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A Guide to Statutory Maternity Pay and Maternity Allowance

If you’re the director of a company and wishing to pay yourself, or if you’re an employer, then it’s important to understand maternity pay.

There are two main types of maternity pay. Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) is paid through an employer using the same method that payments for wages are usually made. This basically means that SMP is paid via the usual payroll system already in place. Employees qualify for SMP on the basis of how much they earn, and how long they have worked for you.

Maternity Allowance is for people who are not eligible for SMP for any reason. Instead of being paid through an employer’s payroll, MA is claimed by applying directly to the government.

Read our guide to the different types of maternity pay, eligibility criteria for SMP and MA, and processing SMP through payroll.


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