Calculating maternity leave if your pay rises: ask the expert

Calculating maternity leave if your pay rises: ask the expert

If you are entitled to statutory maternity pay, it is paid for a period of up to 39 weeks as follows: -

The first 6 weeks are payable at the higher rate of SMP, which is 90% of your "normal weekly" earnings;

The remaining 33 weeks are paid at the lower rate of SMP (currently £123.06 per week) or 90% of your average weekly earnings, whichever is less.

As you are aware, the rate payable therefore depends on your "normal weekly" earnings. These are calculated as a weekly average of your total gross earnings from your employer (and associated employers) during a particular reference period (the "relevant period").

As a rule of thumb, the earnings taken into account for monthly paid employees are those set out on the last two payslips before the Qualifying Week (which is the 15th week before your Expected Week of Confinement / Childbirth). For weekly paid employees, the last eight payslips before the Qualifying Week are taken into account.

Looking in more detail, the relevant period ends with the last normal pay day on or before the end of the Qualifying Week and begins after the last normal payday at least 8 weeks earlier (Regulation 21(3) of the SMP Regulations). Therefore, to find the relevant period:-

- Take the last normal payday on or before the end of the Qualifying Week. (If you have already given birth by then, take the last normal payday before the week of birth). That normal payday is the last day of the relevant period.

- Count back 8 weeks from that day.

- Take the last normal payday before that date. The day after that payday is the first day of the relevant period.

NB: if no "normal payday" is identifiable from your contract or from the employer's normal practice, actual payment days are used.

Therefore, if during this 8 week relevant period, you then worked reduced hours, and thus received reduced pay, this will result in you receiving less statutory maternity pay as your "normal weekly earnings" in this 8-week period will have been reduced. Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done about this.

It is correct that any pay rise awarded after the beginning of the period used to calculate SMP and before the end of the maternity leave period, must be taken into account when calculating the amount of SMP payable. However, this rule applies in respect of a pay rise to your gross pay, and not as a result of additional pay received because you are working additional hours/days.

Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done to change the above.

Tracey Guest is head of employment and a partner at Slater Heelis in Manchester. She specialises in employment law and is also a working mum. 
 

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Have your say

My employer has used statutory sick pay to calculate my average weekly wage during the 'relevant period'. Is this allowed as it greatly reduces the average?
Editor: Yes, your maternity pay is based on what you actually receive during the 'relevant period'. The relevant period [the 15th week before the week in which the baby is due] depends on whether you are paid weekly/monthly.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I have started my Maternity leave on the 1st March 2012, my baby was born on the 6th March (the due date was the 7th March). My employer calculated my SMP as per above using september-october gross pay of £2333.33. However, I had a pay rise on the 1st of January 2012, and my monthly gross salary is now £2,500. Should not this be taken into account?

Editor's note: For information on how SMP is calculated, click here.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I have 13 weeks until my due date - if I reduce my hours for my last few working weeks before maternity leave, will my maternity pay be affected? (Thanks in advance for the advice!)

Editor's note: The rate of SMP payable depends on your "normal weekly" earnings. These are calculated as a weekly average of your total gross earnings from your employer (and associated employers) during a particular reference period (the "relevant period").

As a rule of thumb, the earnings taken into account for monthly paid employees are those set out on the last two payslips before the Qualifying Week (which is the 15th week before your Expected Week of Confinement / Childbirth). For weekly paid employees, the last eight payslips before the Qualifying Week are taken into account.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Does my holiday pay count for my "normal weekly" earnings during the "relevant period"?

Editor: Please can you supply more information - eg do you mean you were paid a different sum to your normal weekly earnings during the qualifying week - and submit your question via the Advice & Support/Q & A page.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I currently work part time, the role is hopefully going full time but I will be 23 weeks or further, depending on start date. Will my 90% be on whatever I earned in the qualifying weeks? Or will it reflect pay change and I also get omp pay - would this be calculated on qualifying weeks or my pay on last day? Thanks.

Editor: SMP is calculated on your average weekly earnings in the 15th week before your due date. For company policies on maternity pay, check your contract.

Anonymous | Report this comment

My employers have reduced my hours from 40 hours down to 25, but refuse to write up a new contract. How will this effect my maternity pay. i have 3 months before I come off.

Editor: If you are talking about Statutory Maternity Pay, this is generally calculated based on average earnings in the 15th week before the due date so you should be okay. If you have any further questions, eg, about the contract, please email our legal experts via the Advice & Support/Q & A box as we will then have your email so we can follow up with any additional questions they might need to give full advice.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I left my job on the 31st August due to relocation. My baby is due at the end of November and because I was working for this employer during the qualifying period they agreed to paying me SMP. However, they said it would be easier for them to pay me this as a lump sum with my final August payslip. I wasn't aware of the implications of this at the time so agreed. I have been heavily taxed on this, along with great NI and Student loan deductions. Firstly, I wondered will I be able to claim any of this back? Secondly, when does my maternity leave officially begin and end, when can I begin a new job? And thirdly, what happens if the SMP rate goes up in April next year, as my employer will not have taken this into account when they paid the lump sum.

Editor's note: The following link will help you with information on being paid SMP in a lump sum -http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/spmmanual/SPM21030.htm.  
Although payment in a lump sum is often convenient for both you and your employer, in certain circumstances it can lead to overpayments of national insurance contributions for both parties and overpayments or underpayments of the SMP itself. YOu can reclaim the tax, but it depends on individual circumstances. You’ll need to complete a tax repayment claim form (also called an R40) which, along with guidance notes, can be obtained from HMRC’s website at www.hmrc.gov.uk (and search for R40). Please send the other questions via the Advice & Support/Q & A box as then we will have your email and our experts can advise you better and may have follow-up questions.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I am due the 3rd of Feb, 15 weeks before this date will be Sunday the 21st of October, the above states the normal pay date on or at the end of the qualifying week. I would get paid on the Friday the 26th. Is this the end of the week and therefore the payslip they will use or will the use the previous two months?

Editor: They normally use the end of the 15th week before birth to calculate SMP. See http://www.dwp.gov.uk/publications/specialist-guides/technical-guidance/ni17a-a-guide-to-maternity/statutory-maternity-pay-smp/ 

Anonymous | Report this comment

I was working 16 hours a week, but from 1st October they put it down 12 hours week. I am due on 4 December and am on maternity now as I can't walk well, so how will it work with my money?

Editor: Your SMP will be calculated according to your average earnings in the 15th week before your due date so that should be based on the 16 hours a week. 

Anonymous | Report this comment

I am due  5th Feb 2013. I am paid on the 28th of each month. Will my qualifying months wages be August and September? Or September and October? I will be paid on the 26th of October due to 28th being a Sunday.

Editor: SMP is usually calculated based on your earnings at the end of the 15th week before your due date. See http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/calcs/smp.htm 

Anonymous | Report this comment

My employer deduced 200 pounds from my wages for overpayment I received in the previous month in my relevant period, and therefore my SMP is less. Is this all right?

Editor: You will need to send a question via our Advice and Support/Q  & A page box as our experts may need your email to ask follow-up questions so they can respond properly.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I am just trying to work out my maternity and have some questions. Work has calculated my qualifying week is the 15th September. I am due on the 27th December. They are calculating my pay from the 15th and 8 weeks back. Can I confirm is it the payslips they look at so what I was paid in July and August? So really looking at the hours I worked in June and July as I get paid a month in arrears. So not what I actually worked in the qualifying weeks?

Also my timesheet was late getting processed for July due to me being on holiday then my line manager being away. So I did not receive a payment in August but double in September. So has this effected my SMP because if they look how much I received into my bank for July and August it was only the once payment for the work I did in June.

Sorry it's all very confusing.

Editor: Could you send this question via the Advice and Support/Q and A page box as then we have your email and can reply directly and ask any follow up questions we may need to?

Anonymous | Report this comment

My employer has just started paying me SMP, but it is only one week's pay even though I'm usually paid monthly? Will they now pay me weekly or monthly? They are now closed for Xmas so I can't contact them.

Editor: SMP is a weekly rate so it should normally be paid weekly - see http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/spmmanual/spm21020.htm. However, you could talk to your employer about this when you are able to. 

Anonymous | Report this comment

hi there, I am trying to change my holidays so I earn more on my "qualifying week". I am on maternity leave at the moment. Will this affect the rest of my SMP? or will I still get it as usual just differently?

Editor: I am not clear what you mean. Could you explain a bit more via the Advice & Support/Q & A page box so I have your email and can respond directly and ask any follow-up questions. If you are on maternity leave, are you not already receiving SMP?

Anonymous | Report this comment

What happens to the rest of the 11 weeks when my 13 weeks of SSP finishes?

