All businesses that pay staff may need to pay statutory maternity pay if an employee wishes to take time off work to have a baby.
Statutory maternity pay (SMP) is an amount that is payable by employers to eligible employees. To see if an employee qualifies for SMP a YES answer is required for ALL of the following questions.
|1. Does the employee have a contract of employment?||The employee must have done some work under that contract.|
|2. Does the employee earn at least £112 per week?||If the employee is paid an irregular amount the average weekly earnings for the last eight weeks must be calculated.|
|3. Has the employee worked for you continuously for at least 26 weeks up to the qualifying week?||The qualifying week is the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth.|
|4. Has the employee given you the correct notice?||This is the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth. You, the employer must write to confirm the employee's start and leave dats with 28 days.|
|5. Has the employee given you proof of their pregnancy?||Proof of pregnancy is either in the form of a doctor's letter or maternity certificate (MATB1).|
A form called SMP 1 must be completed if the employee is not eligible. The form can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/401639/smp1.pdf. The employee may receive the Maternity Allowance instead.
SMP can be paid for a maximum of 39 weeks.
The following tool may help you to calculate statutory maternity pay https://www.gov.uk/maternity-paternity-calculator
The earliest date SMP can usually be paid is 11 weeks before the expected week of childbirth.
An eligible employee can take up to 52 weeks maternity leave. However, they can only be paid a maximum of 39 weeks SMP. Therefore, an employee could be on maternity leave without receiving SMP.
SMP is payable to employees in the usual way that their salaries and wages are paid. Income tax and national insurance will be deducted under the normal rules.
What paperwork do I need to complete?
You must keep the following records for three years from the end of the tax year to which they relate:
The details can be recorded on a Statutory Maternity Pay record sheet (SMP2).
For those employees who are not eligible for SMP you must send the employee a form SMP1 within 28 days.
A form called SMP 1 must be completed if the employee is not eligible. The employee may receive the Maternity Allowance instead. For a copy of the form select https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/401639/smp1.pdf.
Form for non-eligibility of Statutory Maternity Pay as provided by HM Revenue & CustomsRead more
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