Statutory Maternity Pay Guide for Employers (2012-2013)

Statutory Maternity Pay Guide for Employers (2012-2013)

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I calculate SMP?

If your employee meets all the qualifying conditions, then for the first six weeks SMP will be 90 per cent of the employee’s AWE. After that it will be either the weekly standard rate or 90 per cent of the employee’s AWE, whichever is less.

The standard weekly rate is £135.45 for pay weeks commencing on or after Sunday 1 April 2012.

There is a quick and easy method to calculate SMP which is available on the HMRC website, go to

The SMP calculator will help you to work out if you have to pay SMP to your employee and if so how much SMP you have to pay her. It will also help you to work out how much SMP funding you can get. Basic PAYE Tools also includes a calculator.

What records should I keep?

You must keep medical evidence of the pregnancy (form MATB1 or other similar evidence), records of the payment dates and amount paid, the date the pay period began, a record of any weeks in the 39-week period when SMP wasn’t paid and reasons why. Form P11 or P12 or equivalent and relevant end of year forms should also be completed. For more information see Keeping records.

What do I do if my employee is not entitled to SMP?

If your employee does not meet all the qualifying conditions you do not have to pay SMP. Instead you should return the MATB1 to your employee after taking a photocopy for your records. Then complete form SMP1 within 7 days of the decision being made. This must all be done within 28 days from the date the employee gave notice of absence (or the date she gave birth if this had occurred earlier) as she may be able to claim Maternity Allowance (MA).

My employee is pregnant but did not provide medical evidence within the required time – what do I do?

You can refuse to pay SMP if your employee does not give you medical evidence of the date the baby is due by the end of the third week of what would be the Maternity Pay Period (MPP). This time limit can be extended to the end of the 13th week of her MPP if you accept the employee’s reasons for not providing medical evidence earlier.

Once you have medical evidence you must provide form SMP1 within 7 days of the decision being made. This must all be done within 28 days from the date the employee gave notice of absence (or the date she gave birth if this had occurred earlier) if SMP is not due from you.

My employee has not given me medical evidence of her pregnancy – what do I do?

If your employee has not provided you with medical evidence then providing an SMP1 is difficult because you have no basis on which to do so. However, if the woman was employed by you in the 15th week before her expected week of childbirth, Jobcentre Plus need confirmation that SMP is not due from you and will be unable to pay Maternity Allowance to the woman without such confirmation. It is the woman’s responsibility to provide you with the evidence to enable you to issue an SMP1 to her.

What do I need to do if the baby is born early?

If the baby is born early you may be able to pay SMP. If the baby is stillborn special rules apply. For more information see stillbirth. The Qualifying rules may be adjusted in some cases of early birth.

What if I don’t have enough money to pay SMP to my employee?

You can ask your HMRC accounts office to pay you an advance of the amount you need to pay your employee’s SMP. For more information see advance funding.

What do I do if my business becomes insolvent?

If you become insolvent after the start of the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth and before the start of your employee’s pay period, HMRC will pay your employee’s SMP. If you become insolvent during the SMP pay period, HMRC will pay your employee’s SMP from the week in which you became insolvent. You should advise your employee to contact the Statutory Payment Disputes Team on 0191 22 55221. It will also help if you, or the administrator, liquidator or other similar office, can let us know which of your employees are affected. Then HMRC can pay them as soon as possible.

My employee has been made redundant – do I still have to pay her SMP?

Yes. If a woman has qualified for SMP from you then you are still liable to continue to pay SMP to her where she leaves your employment for whatever reason including redundancy. However, if after the baby is born your employee or ex-employee starts work for another employer who did not employ her in the QW, SMP should stop. For more information see Employee works for another employer. There are special rules about making a women redundant during pregnancy or maternity leave. For more information see or contact Acas.

My employee has returned to work following the birth of her child and her husband is in receipt of ASPP for the remainder of her SMP pay period. However, my employee has now gone on sick leave for 4 weeks. Do I pay her SMP or SSP?

The legislation for entitlement to SMP has not changed in that, where your employee has returned to work within her MPP, and goes on sick leave, she cannot get SSP from you. You should consider paying SMP to her. Her husband’s employer will continue to pay him ASPP during both her sickness and the remaining MPP period.

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