Editor: Could you provide a little more information please. Are you on maternity leave? If so, how many months have you been on maternity leave? When did your SSP start? If you could respond via the Advice & Support/Q & A page box we will have your email and be able to ask any specific questions which might help our experts to advise you properly.

Anonymous | Report this comment

hi, I work for an agency although I work 40+ hours per week and have done for the last 18mths. they have calculated my maternity pay for me, but I'm confused as to at what rate I accrue my holiday pay whilst off on maternity leave? Is it done as an average of 40hrs per week or is it less as I'll only have the standard £135 per week after the first 6 weeks I'm off?

Editor: Could you send in your question via our Advice & Support/Q &A page box as we will then have your email and be able to ask follow-up questions in order to answer more accurately, eg, what does it say in your contract about holiday pay?

Anonymous | Report this comment

I am contracted 14 hours a week, but do a lot of overtime and have qualified for SMP, but I'm a little confused whether the amount I will be paid will be based on my contracted hours or whether it will be an average of the amount I worked during the qualifying period. HR confused me more when we spoke!

Editor: SMP is based on average weekly earnings. To calculate your average weekly earnings your employer will average your gross earnings over a period of at least eight weeks up to and including the last payday before the end of your qualifying week. The qualifying week is the 15th week before the week your baby is due. This period may vary depending on how often you are paid – weekly, monthly or other intervals. For working out SMP purposes, ‘pay’ means gross pay that is due to you before any deductions. Your employer will take into account your gross pay that you received in the set period, as long as it counts for National Insurance (NI) contributions (or would count if you earned enough or were old enough to pay NI contributions). If you get sick pay, overtime payments, bonus payments, arrears of pay or holiday pay this is all included to work out your SMP, if you actually get them in your set period. It is when you get paid the money that counts, not when it was actually earned.  

Anonymous | Report this comment

I am not going back to work. Will I get my holiday paid at the normal rate or sat pay?

Editor: You are entitled to accrue annual leave during maternity leave as if you are still at work. The general rule is that they cannot treat you any differently because you are on maternity leave. If you are not returning to work they will have to calculate how much you have earned and pay you for it. 

Anonymous | Report this comment

I was overpaid wages and my employer will be taking back £160 per month for 6 months to recover the overpayment, this will be from Jan to June. My baby is due in July so the overpayment will be reclaimed during both qualifying pay slips, will this affect my SMP?

Editor: Your SMP is calculated based on gross pay, ie before deductions so it should be fine, but check with your employer.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I came off maternity leave in March 2012 and am due to go back March 2013. The company gave everyone a pay rise apart from me in April 2012... I am not going to go back as I feel I have been unfairly treated by a few things my employers have not done for me. My question is I have 9 days holiday to be paid at the end of maternity leave. Should I get them paid with the extra pay rise or am I not entitled to it like they said as I was off on maternity leave... any help would be helpful.

Editor: You are entitled to holiday pay for leave accrued during maternity leave.

Anonymous | Report this comment

regarding the question above.... would i be entitled to the pay rise everyone got 1 month after my mat leave started.....thanks for your help

Editor: You have the right to equal pay and benefits when you are pregnant or on maternity leave. This includes to a pay rise to which you would have been entitled if you had not been on maternity leave.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi i have returned to work after Mat leave following the stillbirth of my daughter in August 2012. I feel this is too soon and wish to take sick leave but am also 7 weeks pregnant. Can i go from SSP into SMP? Or will i have to return to work before i go off on maternity leave again in order to get SMP? Thanks

Anonymous | Report this comment

I have an Edd of 19 June and understand my December and January salary is the salary they use to calculate my smp. However we get salary rises and bonuses on 1 July each year how will this work. I go on maternity leave at 2pm on my due date and will take 6 weeks maternity leave and then 2 weeks holiday returning mid august

Anonymous | Report this comment

I'm 39 weeks and I'm still working part time.I worked over 28 hours a week until I became 36 weeks but for my last 4 previous weeks my hours was reduced to 12 hrs. Is this how much I will be getting paid during my maternity leave?

Anonymous | Report this comment

I am entitled to 6 weeks full pay and 12 weeks half by my employer - when this finishes will I automatically be given statutory maternity pay? 

Editor: Check with your HR department, but you should get the remaining weeks at SMP rates, ie £135.45 a week.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I had a week off this week and am receiving SSP. I plan to go back to work as normal until I can go on maternity leave which is in 14 weeks. Does this affect my maternity pay and if I was to have a day off sick within these 14 weeks does that affect my SMP as well??

Editor: Your SMP will be calculated on your average gross weekly earnings over the eight weeks before your 26th week of pregnancy so you should be fine. If you get sick pay, overtime payments, bonus payments, arrears of pay or holiday pay this is all included to work out your SMP, if you actually get them in your set period. It is when you get paid the money that counts, not when it was actually earned.

Anonymous | Report this comment

My baby is due on 21/07/13. My employer has just made my position redundant. I am currently in a 30-day consultation period which will end on 19/02/13 and then I have a 12-week notice period that I do not have to work which ends on 14/05/13 which I have calculated to go beyond the qualifying week. Will my employer still have to pay my maternity pay or can I ask for this as a lump sum as part of my redundancy package?

Editor: If you are still in your job by your qualifying week you will still get SMP via your employer. You can ask your employer to pay it as a lump sum on your redundancy.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I'm 16 weeks pregnant and work in a school. Altogether I have 13 weeks left till I can go on maternity leave. I am just wondering about my maternity pay though. I keep reading about a qualifying week for it - what does this mean exactly?? And if I am only working 9 more weeks out of the 13 (because of school holidays as I work in a school) does this affect my SMP? I get paid the same money every month and my wages get spread over the year (so I get paid for the holidays as well so it's all like a normal wage). I have read somewhere that if I get a monthly wage or something then I have to have 8 weeks of my normal pay etc not SSP because my Maternity Pay could be affected. Is this correct?? Thanks.

Editor: SMP is worked out on your average weekly earnings in the eight week period before your 26th week of pregnancy so you should be okay since you get paid a regular amount, as long as it is over £107 a week. Otherwise you would probably be eligible for Maternity Allowance.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I got paid a large sum of money that was owed to me over a period of 3 yrs. This was paid to me in my qualifying week. Will this be disregarded when working out my average weekly earnings?

Editor: You do not mention if this is a one-off sum. Your SMP is based on your average gross earnings over the eight weeks before your 26th week of pregnancy. You average weekly earnings for SMP will be based on all your earnings that are subject to National Insurance contributions. Therefore, your earnings can include overtime, commission, bonuses or other sums paid during the SMP calculation period on which National Insurance contributions are paid. In some cases you may benefit from an increase in earnings which will increase the amount of SMP you receive or sometimes your SMP can be reduced if your earnings are lower than normal during the SMP calculation period. 

Anonymous | Report this comment

I have been on maternity leave since February 2012 (maternity allowance). I will be returning to work in February 2013 part time, but have just found out I am pregnant again and am 9 weeks! Will I be entitled to MA again and if so how many weeks will I have to go back to work for?

Editor: You should be eligible if you were eligible before, but you may even be eligible for SMP, depending on your earnings [over £107 a week] since you must have been an employee of the company for over 26 weeks. In that case, the first six weeks would be at 90% of your average weekly salary in the eight-week period before your 26th week of pregnancy. That would mean your SMP would certainly be affected if you were not back at work during this eight-week period.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I need to complete an SMP1 form. Can you help with a question. The week the baby is due is 7/4/13
The qualifying week for SMP which is 15 weeks before the week the baby is due is 23/2/12. The maternity pay period - the mat pay period is the period during which you could get SMP is ? - please help.

Editor: I am unclear about your question. To claim SMP, you should get a MatB from your midwife and all you have to do is hand it to your employer. It is your employer who sends an SMP1 form to you if you do not qualify for SMP.  You would only have to fill in the SMP1 form if you are an employer. If you do not qualify for SMP, you might be able to claim Maternity Allowance instead. You can find out more about claiming Maternity Allowance from the Jobcentre Plus.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hello, I have an EDD of 27/06/2013. I am paid weekly on a Friday in arrears. Can you confirm my qualifying dates for me? I work them out to be 13/01/13- 10/03/13 - is this correct? I plan to go on holiday from 23/03/2013 and I do not get paid holiday pay, so want to ensure my qualifying period is over before I take any time off.

Editor: Your qualifying period is the eight weeks before your 26th week of pregnancy. Your SMP will be worked out based on your average weekly pay over this period.

