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Maternity Pay

Maternity Pay 

To qualify, employees must have had been continuously employed for a period not less than 26 weeks, ending with the week immediately preceding the 14th week before the Expected Week of Confinement (EWC) and must be earning at least £90 per week (the lower earnings limit), or an average of this in the 8 weeks prior to the qualifying week. Maternity pay will be:
paid for a maximum of 39 weeks
paid for the first six weeks at 90% of the employee's average weekly earnings (with no upper limit)
paid for 33 weeks at a flat rate of £117.18 (as from 6 April 2008) or 90% of the employee's average weekly earnings, if that is less than the flat rate.
For more information, go to Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs' (HMRC) website and download booklet E15 'Employer's Guide to Statutory Maternity Pay and Leave' from the publications section. This contains easy-to-use information with examples.

Alternatively, call the Employer Helpline on 0845 7143 143. Employees who are not entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), but meet qualifying conditions based on their recent employment and earnings records, may claim up to 39 weeks' Maternity Allowance (MA) from their Job Centre Plus office. 

Maternity Allowance

If the employee does not qualify for SMP, she might be eligible for MA if she:
worked for at least 26 of the 66 weeks before the week the baby was due (a part week counts as a full week); and
earned an average of £30 over any 13 of those 66 weeks.
The standard rate of MA is £117.18 or 90% of the employee's weekly earnings, whichever is less, and it is paid for up to 39 weeks.
MA is not liable to income tax or National Insurance (NI) contributions.
The Department of BERR's 'Pregnant and Work' booklet has more information on this. It can be obtained from the Job Centre, Department of Work & Pensions and Citizens' Advice Bureau


The content and advice is for information only. Last updated 17.11.2010.

For up to date information and advice, based on your specific circumstances, please contact us.

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