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Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)

Is my employee entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)?

For your employee to qualify for SMP they will need to meet the following requirements: –

  • They must have worked for you continuously (full or part-time) for 26 weeks or more prior to the 15th week before the week the baby’s due, this is considered the qualifying week.
  • They must earn £109.00 or more a week which is the current Lower Earnings Limit threshold (LEL). The LEL is the amount of money an employee must earn a week to qualify for statutory payments.
  • The employee must provide a MATB1 form, this is given by the doctor or midwife a maximum of 20 weeks before the baby is due. The employee must also give sufficient notice (usually 28 days) before they plan to take maternity.
What if my employee doesn’t qualify for SMP?

If your employee does not qualify for SMP then they may be able to qualify for Maternity Allowance (MA) instead. This is done by the employer/payroll agent filling out an SMP1 form then returning it to the employee. They will then need to take the SMP1 form to the job centre.

How many weeks maternity is my employee entitled to?

Your employee is entitled to 39 weeks paid maternity leave then an extra 13 weeks unpaid leave if they wish to take it. If your employee does want to take the additional 13 weeks unpaid leave then they will have to give you reasonable notice before their paid maternity ends.

How much will my employee receive a week for SMP?

For the first 6 weeks they will get 90% of their average weekly earnings. For the remaining 33 weeks they will either receive £136.78 (the current SMP rate) or 90% of their average weekly earnings whichever is lowest.

What is the earliest my employee can go off on maternity leave?

An employee can go off a maximum of 11 weeks before the babies due date shown on the MATB1 form.

What is the minimum amount of maternity leave my employee has to take?

The minimum amount of leave an employee has to take is 2 weeks after the baby is due.

How will the maternity pay be funded?

Once the payroll has been ran the employer will be asked to pay their employee what is shown on the wage slip, after deductions are taken into account DD payroll will claim the maternity back from HMRC on behalf of the employer. HMRC will issue a cheque which will need to be deposited in to the direct payments account.

Can my employee work during maternity?

Your employee will be entitled to 10 Keeping In Touch days (KIT days). This means that your employee if they choose to can work for 10 days at full pay on top of their maternity pay.

What happens when my employee returns to work?

When your employee returns to work they should be on the same terms as they were before their maternity leave. An employee cannot be let go due to being on maternity however if they wish to leave after their maternity has ended they can.

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