Anonymous | Report this comment

On Monday Feb 11th I will be 16 weeks pregnant. I have been informed by my employer (Friday the 8th February)that I am in consultation for redundancy and when I am made redundant (they have assured me that this is going to happen) I will be given 9 weeks notice. I have calculated that should I be expected to work until Monday April 15th (assuming confirmation of redundancy is made on Monday) which would be the second day of my qualifying week for SMP. However our company handbook states that You are entitled to SMP if:
"you have been continuously employed for at least 26 weeks at the end of the Qualifying Week and are still employed by us during that week". Would Payment in Lieu of Notice be classed as employment? Also what duration should I expect the consultation period to take?

Anonymous | Report this comment

If we are getting paid SMP for 39 weeks what's for next weeks up to 52nd week of maternity leave? Are we getting paid for those last weeks or not?

Editor: I'm afraid SMP only covers the first 39 weeks. The rest is unpaid.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I worked 16 hours per week before I went on matternity leave in December. My employer has not contacted me about workings of my SMP. Should I have got this by now and how can I work it out on my own? Would my working and child tax increase because of the dip in my monthly pay? I have already informed them I am on maternity leave.

Editor: Did you ask your employer about SMP at least 28 days before you wanted it to start? You should have told them the day you wanted to go on maternity leave and when you wanted the SMP to start - see https://www.gov.uk/statutory-maternity-pay/how-to-claim  - and your maternity pay should have started on the date you specified and certainly by now, if you are eligible. If you are not eligible your employer should have alerted you. Contact HMRC. On tax credits, see the following - http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/taxcredits/keep-up-to-date/changes-affect/family-change/maternity-adoption.htm 

Anonymous | Report this comment

I currently have a job which is due to end on April 4th. I'm due on July 1st. Although my employers have agreed to pay me SMP, I do not want it to begin in April, as the baby will only be 5 months old when it stops. Do you know if there is any type of benefit I can claim between the months of April and July until my SMP starts? And is it up to me when my SMP starts even though my contract ends in July?

Editor: It is up to you to say when you want your SMP to start. Did you tell your employer when you wanted it to start when you handed in your MatB form? You cannot in any event normally be paid SMP more than 11 weeks before the baby is due. If you leave your employment after the start of the qualifying week you can still get SMP.  If you leave your employment after the start of the qualifying week but before the start of the 11th week before your EWC, your MPP will start from the 11th week before your EWC; if you leave your employment after the start of the 11th week before your EWC but before the date you told your employer you wanted your MPP to start, your MPP will start from the day after you leave your employment. Check out turn2us.org.uk with regard to possible benefits you can claim until your SMP starts.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I am recently unemployed, but have worked for 26 weeks at over £200 a week over the test period and have been told that I qualify for maternity allowance. In order to recieve this maternity allowance and have the calculations on my old job I needed to leave the employment I was with until a week ago before the 10th of March. My most recent employers owe me holiday pay that they will give to me on this Friday (8th March), if I recieve the holiday pay, will I still be entitled to use my previous employment as MA as I earnt full-time wages and not part-time wages? I have technically already resigned the job, but will get a pay slip on 8/3/2013, and told I need to be unemployed from the 10/3/2013, I guess this is ok?!

Editor: You do not say how many weeks pregnant you are. Do you mean that with holiday added on you might fall into eligibility for SMP ie past 26 weeks pregnant? If not, you should qualify for MA. See http://www.dwp.gov.uk/publications/specialist-guides/technical-guidance/ni17a-a-guide-to-maternity/maternity-allowance-ma/

Anonymous | Report this comment

I began maternity leave on 27 August 2012 after being promoted and receiving a payrise effective from 1 October 2012. My employer is currently paying me OMP based on my previous salary as they say they have no contractual obligation to pay my new salary as this was not effective when my leave began and OMP is a discretionary payment. Is this correct? I've quiote the equality and human rights commission to them but they still don't agree!

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi will my half pay still be based on my 15th week before I'm due if I have two jobs for one employer but one job is temporary until march 2013. I'm due June 2013

Thanks amy

Anonymous | Report this comment

Are you allowed to do paid, freelance work for another employer during your maternity leave? I intend to take a year off, but the odd day of well paid freelance work would be a real help. Thank you!

Editor: You can do self-employed work during maternity leave without it affecting your SMP.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Thank you so much (I asked the above question). Do I have to clear it with my permanent employer or is it simply nothing to do with them? Thank you.

Editor: You don't have to clear it with them unless it says something about doing so in your contract, but, depending on the circumstances, it may be a good thing to let them know in case they later find out. It's up to you.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I'm only contracted to do 11 hours a week, but I work loads of overtime. I've earn't more than £107 a week in my relevant weeks due to this overtime. Does this mean my employer must pay me SMP?

Editor: Overtime earnt in your qualifying period does count towards SMP.

 

Anonymous | Report this comment

I am 16 years old and at school but I have a weekend job earning approx £50 a week. I have been employed since January 2012. I am expecting a child in August 2013 prior to attending college in September 2013 and then hopefully returning to my part-time job of approx 10 hours a week/weekend. Do I qualify for any form of maternity allowance?

Editor: If you fit the earnings and employment qualifications - ie that you have worked for 26 out of the last 66 weeks before your baby's due date and have earned over £30 a week in any 13-week period.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hello, my baby is due on a Friday which means the month used to calculate my AWE is the month before I had my annual bonus payment made. If my baby actually arrives after the Sunday of that same week it means my AWE would be pushed back to be calculated to include the month of my bonus. Is it possible to request my AWE are re-calculated (so they would include this month and be much higher) after the baby is born?

Editor: If you get a pay rise which is effective from anytime between the start of the eight week calculation period for SMP and the end of your ordinary maternity leave (26 weeks), your employer should re-calculate your average earnings and adjust the amount of SMP you get. Your employer can get help with re- calculating your SMP from the HMRC Employer’s Helpline.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hello, I'm 16 weeks pregnant. I'm employed more than 26 weeks with my employer. I'm a foreigner and I'm planning to give birth abroad and spend the whole of my maternity leave abroad. Can I take the rest of my holiday pay (two weeks) before my maternity leave starts (which will be in my 27th week of pregnancy)? Can I receive my SMP if I'm abroad 9 months during my maternity leave?
 

Editor: Your SMP should be paid in the same way as your normal pay. You can take holidays before maternity leave or after.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I currently work part time for the council in a school so will I receive half pay plus SMP as I signed to say that I shall be returning back to work. My half pay plus SMP is more than my weekly earnings.

Editor: I'm afraid I don't understand this. Your SMP is based on your average weekly earnings in the eight-week period running up to your 26th week of pregnancy. If you are on maternity leave and pregnant again, your pay will be based on your SMP earnings only and depending on where you are in your maternity leave, you might only qualify for Maternity Allowance.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I am about to start a new role, but am currently trying to get pregnant. I have been offered a one year rolling contract, but was previously employed by the same company on an ad-hoc, week by week basis filling out timesheets (it turned out they needed me every week any how). I would quite like to work in this informal way again; it suited me because I could also work elsewhere on the side. Please is there a comparison of the likely maternity rights in each set-up? I'm going to need every penny so need to weight everything up! Many thanks!

Editor: A one-year contract gives you greater security and if your firm offers extra maternity benefits you could qualify in time, eg, enhanced maternity pay and paid sick leave, etc. Also if the ad hoc [freelance?] work was not guaranteed weekly you could find your SMP being reduced as it is calculated based on your average weekly earnings in the eight weeks before your 26th week.

Anonymous | Report this comment

My qualifying week commences 26th May 2013. I have been through a consultancy process and my role has been made redundant. According to my notice letter, "all my benefits, including salary, the accrual of annual leave, pension contributions etc will continue as per current arrangements up to 27th May 2013". I gather this means I would still be eligible for SMP as I would be under contract for at least one day of my quaifying week. However, my employer would like to give me payment in lieu of part of my notice so that my last day actually in work would be 30th April 2013. All payment in lieu would be subject to tax and NI. Regarding PILON, my employment contract simply states that "We will give consideration to wiaving the working of notice and in such cases PILON will be given." It does not say either way whether they can impose it on me or not. My question is... if I accept the PILON will I still be eligible for SMP? Am I allowed to refuse the PILON and say I will work my full notice period in order to be eiligle for SMP? Thanks so much for your help, I have no idea who to go to with this issue.

Editor: Does your contract allow your employer to offer PILON as an alternative to notice? If you get PILON, the effective date of termination is the date the employee leaves and not the date on which the notice would have expired, which would not cover you for SMP. Do you believe your employer may be trying to avoid SMP via this process as you may have a case for pregnancy discrimination?

