With it being national breastfeeding month this month we thought we would take a look into maternity benefits in the world of payroll.
In the UK today there are many Statutory Parental leave options to available to eligible parents/carers in the work place. The main Statutory leaves are below:
- Statutory Maternity Pay
- Statutory Adoption Pay
- Statutory Paternity Pay
- Shared Parental Pay
- Ordinary Parental Leave
- Statutory Parental Bereavement Leave
Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)
In order to qualify for SMP you must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Have worked for you employer for at least 26weeks before the Qualifying week (the qualifying week is the 15th week before the expected childbirth). In most cases this means you need to have been employed by your current employer before becoming pregnant.
- Earn on average £123 per week (as of 2022/23 guidance)
- Give your employer the correct notice and proof of the pregnancy usually in form of the MATB1. A MATB1 is usually given to you by your midwife/doctor at an appointment after 20 weeks of pregnancy as a MATB1 cannot be issued more than 20 weeks before babies due date.
If your employee meets the criteria then they could be eligible for 39 weeks paid Maternity leave and a further 13 weeks additional leave unpaid.
SMP is paid at 6 weeks at 90% of your average weekly earnings then 33 weeks at £156.66 (22/23 Rate) or 90% of average weekly earnings whichever is lower.
Many employers have enhanced parental pay options as some companies pay more than HMRC statutory minimums. These enhanced elements will be detailed in your contract of employment.
If your employee is not eligible for SMP, you should inform your employee using an SMP1 form which your employee may be eligible to claim Maternity Allowance from the government instead. Find out more on the HMRC gov.uk website https://www.gov.uk/maternity-allowance.
You can find more information on maternity pay on