Statutory Maternity Pay Guide for Employers (2012-2013)

Statutory Maternity Pay Guide for Employers (2012-2013)

General information

Employees and employers in Northern Ireland

Arrangements in Northern Ireland are similar to those in Great Britain, but there are differences in detail.

  • Northern Ireland has its own legislation covering SMP and maternity leave schemes.
  • The Incapacity Benefits Branch (IBB), Castle Court, Belfast deals with social security claims for Maternity Allowance and Incapacity Benefit. For more information go to or phone 028 9033 6000.
  • For Jobcentre Plus in Northern Ireland the reference is the Jobs and Benefits office.
  • The Department of Employment and Learning’s, publication ER16 Maternity Rights provides basic information on this. More information including employment protection legislation is available from

Free confidential advice on employment law is available from the LRA. Go to or phone 028 9032 1442.

More help

For more information about SMP you can:

Information on all aspects of employment legislation is also usually available from Citizens Advice, low pay units, trade unions and other bodies.

An employee who is not entitled to SMP may be entitled to other government help. They can go to or phone Jobcentre Plus on 0800 0556688 for more information or in Northern Ireland the Jobs and Benefits office.

A Department for Work and Pensions online leaflet NI17A A Guide to Maternity Benefits is available for women who need more information on SMP or on Maternity Allowance (if they cannot get SMP). This also has details of other social security benefits and where to get more information. Go to

Throughout this SMP Guide further references to the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) will be referred to as Acas, go to and in Northern Ireland the Labour Relations Agency (LRA) will be referred to as LRA, go to

Visits from HMRC

From time to time, HMRC officers visit employers to see if their payroll is running smoothly. If they call on you HMRC will ask to see your SMP records.

Additional Statutory Paternity Pay (ASPP)

ASPP is an additional payment given to eligible fathers to allow them to take time off work to have more involvement with raising their child. An eligible father is a partner, civil partner or spouse of a mother who is entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) or Maternity Allowance (MA).

Employers are responsible for administering the scheme and paying their employees the ASPP to which they are entitled. All statutory payments are treated as earnings for Income Tax and NICs purposes.

For more information see the E19 (2012) Employer Helpbook for Ordinary and Additional Statutory Paternity Pay.

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