Entrepreneurship and pregnancy
Being self-employed and pregnant can be quite nerve-racking, especially if you’re not familiar with the benefits you’re entitled to. Fortunately, pregnant self-employed entrepreneurs have just as many rights as someone who’s not an entrepreneur. In this blog, we’ll explain everything you need to know about the benefits and the things you have to take into account.
If you’re self-employed and you become pregnant, you’re entitled to the ZEZ (Self-employed and Pregnant) benefit. The height of this benefit depends on the financial business situation of the year preceding the one in which you apply for the benefit. Have you met the working hours criterion of 1225 hours in the previous year? In that case you’re entitled to the maximum benefit, which is equal to the statutory minimum wage of approximately €1,200. If you worked less than 1225 hours in the previous year, this amount will be lower. The benefit will then be based on the profit you made in that year. You’ll receive the ZEZ benefit for a minimum of 16 weeks.
You apply for the ZEZ benefit at UWV (Employee Insurance Agency), which will than start 6 to 4 weeks before your due date: you decide the exact start date. After giving birth, you’re entitled to a minimum of 10 weeks of benefit. Make sure to apply for the ZEZ benefit on time, this is possible from the moment you’re 24 weeks pregnant up until 2 weeks before you want the benefit to start.
The AOV supplementary benefit
As said, the benefit UWV provides is equal to the minimum wage. If you’re used to a higher monthly income, this means a big cut is made in your monthly budget. This can be supplemented by taking out an occupational disability insurance (AOV). This insurance provides an income when you’re unable to work, due to illness and/or pregnancy for example.
Please keep in mind that most AOV insurers will only pay out when you’ve taken out the insurance at least 1 year before your due date. So if you’re an entrepreneur and wish to have children someday, it might be wise to read up on taking out an AOV. The AOV does not affect your ZEZ benefit. However, there are AOV insurers who will pay out less if you also receive a ZEZ benefit. Therefore, you should always thoroughly check the conditions of the insurance you’re planning to take out.
Working hours criterion during pregnancy
As an entrepreneur, you must normally meet the working hours criterion of 1225 hours to be eligible for entrepreneurial tax deductions, such as the private business ownership allowance. If you’re pregnant and thus temporarily interrupt your work as an entrepreneur, there’s a good chance that you will not meet this criterion. However, the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration has issued a relaxation for this: during your leave you can count your working hours as you would normally have counted them.
Written by: Sanne Paaij