Statutory Maternity Pay Guide for Employers (2012-2013)

Statutory Maternity Pay Guide for Employers (2012-2013)

Has your employee been employed by you long enough?

Length of employment

To get SMP the employee must be employed by you continuously for at least 26 weeks continuing into the Qualifying Week. Count part weeks of employment as full weeks.

Some breaks in employment with you count towards the 26 weeks. An employee can still satisfy the continuous employment rule, even if she has been employed by you only for short spells during the 26-week period. For more information see Break in employment under the Exceptions to the normal conditions for SMP.

Also if the baby is born more than 15 weeks before the week the baby is due, special rules apply. For more information see Baby born in or before the QW on Exceptions to the normal conditions for SMP.

Find the date the baby is due in the Tables: Important Dates for SMP and Maternity Leave, then read across to the latest start date for employment with you. If she started work for you after that date she does not qualify. You must give her 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 works abroad

Where she works for you outside the UK, from:

  • the latest start date for employment with you, and
  • up to and including the Sunday of the QW she can get SMP if you were liable to pay Class 1 NICs on her earnings throughout that period. She can still get SMP if you would have been liable to pay Class 1 NICs if her earnings had been high enough.

If you were not liable to pay Class 1 NICs throughout that period and she worked for you in the European Economic Area (EEA), she may still be able to get SMP, see the paragraph below.

Where she works for you within the EEA from:

  • the latest start date for employment with you, and
  • up to and including the Sunday of the QW she can get SMP if
  • she worked for you in the UK in the QW, and
  • you were liable to pay Class 1 NICs on her earnings for that week, or would have been if her earnings had been high enough.

See the tables showing the week baby due, the latest start date for employment with you and the QW.

All other rules apply.

Leave

Employees who work outside the UK but within the EEA, may be entitled to maternity leave under UK law.

Has your employee earned enough in the relevant period?

The relevant period

To qualify for SMP, your employee must earn on average at least £107.00 (the lower earnings limit during a specific period). This is usually the eight-week period before the relevant period. Your employee’s total earnings during the relevant period are added together and divided by the number of weeks in the relevant period to work out her AWE.

Lower earnings limit (LEL)

This is the minimum level that an employee’s AWE must reach in a specific period to qualify for SMP. For 2011–12 LEL is £102.00 and for 2012–13 the LEL is £107.00 weekly. If your employee always earns above this level, she will meet this condition.

What counts as earnings for working out SMP

Use the amount before deductions such as PAYE, NICs, pension contributions, and include:

  • payments which are earnings for Class 1 NICs including the value of any contractual benefits which count as earnings
  • all earnings paid in the period, including money earned outside the period, such as holiday pay, overtime, bonuses and any lump sum paid for arrears of pay
  • Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
  • Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)
  • Ordinary Statutory Paternity Pay (OSPP)
  • Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP)
  • Additional Statutory Paternity Pay (ASPP).

For help online go to Basic PAYE Tools where you will find a calculator and a learning program to help you understand your SMP responsibilities. See Salary sacrifice.

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