Anonymous | Report this comment

The contract doesn't actually state if they are "allowed" to offer PILON as an alternative to notice as far as I can tell. The full mention of PILON and notice in the contract is as follows: "Formal written notice will include the effective date, incorporating the relevant contractual notice period. We will, as far as possible, give sympathetic consideration to waiving the working of notice periods and, in such cases, PILON will be given. Oustanding accrued annual leave not taken including that accrued during PILON, will be paid to staff made redundant. This is taxable."

Does this help at all?!

Editor: Our HR expert Tara Daynes says: if PILON isn't specifically stated in the T&Cs then they can't make someone take it. The contract may refer to garden leave which can be used as a way of someone not working their notice, although they would still be employed. 

 

Anonymous | Report this comment

Thanks so much for your help! Really appreciate it. Looks hopeful...

Anonymous | Report this comment

I am due on 31st July 2013. I was made redundant and my last working day with the employer was 10th April. My employer has stated that I will get my maternity pay (in one lump sum) as soon as I qualify which I am estimating is around 18th May. My question is because my employment ended on 10th April will this reduce my SMP due to me not receiving a wage for the 5 or 6 weeks prior to the date that I can start receiving SMP? Or will they have to calculate from the last 8 weeks I was employed?

Editor: Your SMP is based on your average weekly earnings in the eight-week period leading up to the 26th week of your pregnancy. If you were still employed at your 26th week you will qualify for SMP and it will be at 90% of your average earnings in the 8 weeks before your 26th week for the first six weeks then at the standard rate of £136.78 for the remaining 33 weeks.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I went on maternity leave on the 2nd March 2013. Baby was due on the 10th March. Would my qualifying week be 26th November and would they use November payslip. I'm paid monthly on the 25th every month.

Editor: SMP is based on your average weekly wages in the eight weeks leading up to your 26th week of pregnancy.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I am on a monthly salary so I understand that maternity pay will be weekly. I am starting maternity on Sunday 5th May, will my first maternity payment go into my bank on Friday 10th may (as they pay staff weekly on Fridays) or will my maternity be a week in hand... So in that case the first payment will be 17th May? 

Editor: Your SMP should be paid in the same way and at the same time as your wages. It is normally paid weekly, but your employer can pay you monthly. Check with your employer. If you are being paid weekly, your pay will start from the date you gave for starting your maternity leave, ie the first week of maternity leave.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I am monthly paid and have received exactly 4 weeks SMP each month, even on the longer months - is this right? I thought it went on how many Sundays were in the month, therefore my March pay should have been 5 weeks' SMP? Does this mean my employer will have to continue to pay me SMP for 9.75 months - to get to the full 39 weeks that I am entitled to?

Editor: If an employee is paid monthly, average weekly earnings are calculated by adding together the earnings received on the last normal monthly pay day before the end of the qualifying week and any earnings received after the last normal payday at least eight weeks before that. That figure should then be divided by the number of months’ earnings it covers, multiplied by 12 and then divided by 52. For most women, the relevant payments will simply be the last two monthly payments received by the end of the qualifying week. If you think that your employer has made a mistake or you are having difficulties with your employer paying SMP you should write to your employer or make a formal complaint. If you and your employer do not agree, you can ask your local HM Revenue and Customs Officer to make a formal decision. You must apply within 6 months. If HMRC order your employer to pay your SMP, your employer can be fined for failure to pay it. You can also make a claim in an employment tribunal for unlawful deduction of wages if your employer does not pay all or part of your SMP. You must make a tribunal claim within 3 months.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I am currently on SMP and my 39 weeks run out early Jan 2014 - I do not intend to return back to work and will give notice two months before 39th week. What benefits as a single parent can I then claim?

Editor: You can find out about benefits you can claim via www.Turn2us.org.uk. It will depend on your individual circumstances.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I'm 16 weeks pregnant and my contract is only 8 hours a week, but I do 25 - 30 hours a week. Is my maternity pay based on my contract or is it based on the hours I work per week?

Editor: It will be based on your average weekly earnings [ie what is on your payslip] over the eight-week period leading up to your 26th week of pregnancy.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hello. I am 36 weeks pregnant now and on annual leave, as my employer told me that I am not entitled to statutory maternity leave as I have not been with my company for over a year. I started my work there in September 12, meaning I have worked there for more than 35 weeks. My question is about the test period for maternity allowance. Does the starting date of my test period mean that I have to live and work exactly from that date? As I came to England in August 2012, and started working after a month, in September, and am still working. I have a permanent contract of 25 hours per week. Am I entitled to maternity allowance? 

Editor: You just need to have worked for 26 of the past 66 weeks so you would qualify - see https://www.gov.uk/maternity-allowance/eligibility. Ensure you have given the correct notice. With regard to statutory maternity leave, you should qualify if you have an employment contract, whether it is part or full time - see https://www.gov.uk/employers-maternity-pay-leave/eligibility-and-proof-of-pregnancy. If you suffer a pregnancy-related illness in the last four weeks of your pregnancy maternity leave will automatically start.

 

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I started a new job on 7th May 2013 and found out I was pregnant on 20th May. I am due on 23rd December. Does my employer have to pay me SMP?

Editor: To be eligible for SMP you need to satisfy the continuous employment rule which states that you must have worked for your employer continuously for at least 26 weeks up to the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth - known as the ‘qualifying week’. See https://www.gov.uk/maternity-pay-leave/eligibility. 

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I am currently on maternity leave and my 39 weeks paid leave will finish on 2.8.2013, then I will start my next maternity leave on 2.11.12, baby is due on 2.01.14. Will I get maternity pay if I decide to take my full leave till 2.11.12 and won't be paid between 2.8 and 2.11. Or can I take 28 days earned holiday in this period?

Editor: If you are talking about SMP, the qualifying period on which this will be calculated is your average earnings in the eight weeks before the 26th week of your pregnancy so if you are not earning anything in that period this will affect any maternity pay. Eligibility for SMP is based on continuity of employment and on an earnings rule - you must earn more than £109 a week in the qualifying period. It may be worth returning to work between your periods of maternity leave, even if oinly for a few weeks, if this coincides with the qualifying period to ensure you qualify for SMP.

Anonymous | Report this comment

My partner's employer (a care company) where she's worked fulltime for over a year doing on average around 55 hours a week have now slashed her hours to around 30 a week. I'm guessing this will affect her SMP due to the way it's calculated? As with many care jobs they employ everyone on a non specified hours contract, but is this practise commonplace and / or legal as it would appear they're clearly reducing her hours so as to lessen the cost of her SMP!

Editor: Your partner may have a claim for discrimination and detrimental treatment if her employer is cutting her shifts because of her pregnancy or in order to avoid payment of Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP). There will be circumstances in which a genuine reduction in work will mean that an employer will have to reduce the amount of work offered to its employees but this must be done in a fair and non-discriminatory manner. She should speak to her employer about the reduction in her shifts and, if necessary, she can raise a formal grievance using her employer’s grievance procedure. If your partner's pay is reduced during the calculation period for SMP, approximately eight weeks or two months before the 15th week before your baby is due, her SMP may be lower or she may not qualify for SMP at all and may have to apply for Maternity Allowance. If she thinks her employer is deliberately reducing her hours to avoid having to pay SMP she can make a complaint to her local HMRC officer who will make a formal decision.

Anonymous | Report this comment

My employer said I am entitled to the lowest rate of maternity pay. I don't know what that means.

Editor: I would think they mean Maternity Allowance - see https://www.gov.uk/maternity-allowance/overview

Anonymous | Report this comment

i started my maternity on the 4 December 2012.l had my baby on the 17 of January. I turned 21 in April, but my boss didn't put my wages up so I asked her about it and she said instead of putting my wages up she is just going to pay it in a lump sum in September which is when my paid maternity ends. Is this allowed?

Editor: Are you talking about the minimum wage which for those over 21 should be £6.19 an hour? Are you still on maternity leave? If you are on maternity leave and are receiving maternity pay for this job you would not be getting wages. Can you explain a bit more?

Anonymous | Report this comment

I was on sick pay running up to my 29 weeks of pregnancy, but they say I didn't work enough hours. How does this work because I am still contracted to return to work when I have the baby so now I am not entitled to any money.

Editor: Entitlement to SMP is based on your average earnings in the eight weeks leading up to the 26th week of your pregnancy. If you have not been earning over £109 a week on average in this period, you would not be entitled to SMP. However, you should still qualify for Maternity Allowance - https://www.gov.uk/maternity-allowance/eligibility. Maternity Allowance is £136.78 a week for 39 weeks compared to SMP which is 90% salary for six weeks then £136.78 for the remaining 33 weeks. To claim MA you need to download the correct form here and send it to the address specified - https://www.gov.uk/maternity-allowance/how-to-claim.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I will be due to go on to SMP on October 14th. I was wondering how do I work out my take home amount after tax and NI?

