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Lawyer Crystal Bolton from Michael Lewin Solicitors explains how maternity pay works in the video below.
She says that to qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay you need to have been employed by your employer for at least 41 weeks when your child is born. You also need to have been paying National Insurance for at least eight weeks from 15 weeks before the baby is born.
SMP is six weeks at 90% of average earnings following by 33 weeks at this rate or the statutory government rate, whichever is lower. If you do not qualify for SMP you should get Maternity Allowance from your local JobCentre Plus, for instance, if you have just started a job while you are pregnant or are self employed.
If you are absent from work in the last four weeks of your pregnancy for a reason that is partly or wholly related to your pregnancy your SMP or MA will start the following day.