impact of the coronavirus crisis on self-employed women. In addition, IPSE's Head of Research, Chloe Jepps, will present on IPSE's work and research around parental rights.

The webinar covers the parental rights available to freelancers, the problems faced by freelance mums, the work of Pregnant Then Screwed, and where to find support as a freelance mum.

Pregnant Then Screwed: What's it like to be a freelance mother?

Recorded on 25/02/2021

IPSE is joined by Olga Fitzroy who works with Pregnant Then Screwed, a campaigning body to help those facing maternity or pregnancy discrimination. 

The webinar covers:

The parental rights available to freelancersThe problems faced by freelance mumsThe work of Pregnant Then ScrewedWhere to find support as a freelance mum

To view this webinar, login or become an IPSE member.

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Freelancer guide to maternity leave

New arrival on the way? Congratulations! Getting your business into shape beforehand doesn’t need to be difficult, with the help of our guide.

As you prepare to welcome your bundle of joy into the world, among many other things occupying your mind you might be wondering how maternity leave works for freelancers, what you can do about your freelance business, and what financial support is available to you.

The good news is, you have options based on your circumstances, from continuing to work as best you can to completely putting your business on hold and alternatives in between. Katie Byrne has written this guide to highlight certain fundamental principles that every freelancer can apply to get their business ready for maternity leave. 


Guide to freelance maternity leave



Self-employed and freelance paternity guide

Counting down the days to fatherhood? Congratulations! And to help you prepare, we’ve compiled this self-employed and freelance paternity guide.

As a self-employed business owner or freelancer, your impending new arrival isn’t the only bundle of joy in your life. Odds are that your business and work are just as exciting (and demanding), with just as much nurturing required. So as you countdown to your baby’s arrival, how can you prepare for your paternity leave and what are your rights?

Whilst employed dads are entitled to up to two weeks of paternity leave and associated paternity pay, things are entirely different for people who are freelance or self-employed. 

Preparing to become a parent (whether you’ve done it before or not) is a full-on experience, and so getting as organised as possible from a work perspective will allow you to feel ready, as well as help you avoid any nasty surprises along the way. With that in mind, read on for our guide to navigating paternity leave as a self-employed or freelance parent.

Guide to Paternity

Counting down the days to fatherhood? Congratulations! And to help you prepare, we’ve compiled this self-employed and freelance paternity guide.



Further resources

Further resources

How to improve your sleep as a new parent

As a new parent, sleeping whenever possible is crucial. Read some top tips on improving your sleep with a newborn in this article from Freelance Corner.

How to juggle being a freelance parent

Faye and Jess are joined by Faye Dicker, who is better known as Freelance Mum. Faye, who runs networking events targeted equally at freelance parents and their children, answers your questions on ways to beat the guilt of juggling work and parenting responsibilities.

Pregnant Then Screwed

Pregnant Then Screwed is the leading charity working to end the motherhood penalty and they have a number of resources for pregnant women and mums.


More support for working dads

Check out Working Dads, an online platform and community for, you guessed it, working dads.

Find out more about Parental Pay Campaign

Self-employed parents are not eligible for Shared Parental Pay. Learn more about the group looking to change this.



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