Editor: Your SMP will be 90% of your salary for the first six weeks then £136.78 or 90% of salary [whichever is lower] for the following 33 weeks. Tax and NI will be deducted as normal - see https://www.gov.uk/calculate-your-maternity-pay. Tax is calculated by taking your gross income for a tax year, deducting any allowances you may be entitled to (usually only your 'personal' allowance which is £9,440), and then charging tax on the balance ('taxable income') at the appropriate rates.

Anonymous | Report this comment

24th of June was my first day of Maternity Leave. Today was my pay day, but I didn`t get money. I am waiting all day and my manager still hasn't answered. Where can I ask for help in this situation?

Editor: Does your work have a payroll department you could contact direct? Your employer is responsible for your SMP, but you could also try HM Revenue & Customs Enquiry Line on 0845 302 1479 for advice and information.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I went on maternity leave December 2012 and had my baby late January 2013. I have just found out I'm 12 weeks pregnant. Would I still be entitled to SMP?

Editor: SMP is based on your average weekly earnings in the eight weeks leading up to the 26th week of your pregnancy and this looks as it if would fall in the unpaid part of your maternity leave. To qualify for SMP you need to earn over £109 a week. To get round this you could return to work for at least the eight-week period. Otherwise you should qualify for Maternity Allowance - https://www.gov.uk/maternity-allowance/overview

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I went on maternity leave December 2012 and had my baby late january 2013. I have just found out im 12 weeks pregnant. Would I still be entitled to SMP?

Editor: Your SMP is calculated on your average weekly earnings in the eight weeks leading up to your 26th week of pregnancy which is likely to coincide with your unpaid period of maternity leave for your first child. To qualify for SMP you need to be earning at least £109 a week. It may make financial sense for you to return to work for at least that eight-week period. Otherwise you should qualify for Maternity Allowance.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I happened to take all of my annual childcare voucher allowance for 2012/3 tax year in 3 payslips - 2 of which are the ones used to calculate SMP. My SMP is therefore significantly lower than it would be if the vouchers had been taken over the full years' payslips. Is there anything that I can do about this, ie a justification to calculate SMP on the taxable earning with just the monthly £243.00 allocation of childcare voucher salary sacrifice deducted?

Additionally, my employer actionned the vouchers over 3 months, not 4 as requested and this has therefore pushed the monthly CV payments higher over the 3 months than 4, and consequently wages and SMP are lower. Is there anything I can do about this, as it is my employers' delinquence that has caused this, even if I cannot do anything about the previous query?

Editor: You should contact HMRC's helpline on 0845 302 1479. You could also ring your childcare voucher provider and explain the situation. They are likely to have faced certainly the former issue you raise before.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, my EWC commences on the 9th December 2013, I currently claim the full monthly entitlement for childcare vouchers (£243) and am paid on the 15th of every month (2wks in advance in 2 in arrears). I have only just realised the implications of this re: maternity allowance. Please could you clarify for me whether my allowance will be calculated on the June and July or July and August payslips? I think I might already be too late to cancel my voucher payments and boost my maternity pay.

Also (in case the August payslip will be taken into account) do you know if student loan contributions would also affect the calculation of maternity pay? I'm wondering if I pay off the remainder in a lump sum (it's due to finish in November anyway) whether this would boost my maternity pay. Any advice much appreciated!

Editor: SMP is based on average earnings in the eight-week period before your 26th week of pregnancy. For Maternity Allowance you must be earning £30 a week in any 13-week period over the 66 weeks up to the week your baby is due. The 13 weeks do not have to be in a row and you may choose the weeks with the most earnings to help you get more MA. This is based on gross earnings.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Thanks very much for your speedy help, yes it was SMP I was most concerned (and confused) about. Do you know whether the student loan deductions affect calculation of SMP? Looking at my payslip I think not, but want to be sure. 

Editor: SMP is based on gross pay so any subsequent deductions would not be included.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, if I request reduced hours after my qualifying week, should my maternity pay be calculated based on the new reduced hours, or those worked in the qualifying period?

Editor: Your SMP will be calculated on your average weekly wages in the eight weeks up to your 26th week of pregnancy.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I just found out I'm pregnant, due 15/3/14. I started a 6-month temporary contract on 13/5/13 and earn around £725 a month. From what I've read it looks like my contract end/ review date is 2 weeks short of qualifying for statutory maternity pay. Is that right? Would I be entitled to maternity allowance if my employer does not extend my contract?

Editor: You would be covered for SMP if you are still employed as of the 26th week of your pregnancy. If not, you should be entitled to Maternity Allowance if you have worked for 26 weeks in the last 66 weeks before the due date of your baby and satisfy the earnings requirements, which it appears you do.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi..I'm 11 weeks pregnant (due Feb). I'm worried already about when the baby comes and the whole maternity pay. I'm contracted 12 hours weekly, but do over 25 hours every week and have done for 5 years. Is it true they only work maternity pay with your contracted hours?
There's no way I can live on that if that is the case. I'll be losing £300 a week :-(
Will be better off on income support.

Editor: SMP is, for the first six weeks, 90% of your average weekly wages calculated based on payslips for the eight weeks before your 26th week of pregnancy. The remaining 33 weeks are usually paid at around £136.78 a week.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I started work for a company on 5th of Jan 2013 and my baby is due 1st October 2013. Am I allowed to get smp? And when can I leave work? I planned to leave 5th Sept, but do I have to stay a bit longer?

Editor: The earliest you can start SMP is 11 weeks before your due date. You will qualify for SMP if you fell pregnant after you started your job and if you have been there past your 26 week of pregnancy, which I think is the case, and if you earn over £109 a week.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I am 25 weeks pregnant and have been signed off work for the past 5 weeks due to morning sickness, but I received full pay which was ssp and work paid the rest. If the last 8 weeks were my relevant weeks will it affect my smp? Or will I get my normal amount because I was still receiving full pay?

Editor: Your SMP is based on your average weekly earnings in the eight weeks leading up to the 26th week of your pregnancy - ie your total gross earnings.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I work in a nursery term time only, that means I don't get paid during term or summer holidays. My baby is due 10/01/14 , my last payslip was at the end of July, nothing on August due to summer holidays. I am now back to work and my qualifying week is from the 22nd till the 28th. Would my maternity pay be calculated from the last 4 weeks in July and the first 4 weeks of September as I have a yearly contract and I have already been working there for over 2 years? Or will it take in consideration 8 consecutive weeks from the qualifying week (considering I didn't earn anything in August) ?
 

Editor: Your SMP will be calculated based on your average weekly earnings in the 8 weeks before your 26th week of pregnancy.

Anonymous | Report this comment

My usual monthly pay is £515.63,what will my monthly maternity pay be?

Editor: If you are talking about SMP, it is based on your average weekly pay in the eight weeks leading up to your 26th week of pregnancy. You will get 90% of this for six weeks then £136.78 a week  or 90% of salary, whichever is lower, for the following 33 weeks. See http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/calcs/smp.htm

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I am due to start maternity leave in April 2014. Since Jan this year I have been on a 4 day week, but for the next three months I am reverting to a 5 day week. This is great news as it coincides with the 8wk period so I will get max maternity pay. I am reverting back to a 4 day week in Jan 2014. My question is does my holiday accrual reflect the same 8 wk period, or is it more a case of what I do next year before I leave. Are there the same rules to holiday recrual, and how is it calculated if you have changing hours?

Editor: Holiday is calculated according to the hours you work and is not based on any particular time period, as is the case for SMP. See https://www.gov.uk/holiday-entitlement-rights/calculate-leave-entitlement

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I work at a school and my average weekly earnings are £57.54.
They have told me I am eligible for maternity allowance.
My 15th qualifying week will look at October's payslip (due date 30/01/2014)
We get paid a month in arrears. In October's payslip I will be paid for half of September due to the summer holidays, and want nothing in September, August or July, due to the summer break. So my earnings are going to look extremely low.
How will the government work out my average weekly earnings?
Many thanks.

Editor: For maternity allowance you need to earn £30 a week in any 13-week period. See https://www.gov.uk/maternity-allowance/eligibility

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I work 20 hours a week and monthly wage is £759 - I am entitled to OMP and SMP, as this is the case do I get paid both amounts each week? If yes this would add up to more than my monthly salary, would I get this amount or would it be dropped down to my monthly wage?

If it gets dropped down to my monthly wage could I start one later than the other to get more money back or would it always be calculated down to my wage?

Editor: OMP usually includes SMP. Check your employer's OMP scheme ie you would not get SMP on top as it is already included.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I am currently 25 weeks pregnant due 23.01.2014 and currently off work sick-pregnancy related.

