There’s lots to think about as an employer, but one big thing you don’t want to fly under your radar is what to do when your employee shares the news they’re pregnant.
While a congratulations are in order for starters, you’ll also need to put their mind at ease and answer any burning questions they have. This usually revolves around their leaving date, and Statutory Maternity Pay.
Your business might already have procedures in place for this, but don’t worry if it doesn’t! We’ll guide you through Statutory Maternity Pay to help you prepare.
If your employee takes more leave than this, they’ll have the right to return either to their previous role, or something similar upon their return if it isn’t possible to give them their old job.
How do I pay my employee Statutory Maternity Pay?
Once you’ve calculated how much SMP your employee is entitled to, you’ll pay them as normal through your payroll (or let your provider know, if you outsource it). And just like you would a salary, you’ll deduct any National Insurance and taxes too.
How do I reclaim Statutory Maternity Pay that I pay to employees?
The good news is you can claim back most of the SMP that you pay to your employees. You can use your payroll software to calculate how much you’re expected to get back, and then include it in an Employment Payment Summary when you report your payroll information to HMRC.
Can I give my employees more than the standard SMP?
You can offer your employees a maternity scheme which offers them more than the statutory amount of maternity pay. This is completely up to you, but something to consider as a way to attract and retain staff.
If you do have a scheme, ensure that it’s easy to understand and available to all employees.
Do my employees accrue holiday pay on Maternity Leave?
Yes, employees on maternity leave accrue holiday pay like any other employee. It can’t be taken while they’re on maternity leave though, so it’s best to sit down with your employee and discuss taking some leave either before or after their maternity leave – so they’ve taken everything they’ve accrued.
Can my employee work while on Maternity Leave?
Your employees will be entitled to ‘keep in touch days’ (sometimes known as KIT days) if it’s something you both agree on. They can work up to 10 paid days, or 20 for Shared Parental Leave.
These can be good to keep in touch with your employee, while keeping them up to date on the business.
What if my employees are not entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay?
If your employee doesn’t qualify for SMP, they may be entitled to Maternity Allowance instead. You’ll need to fill out an SMP1 form within 7 days of coming to this conclusion. They need to receive this within 28 days of their request for SMP or the birth (whichever one is earlier).
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