Statutory Maternity Pay Guide for Employers (2012-2013)

Statutory Maternity Pay Guide for Employers (2012-2013)

Operating the SMP Scheme

Has your employee given you the right evidence within the time limits?

Proof of pregnancy

Your employee must produce medical evidence of pregnancy to get SMP. You can allow leave without medical evidence. The medical evidence is usually the form MATB1 Maternity Certificate. But you can accept any document, signed by a doctor or registered midwife, that includes the date the baby is due. (The form MATB1 is signed by a doctor or registered midwife and is issued no earlier than 20 weeks before the week baby due date.)

After a maternity certificate has been given, the expected date on the maternity certificate cannot be changed. Only in exceptional cases would a doctor or midwife, following a fresh examination, issue another maternity certificate. A maternity certificate by way of replacement of an original which has been lost or mislaid, can be issued based on the original examination, in which case it shall be clearly marked duplicate.

If a woman has more than one job

If a woman has more than one job, she needs to ask one employer what other evidence they would accept to confirm the date the baby is due, as more than one maternity certificate cannot be issued showing the same expected date. This evidence can be a letter and must be signed by a doctor or midwife that includes the pregnant woman’s name and the date of confinement. It must also be stamped and if issued by the midwife, must have the midwife’s PIN number and the expiry date of registration.

There is no reason why the woman cannot show one employer the original MATB1 Maternity Certificate, which the employer can then photocopy and then note the copy that the original has been seen and this is a true copy of the original. The MATB1 Maternity Certificate can then be given back to the employee for use by the other employer.

Employee does not give medical evidence

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 MA 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 should SMP not be payable to her.

Once you have medical evidence you must provide form SMP1 to your employee if SMP is not due from you.

Time limits

The time limit for producing medical evidence for pay is 21 days from the start of the SMP pay period. If there is a good reason for the evidence being produced late you must accept it, provided the evidence is produced by the end of what would be the 13th week of the SMP pay period. You can refuse to pay SMP if your employee does not give you medical evidence of the date the baby is due.

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.

If you do not pay SMP, you must tell your employee why on 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).

Employee provides you with a non-UK MATB1 Maternity Certificate

If your employee provides you with a non-UK Maternity Certificate or a letter which provides the information broadly the same as the MATB1 which is the name of the UK form, for a period when they were abroad that requires translation into English, HMRC can only arrange translation where you are in dispute with your employee on their SMP entitlement, otherwise you should refer the non-UK MATB1 to an outside translator.

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