Up until 30th September I worked reduced hours (30) hours and have now returned to full time hours. Will my maternity pay be 90% of my full time hours or will it be based on my reduced hours? I hope to return to work shortly.

Editor: Your SMP will be based on your average weekly earnings in the eight weeks leading up to your 26th week of pregnancy.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi Im currently on Maternity leave. My unpaid mat leave starts in December.
I have just found out I am about 4 weeks pregnant due between 6th - 16th June 2014.
I have worked for my employer for over 11 years. Would I not be entitled to SMP? I am due to return to work end of Feb 2014. Would I need to return early to be entitled? Can you help me as to the earliest date best to return to be entitled?I am totally lost and my HR department are not helping. Thanks so much.

Editor: SMP is calculated based on your average weekly earnings in the eight weeks leading up to your 26th week of pregnancy so if you are back at work at this time, you should qualify.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hello, I had my 3rd child almost 3 years ago. I was made redundant just as I was leaving on maternity leave. I was paid PILON (which I am happy is taxable) but also a sum which incorporated what would have been my entitlement to SMP / Company MP). My question is, if PILON is effectively "earnings" and taxed as such, should a lump sum (effectively damages in my understanding but not stated as such in the termination contract) in lieu of maternity pay also be subject to tax as if it were earnings? After all, the two payments effectively cover the same period then which seems odd. Many thanks for your advice.

Editor: This question has been answered by our expert Des Desai when you posted previously.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hello, I am a part-time worker contracted at 12 hours, but for the past 6 months or so I have been doing 20 hour + every week, but as overtime hours. I would like to know will my SMP be based on my contract 'earnings' or my actual pay.

Editor: It will be based on your average weekly pay in the eight weeks leading up to the 26th week of your pregnancy.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hello, I work full time and on monthly wages. End of the month as pay day. My due date is March 18th and wish to take M.L from 11th week before (from 31st March). I was off sick for past two weeks which is exactly 8 weeks before my qualifying 15 week that starts from 3rd Dec. So my concern is as I am off on week 18 (which is 8 weeks before my qualifying week) will it affect my maternity pay?

Editor: I am afraid your SMP will be based on your average weekly earnings in the eight weeks leading up to the 26th week of your pregnancy so if you are on sick pay in this period it will affect your SMP. You must earn on average £109 a week to qualify for SMP. Otherwise your SMP for the first six week is based on 90% of your average weekly earnings in those eight weeks.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi I need help I had taken holiday but received my holiday pay before I went away which made my 1st pay in the 8 week period half what it should off been will they take in to acount that I should off got more in that one pay or do I have to face the fact that I will lose out.

Editor: Your SMP will be based on your average weekly earnings in the eight-week period leading up to your 26th week. So whatever you took home in those weeks will be what it is based on.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, Can I ask how salary sacrifice affects SMP. I currently have the full amount of childcare vouchers taken off my wage every month. Is the SMP calculated on your gross pay, or pay after the vouchers have been taken off. Can you still get vouchers when on mat leave?

Editor: It will affect your SMP, but you should consult with your employer to discuss your options. For instance, some schemes allow you to opt out for the eight-week qualifying period and opt back in again. You can still get vouchers on maternity leave and this is not taken out of your SMP.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I have been with my employer for 3,5 yrs now. I am due on the 15th january 2014, starting maternity leave on the 4th dec 2013. As I am a recruiter, my role is target/commission based and therefore my (monthly) salary varies each month. However they have calculated my SMP entitlement for the first 6 weeks as £398.08, which is 90% of my annual BASIC salary. Is that correct? Or should they have not calculated it off my gross salary (incl commission, car allowance) of the months july and august? Which would add up to significant higher amount. Thank you.

Editor: Your SMP is calculated as a weekly average of your total gross earnings from your employer (and associated employers) during the qualifying period.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi there, I work 20 hours a week and will be getting 90% pay for 6 weeks then half pay plus smp for 12 weeks. 1st calucation: £89.94 half pay per week plus smp £136.78 this equals to more than my wage so £46.94 per week will be deducted for the 12 weeks so you could say losing out on £563.28
I was informed I could spread the 12 weeks half pay over more weeks thinking they meant so I would not lose any money? so have asked for it to be spread over 33 weeks. Working out I should get around £32.66 a week half pay plus smp?
But 2nd calculation given was: £15.60 half pay per week plus £136.76 smp but works out over 33 weeks they have still taken of the £563.28
Before I ask them to look in to this I wanted to ask if you think they are correct in doing this or was I right in my reasons on why to spread payments over longer weeks not to lose it? Is it because not entitled to it on first calculations which I understand,and whatever way I spread payments over I wouldnt get that difference back?
Hope this makes sense? please reply.

Editor: The pay would be the same, calculated on the basis of 6 weeks at 90% and 12 weeks half pay plus smp.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Fab many thanks for your reply, I wont go back to my HR department now as this helps alot.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I found out I was pregnant in march 2013 and was then signed off from work in April till September 16th 2013. During this period I received SSP. My employers then told me my SMP will be based on the Last 3 months payslip which were SSP payments. I went on SMP on 7 October 2013 as my baby is due at the end of november and i am now not sure if the amount is correct. they have told me my SMP high rate is 294.30 for 2 weeks and 98.10 on SMP low rate totalling 421.30. Is this right based on ssp received in aug sept and October.

Editor: Your SMP is based on 6 weeks at 90% of your average pay in the eight weeks leading up to the 26th week of your pregnancy so if you were paid SSP during this period this will affect your average pay rate. The following 33 weeks should be paid at whatever is lower: £136.78 a week or 90% of average weekly earnings. 

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi this may not be able to be answered on here but I'll try anyway,
I completed my maternity on October 28th 2013 I was paid my maternity pay monthly, I am just wondering what I will be paid at the end of November, will this be nothing or will it be the shifts O have worked in November? (I get paid monthly ordinarily) I'm just wondering if it's still a month in hand, as I returned to work on my 9th month maternity as I know they don't pay for the 10th month and on wards, I'm just wondering if I will get my usual £1,500 per month or the little or no maternity pay?

Editor: You should be paid SMP up until you return to work then your wages should start being paid again.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi I am contracted to 12hrs a week but always work either 24/36 hrs a week. Would I be able to get paid maternity pay.?

Editor: SMP entitlement is based on having worked at the organisation since just before you got pregnant to at least the 26th week of your pregnancy and on earning at least £109 a week based on your average weekly take home pay during the eight weeks leading up to the 26th week of your pregnancy, regardless of what it says in your contract.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I work as a senior carer, I am contracted to 21hours a week but always work overtime, averaging 45-55 hours a week, would I get paid maternity based on my contracted hours or average monthly pay?

Editor: You will get paid on your average take-home pay in the eight weeks leading up to your 26th week of pregnancy.

 

Anonymous | Report this comment

I got ill while i was pregnant and spent 7 months of my pregnancy off work receiving SSP. Now my baby has been born and Im due to start receiving SMP, my employer has informed me that i am only entitled to 90 percent of what i had been receiving during my time off (SSP) is this correct?

Editor: I'm afraid this is correct. SMP is based on your average weekly earnings in the eight weeks leading up to the 26th week of your pregnancy.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, if I decide to hand in my notice to leave my job on the 15th week before due date, would my employer still need to pay me SMP? Thanks

Editor: To qualify for SMP you must be working up until at least the 26th week of your pregnancy. If you resign after this you still get SMP.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I returned to work after being on maternity leave. I then announced I was pregnant again and was 26 weeks pregnant. I worked right up to my due date 4th November 2013. They started paying me smp the following week and 4 payments were paid at £170 and then last week my payment dropped to £143. Why would this be? I thought if your wage was worked out at an average payment all the 6 weeks would be paid at the same rate ! Can anyone help?

Editor: For the first six weeks, it should be 90% of your average weekly salary in the eight weeks leading up to the 26th week of your pregnancy. I would query this with your payroll department and if you are unhappy with their explanation you can contact HMRC on 0845 302 1479.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I posted the above comment early this week. I have since contact my work and asked them to explain the drop in maternity pay (6 weeks at 90%). I received a letter today with a break down of the pay but it's not correct . What can I do now ? Do I contact work and they will have to sort it out or do I contact hmrc? They have only paid me 5 weeks at 90% and the 5th payment is lower and they seem to think I started maternity leave earlier than I did. But I can prove I didn't by bank statements! My work tend to forget to post wage slips. Thank you

Editor: I would go back to them first and try to sort it out, but if you have no luck, contact HMRC.

Anonymous | Report this comment

In the qualifying 8 weeks for maternity pay, does this mean if I work overtime during this period I will be entitled to an average of that? Or is overtime not included?

