Overview of Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) and Leave
If you are planning to have a baby, you might be eligible for some of the benefits from the UK government which are as follows –
- Statutory Maternity Leave
- Statutory Maternity Pay
- Paid time off for antenatal care
- Extra help from the government.
UK government specified some rules on when and how to claim your paid leave and in case you want to change your dates, you can change that too.
You can easily calculate your maternity pay and leave online. You may also be eligible for shared parental leave & pay.
Employment rights when you are on leave
There are some employment rights given to you when you apply for statutory maternity leave which includes the following –
- Rise in pay
- Build up holiday
- Return to work
Statutory Maternity Leave
Statutory Maternity Leave is the leave given to the women employee’s at the time of pregnancy. It is of 52 weeks which comprises of –
- Ordinary Maternity Leave for first 26 weeks.
- Additional maternity Leave for 26 weeks.
It’s up to you that you want to take 52 weeks leave or not but you must take 2 weeks leave after the birth of your baby (4 weeks if you are working in a factory)
You may be eligible to take shared parental leave.
Start Date & Early Births
Normally, the earliest date you can apply for maternity leave is 11 weeks before the expected week of child birth. Leave will also start –
- If the baby comes early at the premature stage.
- Automatically in case you are on leave for a pregnancy related illness in the 4 weeks before the week the birth of the baby is due.
Change your Date of returning to work
In case you want to change your return to work date, you must give at least 8 weeks notice to your employer.
Statutory Maternity Pay
Statutory maternity pay is paid to women employees for 39 weeks. Women employees will get –
- 90% of the average weekly earnings before tax for the first 6 weeks.
- £148.68 or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower) for next 33 weeks.
Statutory maternity pay is paid by the employer just like the normal wages i.e. weekly or monthly. Even tax and national insurance is also deducted in the same way as it is deducted from normal wages.
If you will apply for shared parental leave, you will get statutory shared parental pay (ShPP). Statutory shared parental pay is £148.68 a week or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower).
1) Normally, SMP starts when you take maternity leave.
2) It starts automatically in case you are on leave for a pregnancy related illness in the 4 weeks before the week the birth of the baby is due.
Problems & Disputes
Sometimes problems & disputes might take place in relation to SMP. If you think that you have been paid wrong SMP amount by the employer, talk to your employer and tell him to explain your SMP. If problem still persists, call HMRC enquiry line.
Eligibility for Statutory Maternity Leave
You are eligible for statutory maternity leave if –
- You are an employee not a worker
- You have given correct notice to your employer.
Statutory maternity leave does not depend upon any of these factors –
- How long you have been with your employer?
- How many hours you worked?
- How much you get paid?
You are not eligible for statutory maternity leave in case you have child through surrogacy. You can get statutory adoption leave and pay in case of surrogacy.
Eligibility for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)
To become eligible for statutory maternity pay, you must –
- Earn at least £118 per week on an average
- Give proof that you are pregnant
- Give the correct notice to your employer
- Work continuously for your employer for at least 26 weeks continuing into the qualifying week – 15thweek before the delivery of baby is expected.
You cannot get Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) in case you are into police custody at the time of maternity pay period. This period will not restart again after your release from the police station.
Early Births or you lose your baby
You are eligible for statutory maternity leave & SMP in case your baby –
- Is born early
- Is still born after the start of your 24th week of pregnancy
- Dies after taking birth.
If you are not eligible for statutory maternity pay (SMP)
In case you are not eligible for SMP, your employer must give you form SMP1 and explain you that why you can’t get SMP within 7 days after making his or her decision. You may become eligible for maternity allowance.
How to Claim Statutory Maternity Leave
In order to get statutory maternity leave, you must tell your employer at least 15 weeks before the due date that when your baby is due and from which day you want to start your maternity leave.
Your employer can ask you for this in writing. You employer must write to you within 28 days confirming your start & end dates.
How to Claim Statutory Maternity Pay
In order to claim statutory maternity pay, you must tell your employer that you want to stop your work and have a baby along with the date when you want to start your SMP.
You must give your employer a notice at least 28 days before in writing (if ask for it) along with the proof that you are pregnant.
Your employer must confirm the following within 28 days –
- How much SMP you will get?
- When it will start & stop?
In case your employer decides that you are not eligible, he or she must provide you form SMP1 along with the explanation within 7 days after making the decision.
Take help of benefit calculator to know what help you can get from –
1) Child benefit
2) Child tax credit
3) Working tax credit (this can continue for 39 weeks after going on maternity leave)
4) Income support (You may get this in case you are not working)
In case if you are giving birth to the first child, you can get a sure start maternity grant of £500.
In case you are not eligible for SMP, you can get maternity allowance from the government.
COMPANY MATERNITY SCHEMES
If your employer has a company maternity scheme, you may get more than the statutory amount of leave & pay. Company cannot offer you the amount less than the statutory amount.
After the birth of your child, you can get unpaid parental leave of 18 weeks and this may get restricted to 4 weeks per year.
How Nomisma Payroll Software will help in to calculate Statutory Maternity Pay?
Nomisma cloud payroll software manages your all payroll information at one place and offer many services starting from managing employee’s working hours, leaves and attendance to calculating salary, deductions and tell you the amount you owe to HMRC at the end. You can easily calculate statutory maternity pay in this HMRC payroll software which calculates statutory maternity leaves of the women employee’s and automatically gives you accurate figure of Statutory maternity pay which you need to pay to your woman employee’s in lieu of the leaves taken by them for the pregnancy purpose.
If you are facing any problem in calculating statutory maternity pay, Try Nomisma with 14 days trial period and get your problem sorted. You can also call our accounting experts at +44(0)20-3021 2326 or e-mail us at email@example.com.