Maternity pay
Maternity pay

The following Employment guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Maternity pay
  • Pay during time off for antenatal care
  • Pay during suspension from work
  • Pay following removal of agency worker on maternity grounds
  • SMP—entitlement
  • SMP—continuity of employment
  • SMP—definition of employee
  • SMP—period of entitlement
  • SMP—notification
  • SMP—rate and payment
  • SMP—recoupment
  • SMP—records
  • SMP—calculator
  • SMP—remedies
  • Maternity allowance
  • Contractual maternity pay
  • Statutory and contractual rights
  • Effect of pay increases on maternity-related pay
  • Bonus payments
  • Non-pay benefits

Employees may be entitled to various types of payment relating to pregnancy or maternity, such as:

  1. pay during time off for antenatal care (see below)

  2. pay during suspension from work on maternity grounds (see below)

  3. pay following removal of agency worker on maternity grounds (see below)

  4. statutory maternity pay (see below)

  5. contractual maternity pay (see below) and other relevant pay

  6. maternity allowance, payable by the Benefits Agency, with entitlement depending on the individual's previous NI contributions (see below)

Apart from maternity allowance, these payments are generally made by the employer.

The mother of a child whose expected week of birth begins on or after 5 April 2015 and a second person (who must be the father of child, or married to, or the civil partner of, or the partner of, that mother) may also be entitled to share (if they wish) up to 37 of the 39 weeks of pay to which the mother would otherwise be entitled as maternity pay. For further information, see Practice Note: Shared parental pay (birth).

For information:

  1. on maternity leave generally, see Practice Note: Maternity leave

  2. on keeping in touch (KIT) days, see Practice Note: Work during maternity or adoption leave—keeping in touch days

  3. on the right to return to work after maternity leave, see Practice Note: The right to return to work after maternity leave

  4. on the