What is Statutory Maternity Pay?
Statutory maternity pay is paid in the form salary payments, which are taxable and National Insurance (NI) deductible. These are usually calculated based on the number of hours worked each week. If you work part-time, you might qualify for some or all of the amount.
You must tell your employer about your pregnancy plan at least 15 weeks before the expected date of delivery. This gives you enough time to make sure you are eligible for statutory maternity pay.
If you do not know if you qualify for it, there are online calculators available to help you check.
The rules change slightly for those who give birth or adopt a child after April 6th 2016, but you will still be able to claim statutory maternity pay.
Am I eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay?
The law states that you are entitled to statutory maternity pay if you meet one of three criteria:
You have been employed for at least 26 weeks during your qualifying week;
You have worked continuously throughout the week; or
Your employer agrees to pay you for the full 52 weeks of your pregnancy.
If you do not qualify under any of these three criteria, you could still receive some form of compensation. If you are self-employed, it is possible to claim additional benefits such as tax credits.
Am I qualified to get Statutory Maternity Pay?
Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) is paid to women who take part in work while pregnant, and it starts once the baby is born. So what does it cover? And how do you calculate the amount you receive? We explain here…
How do I claim SMP?
If you are pregnant and working for your employer, you could be entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP). This is paid at 80% of your average weekly earnings (AWAE), up to £2,080 per month. You must have been employed by your current employer for at least 28 weeks during the first 12 months of your pregnancy.
Your employer will usually tell you whether you qualify for SMP. However, it’s important to check because some employers won’t say anything about it.
You might not know whether you qualify for SPM unless you ask. If you want to find out how much you’re owed, read our guide here: How Much Is Statutory Maternity Pay?
The deadline to submit your application is 31 January 2020.
What if I quit my job prior to maternity leave?
If you are pregnant and planning to take maternity leave, it is important to understand how much of your salary you will be entitled to claim under the government’s Maternity Protection Scheme (MPS). You could be eligible for up to £2,080 per month – depending on your employer’s policy, your age, and whether you are employed full-time or part-time. However, there are some things you need to know about claiming maternity benefits.
The Maternity Protection Act 2006 entitles women to 12 months of statutory paid maternity leave. This includes six months of maternity allowance, plus six months of additional benefit called Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), which is payable during the whole period of pregnancy and for one week afterwards. In addition, employers must provide a further 10 weeks of unpaid leave.
You cannot claim both maternity allowance and SMP. If you do, you won’t get any money. So make sure you check what your employer offers.
Your employer must pay SMP (Statutory Maternity Pay) for the entire 39 weeks of maternity leave.
However, if you don’t return to work, you won’ t owe anything.
If you want to receive the payment as a lump sum, however, you should ask your boss about what happens to your SMP entitlement once you go back to work. Some employers will continue paying into your account while others will stop doing so.
In most cases, the amount you are entitled to depends on your length of employment and hours worked. For example, if you are working 35 hours a week, you will earn £1,852.80 every four weeks. But if you are working 40 hours a week, you’ll earn £2,084.00 every four weeks.
What if my employer shuts down the business prior to my maternity leave?
If your employer ceases trading or make you redundant, you can still claim back some of your salary under the government’s redundancy scheme. This applies even if the firm is no longer trading, or if it is being wound up. However, there are certain conditions that must be met. These include:
• Your employer must cease trading within six months of making you redundant;
• You must have worked for the firm for a period of 12 months or more;
• Your employer must have been paying you a wage equivalent to at least £2,500 per month; and
• You must have received notice of termination of employment.
You can receive an advance payment from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) if your employer becomes insolvency. In addition, you can continue receiving your salary during the winding up process.
Contact HMRC if you want information about how your salary might be affected if your employer becomes insoluble.
Can an agency worker qualify for SMP?
If you work as an independent contractor for an agency, you may qualify for Short Term Medical Leave Pay (SMP). This benefit allows eligible employees to receive up to 26 weeks of pay while recovering from a serious illness or injury.
