My wife is a self-employed childminder, and is expecting our child on 14th March 2005. This means she will finish childminding on 11th February and has informed the parents of all the 8 children she minds of this.

From this point she is intending to claim Maternity Allowance at the standard rate.

However, parents of 4 of the children have IMMEDIATELY withdrawn their children from my wife’s care, which has reduced her income by 66% and left us in a bit of financial trouble. Their reason for finishing now is “because Emma is pregnant”.

I am sure if my wife was employed, rather than self-employed, that she would have rights that prevented this from happening (e.g. your employer can’t make you redundant or halve your salary just because you are pregnant), but we are wondering if something similar exists for the self-employed?

Grateful for any help.

Gary Cookson