Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)

If you are expecting a baby, you might be entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)to help you take time before and after the baby is born. This is a weekly payment from your employer.
Payments of SMP count as earnings so your employer will deduct tax and National Insurance contribution in the normal way.
In order to be eligible for Statutory Maternity Allowance you must meet certain conditions.
Firstly, you must have worked for the same employer continuously for at least 26 weeks up to and into the 15th week before the week the baby is due.
Secondly, you must give your employer sufficient notice of taking your SMP (28 days)and give him/her a form called MAT B1 Maternity Certificate from signed by a doctor or midwife after the 20th week of your pregnancy.
Finally,your earnings as an employee must be at least an average of £90 a week (before tax).
Statutory Maternity Leave is for 52 weeks. You may be entitled to receive Statutory Maternity Pay for up to 39 weeks of the leave.
For the first six weeks, your employer must pay you at the rate of 90% of your average weekly earnings.
For the next 33 weeks , your employer must pay you at either the standard rate of £117.18 or 90% of your average gross weekly earnings (if this 90% rate is less than the standard rate).
If your employer concludes that you do not qualify the he/she must give you a form SMP1.
Most women employees have the right to take up to one year’s (52 weeks’that is 26 weeks of Ordinary Maternity Leave and 26 weeks of Additional Maternity Leave) maternity leave. This does not depend on how long you have worked for your employer. The only employees who don’t have this right are:
•share fisherwomen;
•women who are normally employed abroad (unless they have a work connection with the UK);
•self-employed women;
•policewomen and women serving in the armed forces.
Taxfile‘s tax agents in South London and Exeter are here to help you if you have any questions regarding your entitlement to SMP.