5. Further information

Leave and gaps in your employment

You can get Working Tax Credits for periods when you don’t work. For example, you:

  • go on maternity leave
  • get sick pay
  • are in between jobs

You’re entitled to the tax credits for a certain period of time providing you qualify.

If you don’t return to work at the end of the period contact the Tax Credit Office.

Circumstance Period you get tax credits for
You lose or leave your job For 4 weeks
You’re on maternity leave For the first 39 weeks of your leave
You’re on adoption leave For the first 39 weeks of your leave
You’re on paternity leave For the period of your ordinary paternity leave
You’re on additional paternity leave Up to the equivalent 39th week of your partner’s leave
You’re off sick Up to 28 weeks
You’re on strike For the first 10 days
You’re laid off work For 4 weeks after you’re laid off or the lay off becomes indefinite
You’re suspended from work - eg because of a complaint Usually the period of suspension

Qualifying rules

To qualify, you must:

  • have been in paid work
  • have worked the right number of hours before you go on leave or the gap happens
  • have got Statutory Sick Pay or an equivalent benefit if you were on sick leave

You’ll still qualify if you were self employed and you would have been eligible for Statutory Sick Pay or an equivalent benefit if you weren’t self employed.

The equivalent benefits are National Insurance credits (incapacity for work element), Employment and Support Allowance or Income Support (incapacity for work element).

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