Maternity pay

Produced by Tolley in association with Sarah Bradford

The following Employment Tax guidance note Produced by Tolley in association with Sarah Bradford provides comprehensive and up to date tax 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
  • Confinement
  • SMP ― period of entitlement
  • SMP ― notification
  • SMP ― rate and payment
  • SMP ― calculation
  • More...

Maternity pay

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

  1. pay during time off for antenatal care

  2. pay during suspension from work on maternity grounds

  3. statutory maternity pay (SMP)

  4. contractual maternity and other relevant pay

  5. maternity allowance (MA) (payable by Jobcentre Plus, with entitlement depending on the individual’s previous national insurance contributions)

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

Maternity pay is often calculated with reference to a week’s pay. For information on how to calculate this, see the Calculating a week’s pay guidance note.

The Statutory payments guidance note contains more information on the calculation and administration of maternity pay as part of payroll.

For the interaction between maternity pay and the arrangements in place in relation to coronavirus, see the Coronavirus job retention scheme (CJRS) guidance note.

As announced at Budget 2020, the Government will create an entitlement to neonatal leave and pay for employees whose babies spend an extended period of time in neonatal care, providing up to 12 weeks paid leave so that parents do not have to choose between returning to work and taking care of their vulnerable newborn. In addition, the Government will consult on the design of a new in-work entitlement for employees with unpaid caring responsibilities, such as for a family member of dependents (see Spring Budget 2020, p 53 (web) para 1.182).

Pay during time off for antenatal care

A pregnant employee who makes an appointment for antenatal care on the advice of a registered medical practitioner, midwife or nurse is entitled to be paid for the time she takes off to attend that appointment. Appointments for antenatal care can include attendance at antenatal or parenting classes if recommended by a doctor or midwife.

She is entitled to be paid at ‘the appropriate hourly rate’, which is one week’s pay divided by her normal weekly working hours. If her normal working hours vary from week to week, the average is taken

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