Starting a new business? Get 40% off our accountancy services for 3 months! 😎

x

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.
 

What is Statutory Maternity Pay?

How much Statutory Maternity Pay is my employee entitled to?

When should my employee return to work?

How do I pay my employee Statutory Maternity Pay?

How do I reclaim Statutory Maternity Pay that I pay to employees?

Do my employees accrue holiday pay on Maternity Leave?

Can my employee work while on Maternity Leave?

What if my employees are not entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay?

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) is an ‘employee benefit’ for members of the team who are pregnant and go on maternity leave when their baby is due to be born.

Eligible employees will receive regular payments of SMP into their bank account, which they can receive for up to 39 weeks.

Are all my employees eligible for Maternity Pay?

In some cases, not all of your employees will be eligible. They must meet the following criteria:

Employees who have a child through surrogacy don’t qualify for Statutory Maternity Leave, and are covered by Statutory Adoption Leave and Pay instead.

SMP can be paid to your employees for a maximum of 39 weeks.

Your employees are entitled to take up to 52 weeks maternity leave.
 

Ordinary Maternity Leave The first 26 weeks
Additional Maternity Leave The last 26 weeks

 
The earliest leaving date for your employee to go on maternity leave is 11 weeks before the expected week they’re due, unless they go into labour earlier.

You can calculate your employees SMP using the SMP Calculator.

Your employee has the right to return to their normal position if they take:

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.

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.

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.

For more advice, check out our Maternity Pay and Maternity Allowance guide.

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.

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.

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).
 
Learn more about our online accounting services for businesses. Call 020 3355 4047 to chat to the team and get an instant online quote.

About The Author

Rachael Johnston

A creative content writer specialising across business, finance and software topics. I have a love for all things writing, and creating engaging, easy to understand content that helps everyday people! Learn more about Rachael.

More posts by this author
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Read more posts...

What is a Non-Established Taxable Person for VAT?

There are special VAT rules in place for online sellers who are classed as non-established taxable persons (NETPs), and use an online…

Read More

The Accountancy Partnership – Our Positive Reviews

Here at The Accountancy Partnership, we’re proud of our customer reviews The reviews we receive from our customers show how hard we…

Read More

What Type of Legal Structure Should I Choose When I Start a Business?

The structure that you choose when you start a business affects how the business operates, the amount of tax you pay, how…

Read More
Back to Blog...

Confirm Transactions

The number of monthly transactions you have entered based on your turnover seem high. A transaction is one bookkeeping entry such as a sale, purchase, payment or receipt. Are you sure this is correct?

Yes, submit my quote
No, let me change it

Please contact our sales team if you’re unsure

VAT Returns

It is unlikely you will need this service, unless you are voluntarily registered for VAT.

Are you sure this is correct?

Yes, the business is VAT registered
No, let me change it

Call us on 020 3355 4047 if you’re not sure.

Bookkeeping

You will receive our bookkeeping software Pandle for free, as part of your package.

You can use this to complete your own bookkeeping, or we can provide a quote to complete your bookkeeping for you.

Please select and option below:

I will do my own bookkeeping
I want you to do my bookkeeping

Call us on 020 3355 4047 if you’re not sure.