Do I need to consider maternity pay?

One of my employees is pregnant. What are my considerations in regard to maternity pay?

If your employee qualifies for statutory maternity pay the responsibility to pay her rests with you but it can be recouped from your national insurance contributions. As a small company you should be able to recover 103 per cent of the total of all payments of Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) made in the same tax month.

How much you pay will depend on when the baby is due as the rates change in April each year. SMP usually starts when they take their maternity leave. For the first 6 weeks she is entitled to 90 per cent of her average weekly earnings over the eight weeks immediately prior to the 14th week before the expected week of childbirth. For the remaining weeks she is entitled to whichever is lower between 90 per cent of salary and the set rate.

Example: If 90 per cent of your employee’s weekly salary was £114.16, which is below the current SMP rate of £145.18/week (2018 figures), she would receive this amount over the whole period.

Related: How to handle maternity leave

For latest SMP rates see: Maternity pay and leave – at

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Peter Done

Peter is the founder and group managing director of Peninsula Business Services, established in 1983.

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Maternity Leave

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