Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)

How is Statutory Maternity Pay calculated?

Statutory Maternity pay is typically 52 weeks which is then made up of:

  • Ordinary maternity pay which is for the first 26 weeks
  • Additional maternity pay which is for the last 26 weeks

You do not have to take the full 52 weeks but you must take 2 full weeks after your baby is born. There is a condition that if you work in a factory it must be 4 weeks.

When can I take my leave?

You can start you SMP 11 weeks before your expected date of childbirth. It then starts automatically if the baby is early or if you have a related complication/illness in the 4 weeks before the Sunday to Saturday of when your baby is due. There are calculators available on HMRC website or please contact us for support with working out if we complete your employers payroll.

What am I entitled to for my SMP?

There is a basic calculation which cover most employees, please get in contact with your employers for specific details affected by average pay:

  • SMP is paid for 39 weeks and you will get 90% of weekly wage (averaged) for the first 6 weeks
  • Currently £184.03 which changes at budgets or 90% of your average wage, the lower of each of these two figures for the last 33 weeks.
  • For shared parental leave you get similar but please contact your employer
  • It normally starts when you take your SMP or if you finish early as noted above
  • If you do not feel your employers has calculated properly there is a dispute team available on 0300 322 9422 which is by HMRC

How do I know if I am eligible for SMP?

You will qualify if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are an employee, not a worker, who will have different rights
  • You have given your employer the correct notice
  • You have to have averaged £123 a week
  • Most important is you have to have been employed for 26 weeks continually into the qualifying week which is the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth

This covers most of the main criteria but please contact your employer first if you have any queries. If you are looking for support with your company payroll or other accountancy services please email us at or call 0141 204 0930


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