The employee must be absent due to a sickness or injury that prevents him/her from performing his/her usual duties. In addition, the employer must provide written notice of the employee’s absence within 14 days of the start date of the absence.
To qualify for SMP, the employee must meet one of the following requirements:
• Be an hourly employee;
• Have worked for the same employer for at least 12 months;
• Work for an agency that employs 50 or fewer people.
Employees who do not meet any of the above criteria cannot claim SMP benefits.
Can I continue receiving SMP if I return to work?
Your Social Media Marketing Plan (SMP) entitlement ends once you start working. This includes freelancers, contractors, consultants, and self-employed people. You can still continue receiving SMP while you’re out of the office, but it won’t extend beyond the date of your next pay period. If you start working again within 30 days of the end of your previous period, you’ll automatically resume receiving SMP.
There are some exceptions to this policy. For example, if you’ve been approved for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, you can keep getting SMP while you’re in school. And if you’re enrolled in a professional development course, you can keep receiving SMP while you take classes.
If you’re a full-time employee, you can continue receiving SMP even if you start working. However, you must notify us immediately upon starting employment to ensure we don’t terminate your plan prematurely.
What if my employer denies payment of SMP?
The Small Business Jobs Act allows employers to make contributions to Social Security and Medicare taxes for employees If your employer doesn’t offer Social Security and Medicare tax withholding, it’s up to you to withhold those taxes from your paycheck. However, there are some circumstances where your employer might refuse to do so. In such cases, you could still receive SMP benefits, but you’ll have to prove that you’re eligible. Here’s what you need to know about proving eligibility for SMP.
What if I work for two employers?
You can take maternity leave and parental leave at different times from different companies if you want. This means you don’t have to choose one over the other. If you’re working for two employers, you can take maternity leave at one employer while continuing to work at another. Or, you could take maternity leave at one company and parental leave at another.
If you are eligible for both types of leave, you can take either type of leave at any time during pregnancy. However, you must use up all of your paid leave before you can take unpaid leave.
When you return to work after taking maternity leave, you can continue to work at the same job or move to a new position within the same organization. Your employer doesn’t have to offer you a new position. In fact, some employers prefer it if you do not accept a new position because it gives them flexibility to fill the position later.
Your employer does not have to pay you during your maternity leave, unless state law requires it.
Extra leave or pay
The government recently announced plans to introduce a mandatory scheme for employers to provide 12 weeks’ maternity leave and up to £2,500 per month in statutory sick pay. But what does it actually mean for you? Here we answer some common questions.
What do I need to know?
Maternity schemes are usually funded through payroll deductions. So, while you might think that the money comes out your employee’s wages, in fact it comes out of theirs. And since it’s deducted from their salary, you won’t see anything coming out of your pocket.
However, if you choose to fund the scheme yourself, you could end up paying more tax. If you take the full amount of the benefit, you’ll be taxed at 40% – the same rate as income tax. But if you pay less than the full amount, you’ll only owe 30%.
If you opt to use payroll deductions, the money will come straight off your employee’s wage bill. You’ll just have to make sure you keep track of how much you’re giving away.
How long do I have to pay into my scheme?
You must contribute towards the cost of your scheme for at least three months before your baby arrives. This is known as the ‘contribution period’. After that, you’ll start receiving payments.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does “Qualifying Week” mean in terms of SMP?
A qualifying week is the 15th week prior to the expected date of delivery. This is generally used in conjunction with a due date calculator to determine whether you are pregnant enough to qualify for maternity benefits.
The term “qualifying week” is often confused with the term “pregnant week,” which refers to the period during pregnancy where you are considered to be pregnant. Qualifying weeks typically begin on the day following ovulation and end on the day prior to the due date.
What is Shared Parental Leave (SPL)?
Shared Parental Leave (SPLO) allows parents to split their leave equally between themselves or their partners. This means either parent can take up to 50 weeks of shared parental leave over four years, of which 37 are paid at the same rate as ordinary maternity pay and 13 weeks are paid at the same level as paternity pay.
The government says it expects employers to offer shared parental leave because it believes it will help improve gender equality and boost family life.