Editor: Your employer will take into account your gross pay that you received in the set period, as long as it counts for National Insurance (NI) contributions (or would count if you earned enough or were old enough to pay NI contributions). If you get sick pay, overtime payments, bonus payments, arrears of pay or holiday pay this is all included to work out your SMP, if you actually get them in your set period. It is when you get paid the money that counts, not when it was actually earned.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I started my maternity leave last march and while I was on leave I got made redundant. My company still paid my maternity money up until dec . My mat leave doesn't finish til February. Am I entitled to any more money?

Editor: If you are talking about SMP, it covers 39 weeks with the remaining three months [if you have taken a year] being unpaid.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I have returned to work after a year off in maternity in October 2013. I asked for reduced hours, but in order to get these I had to step down a position. I was told in my meeting I would be on a 3 month trial in case my new hours did not suit the needs of the business or myself. However, the letter I received said '3 month review' which I took as the same thing! Anyway, I have signed the new contract in the mean time in order to start back. I was under the impression any holidays accrued whilst on maternity leave would be of my old rate/position and any accrued after I returned would be my new rate. However, my employer has said any holidays accrued are under the new contract?! Is this right? Any help appreciated!

Editor: The new holidays would apply from the date you signed the contract.

Anonymous | Report this comment

As per last post, what about the old holidays accrued whilst on Mat leave? Would these be classed the new rate now too?

Editor: The new rate would only come into effect from the date you signed up for the new hours, ie when your contract changed.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I am due to start my maternity leave in April 2014. My employer has said my maternity pay is calculated by the 11 weeks running up to the start date of my maternity leave, is this correct!?? Your article states differently so I'm a bit confused!

Editor: SMP is calculated based on average weekly pay in the 8 weeks leading up to the 26th week of pregnancy - see http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/statutory-maternity-pay-how-it-is-worked-out

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I have been signed off work since week 15 of my pregnancy and doctor has said I won't go back b4 baby is born. So only earned the £86.00 ssp in calculation period and qualifying week, does this mean I haven't earned enough to claim smp and will get maternity allowance instead?

Editor: Yes, if your pay is below £109 a week in the eight week qualifying period then you will not get SMP and you can apply at your local Job Centre Plus for Maternity Allowance.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi my 9months matty leave finished the 3rd week in december then I resumed bk to wrk will I be paid smp for them 3weeks and then whatever ive worked as I get paid monthly x

Editor: You should still be paid for the three weeks if that is within your 39 weeks for SMP.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, In the months used to calculate my SMP I received a bonus, this bonus is paid every year at the same time and is a performace related bonus, so not 100% guaranteed as to the amount. After speaking to IR they have said it is to be included in the calculation, however my company have spoken to their solicitors and they have said that it's not to be included as its not a guaranteed payment......is this correct please?

Editor: SMP is based on an average of your take home pay during the eight weeks preceding your 26th week of pregnancy so if the bonus is included in this take-home pay then it would be included - see http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/statutory-maternity-pay-how-it-is-worked-out 

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I work full time, currently on maternity leave and just received my first pay slip. My smp had been worked out correct based on my average earnings for the 8 weeks before my qualifying week.
Since my qualifying week I gained a promotion with pay rise of nearly £6000 a year, does my employer have to take this into account as I thought they did but my employer says they don't? Thanks

Editor: If your employer awards a pay rise which is effective at any time from the start of the set period used to work out your SMP and the end of your maternity leave, your employer must work out your SMP again and pay you any balance due to you.

Anonymous | Report this comment

If you are entitled to 6 weeks at 90% then 12 weeks half pay plus SMP,would you still get all of that amount if it worked out to be more than your calculated weekly wage from the qualifying period or would it be rounded down to what you would have normally earned each week? Only my employer said an employee cannot be better off while in maternity leave. Thank you for your help.

Editor: you need to check your organisation's maternity policy.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi,

i was made redundant in sept 2013 and i am unemployment since then my baby is due in july 2014. to claim maternity allowance i must have worked 26 weeks during my test period.For this employer i have worked weekdays and weekends if i count weekdays only it works out to 24 weeks can i include weekends as well to add to total calculation?

Editor: For MA weeks are counted as a period of seven calendar days so if you worked one or two days in one week it is still counted as a week and if you worked seven days it is still counted as one week too.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, my company are paying me 50% of my salary and the new rate of SMP. I seem to be getting taxed a hell of a lot and also they're taking my student loan. Without giving too much details on my income, am I meant to pay tax on SMP?

Editor: SMP is taxable. SMP is regarded as earnings for PAYE (Pay As You Earn) and NICs. But it may be that the earnings will not be high enough to attract payment of NICs and may also produce a tax rebate.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I was made redundant just after starting my maternity leave & have just finished my 12 weeks notice. My next wage slip will include my redundancy pay but also my lump sum of smp & omp. I understand you are taxed on smp, what about omp?

Editor: Both SMP and OMP are treated as earnings and you will pay tax, National Insurance and pension contributions as appropriate. 

 

Anonymous | Report this comment

My working hours vary, as i wasn't given a contract from my employer to sign. I worked till i was 35 weeks,than i went for maternity leave… how can i calculate my SMP. As my Employer only paid me 5 payments, but never delivered me any payslips.

Editor: SMP is based on hour average take home pay in the eight weeks leading up to the 26th week of your pregnancy.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I started working in July 2012 and worked till November 22 2013 (the last day i got paid) then I took a few weeks unpaid leave, and submitted my maternity form on the 30th of January 2014 (my baby is due 18th March 2014.
However, my work returned my MatB form with an SMP1 form attached (refusing to pay me maternity allowance, reason, the reason they gave was that I did not earn enough.

I have since applied for the Maternity allowance, not heard back and really worried as I fear I might not qualify for Maternity allowance either.

Are you able to advise me please?

Editor: To qualify for SMP you need to have got pregnant after you started your job and still be employed in it by the 26th week of your pregnancy and to be earning at least £109 a week based on your average weekly salary in the eight weeks leading up to the 26th week of your pregnancy. For MA, you need to have worked for 26 weeks in the 66 weeks leading up to your baby's due date and to have earned at least £30 in any 13 week period in this 66-week period. You should apply for MA through JobCentre Plus.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hello. I am 8 weeks pregnant. From 6 years I worked for the sameemployer in Uk. Will I have SMP if I will work till 30 weeks of my pregnacy but then go to Poland and there have my baby and stay all the time?

Editor: see http://www.dwp.gov.uk/international/benefits/statutory-maternity-pay-smp/

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hello. I have decided not to return to work at the end of my maternity leave. I took a year off and have accrued a full years holiday entitlement. I owe my employer a percentage of maternity pay back, which I am trying to set up some sort of repayment plan. However they are refusing to treat my holiday pay entitlement and the overpayment of maternity pay as two separate things. Is this correct?

Editor: Can you explain a little more and how this impacts on you financially?

Anonymous | Report this comment

I owe approx £1000 in OMP, and they owe me £950 holiday pay. I appreciate that it would be simpler to use one to cancel out the other, but I am a single mum and could really do with the £950 in my bank account as something to fall back on.
All I wanted to know is if they are just allowed to take my holiday pay off me, despite it being completely different to OMP ..? To me these are two separate issues and should be dealt with as such.

Editor: You need to negotiate with your employer over how you pay back the money.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi I am not entitled to SMP as I do not earn enough as only work work 4hrs per week the now due to childcare I am also not entitled to maternity allowance as they say its less than 30 a week is there anything else I can claim for?

Editor: Try www.turn2us.org.uk

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I started to work under one year contract in Company A in Nov. 2012. After working there 8 months, I left this company last July. But I came back to work in Company A again this Jan as a permanent employee. And I am nearly 4 months pregnant. Am I qualified SMP? Thanks.

Editor: You would need to have worked for the company this time round from just before you got pregnant until your 26th week at least. However, you should qualify for Maternity Allowance which you can claim through your local JobCentre Plus.

Anonymous | Report this comment

It states in my maternity pay rights I got from work that I get 10 weeks full pay is this the same as my usual pay as if I was working there I get paid on a specific date of each month thank you.

Editor: You would need to check your organisation's contractual maternity pay policy with regard to how maternity pay is worked out and whether you will be paid weekly or monthly.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi my maternity allowance runs out on the 30th of march would i get a last payment on the 2nd of april?

Editor: It should last 39 weeks. Have you had 39 weeks' payment?

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi I work 15 hours a week contract. I would like to know will I get SMP through my employer or will I have to seek help from government. Thanks

Editor: SMP is calcuated based on your average weekly earnings - you need to have earned at least £109 a week in the eight weeks leading up to your 26th week of pregnancy. You also need to have got pregnant after you started your current job and to still be in the job at the 26th week of pregnancy. If not, you should qualify for Maternity Allowance which is claimed via your Jobcentre Plus.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I'm a full time employed and full contract I have been working on the job and company for more than two years, I am now 27 weeks pregnant and I'm having premature birth dye pregnancy complications but my due date is not until July 13,2014, I've been sign off sick for six weeks, been admitted to hospital due to pregnancy illness which is on my qualifying week and my employer says that I'm not eligible for smp.. And now I'm in totally dilemma because I'm due anytime soon (premature birth) about 2 -3 weeks that's what my midwife says but I'm not gonna have any money at all.. After six weeks of being off for sick I'm back to work now on my normal contract hours and still working until I'm in active labour .. Can you please help me why I can't have smp?

Editor: To qualify for SMP you have to earn an average of at least £109 a week in the eight weeks leading up to the 26th week of your pregnancy. This must be why you fail to qualify. If you cannot get SMP, however, you can apply for Maternity Allowance via your local Jobcentre Plus. For this you need to have worked for 26 weeks in the 66 weeks before your baby's due date and to have earned £30 a week in any 13-week period during these 66 weeks. See https://www.gov.uk/maternity-allowance/overview

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I am 20 wks pregnant at the moment, however I was currently doing 40hrs+ strongly due to stuggling at work and ill health I have dropped my hours down to just 15 a week, I plan to leave work at the earliest 11 wks before my due date, will this have great effect in my maternity pay and also will I be able to claim any benefits now rather than going on sick pay to help me with the money ive lost from dropping my hours?

Editor: For Statutory Maternity Pay the amount you get will be determined by your average weekly [take home] earnings in the eight weeks leading up to your 26th week of pregnancy so it will be affected if you reduce your hours. You must earn at least an average of £109 a week to qualify for SMP. Otherwise you will probably qualify for Maternity Allowance which is 39 weeks at £136.78 or 90% of salary, whichever is lower. SMP is 90% of salary for the first six weeks followed by £136.78 or 90% of salary, whichever is lower. www.turn2us.org.uk will have details of any benefits you might be entitled to.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, my baby is due in October. I am currently contracted 12 hours a week, but work 24 usually. I get paid monthly. My company pays full pay inc. SMP for first 6 weeks, half pay inc. SMP for 12 weeks, then next 21 weeks at SMP or 90% of earnings if less.
Will my pay be calculated based on my contracted hours or will the extra hours be taken into account?

Editor: For SMP it should be calculated on your average take home pay in the eight weeks leading up to the 26th week of your pregnancy. Check your maternity policy for details about your occupational maternity pay.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi dear I work 14 hours per week ,(contract ,part time ),usually is 19hours ,last week 12.04.2014 I left for my maternity ,my baby due is 17.05.2014 ,I receive letter from my job ,that's I'm not entitled for maternity pay because I'm not do enough hours ??? This mean I will not get any money?with my first child 4 years ago I was work also part time but 20 hours /week and I was entitled some company some boss so I don't understand

Editor: SMP entitlement is not based on hours worked but on salary so you would have to be earning an average of at least £109 a week in the eight weeks leading up to the 26th week of your pregnancy and to have been in your current post just before you got pregnant until at least the 26th week of your pregnancy. If you do not qualify for SMP, you should qualify for Maternity Allowance which you can claim from your local Jobcentre Plus.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I work full time hours mon-fri. Our staff handbook says i am entitled to 13 weeks basic pay and then 26 weeks ordinary maternity leave on SMP. How do they work this out? The calculator online doesnt take into account the 13 weeks on full pay from my work. Thanks.

Editor: You would get your normal salary for 13 weeks and then £138.18 for the remaining weeks.

Anonymous | Report this comment

hi. my baby is due on the 12/06/2014. I started my maternity leave on the 02/05/2014. I work full time ,36 h a week. 5 weeks before my maternity leave started i got a pay rise. this week i got a payslip and my maternity pay is really low. i thought i get 90% of my weekly pay for first 6 weeks. can you tell me how can I calculated maternity pay corectly on my own ? thank you.

Editor: You should get 90% of your average weekly earnings for the first six weeks of SMP. To calculate your average weekly earnings your employer will average your gross earnings over a period of at least eight weeks up to and including the last payday before the end of your qualifying week. The qualifying week is the 15th week before the week your baby is due. This period may vary depending on how often you are paid – weekly, monthly or other intervals. For working out SMP purposes, ‘pay’ means gross pay that is due to you before any deductions. Your employer will take into account your gross pay that you received in the set period, as long as it counts for National Insurance (NI) contributions (or would count if you earned enough or were old enough to pay NI contributions). If you get sick pay, overtime payments, bonus payments, arrears of pay or holiday pay this is all included to work out your SMP, if you actually get them in your set period. It is when you get paid the money that counts, not when it was actually earned. If your employer awards a pay rise which is effective at any time from the start of the set period used to work out your SMP and the end of your maternity leave, your employer must work out your SMP again and pay you any balance due to you.

Anonymous | Report this comment

hello again. so if I have understood correctly...my baby is due on the 12/06/2014 I should take into account 8 weeks starting from 21.02.2014 backwards ? Is that right?I am being paid every week. By gross earnings you mean my wage before tax deduction?
so what I need to do is calculate an average pay of those 8 weeks together (gross earnings) , than take 90% from it minus tax ?

Editor: That's right. It is calculated based on average take home pay in those eight weeks before the 26th week of pregnancy so would include any overtime, etc.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi.I have lost my job end of February 2014. Now I am 8 weeks pregnant. I worked out I have worked 24 weeks in my test period (which is not enough to claim MA). I had 4 weeks notice period what I didnt have to work on but it was paid. Does it count as working weeks? Can I add that to my 24 weeks? Thanks

Editor: You just have to have been employed for 26 weeks in the 66 weeks before your due date so it would count.

Anonymous | Report this comment

hi I have been on sick leave for 2month before my maternity leave started. Am i entitled to get maternity leave? and how do you calculate if i have been working before full time for 2,5years?

Editor: You are still entitled to maternity leave if you have been on sick leave. I am not sure about the second part of your question. Is it regarding SMP? SMP would only be affected if you were sick and on Statutory Sick Pay in the eight weeks leading up to your 26th week of pregnancy. You have to earn at least £109 on average in those eight weeks or you will not qualify for SMP. However, you should be able to claim Maternity Allowance.

Anonymous | Report this comment

im 24 weeks pregnant and my baby is due 21st sept 2014 and I currently get paid monthly on the 27th but from the 9thjune 2014 my employers have reduced my hours and pay to weekly so does my qualifying week go on my monthly earnings?

Editor: Your qualifying period is the eight weeks leading up to the 26th week of your pregnancy and is based on your take home pay in that period. See http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/statutory-maternity-pay-how-it-is-worked-out

Anonymous | Report this comment

so i need to contact anyone when suppose o finish to pay me, or they just gonna stop paying? my agency did all this work to get me those st.maternity pay. how it works?

Editor:Your employer should organise SMP for you if you submit the correct forms which you get from your midwife. Then you will be paid for the 39 weeks. You only have to inform HMRC if you start a new job and then your SMP will stop the week you start the job.

Anonymous | Report this comment

thank you for the answer. If i decided to not come back to work, my baby just breastfeeding? what's happened then?

Editor: You would have to give your normal contractual notice and if you are talking about SMP you would not have to pay anything back. If it is contractual maternity pay, you need to check your contract.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hello, I am currently on SMP. My baby was due 6th March 2014 & I told by my employer my 6 weeks 90% pay was calculated based on September 2013 & October 2013's earnings, even though the qualifying 8 week period of 23 to 15 weeks before due date is from 26th September to 21st November. Whilst I was at work I was paid monthly & had a lot of time of due to pregnancy related illness, so my 90% has been less than my salary. However if they have incorrectly accounted for September entirely instead of just those few last days & haven't accounted for November whatsoever, then I have been under paid. Could you please tell me if what they have done is correct?

Editor: If you are monthly paid, your employer seems to have acted correctly - see https://www.gov.uk/statutory-maternity-pay-manually-calculate-your-employees-payments - the part on monthly payments.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I started maternity pay on 2 december 13 whilst i have been of we had a rise of 1 pound hour starting April 1st i have had no change to maternity pay is this fair thanks

Editor: If your employer awards a pay rise which is effective at any time from the start of the set period used to work out your SMP and the end of your maternity leave, your employer must work out your SMP again and pay you any balance due to you.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hello,

When I have started my maternity leave, I still had 5 holiday left. Did they have to pay me these 5 days at 100%?

Thanks a lot

Editor: You accrue holidays in the usual way during maternity leave. These can be added on at the beginning or end of your leave or be paid in lieu.

Anonymous | Report this comment

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