oc_logoThe Office Concept     Linked In    

Statutory Maternity Pay - Eligibility

Who is eligible for SMP?

You may be able to claim Statutory Maternity Pay from your employer before and after the birth of your baby. This is a weekly payment, payable for a period of up to 39 weeks.

Who can get Statutory Maternity Pay

To qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), you must satisfy two basic rules:

The continuous employment rule

To satisfy the continuous employment rule you must:

The qualifying week is:

This period must include:

Although continuous employment usually means employment by the same employer without a break, there are some circumstances when breaks in employment can be disregarded. The employment rule may be modified slightly if your baby is born prematurely.

If you are employed by an agency

If you are employed by an agency, in each of the 26 weeks into the qualifying week, you will satisfy the continuous employment rule. If you did some work during any week it counts as a full week. There may be some weeks when you did no work for the agency, but this does not mean that you may not satisfy the employment rule.

If you have more than one employer

If you have more than one job, you may be able to get SMP from each employer.

If you change employer

If you change jobs during your pregnancy, you are unlikely to be able to meet the continuous employment rule. But there are circumstances when your employment can be treated as continuous, even if your employer changes.

More information about the continuous employment rule can be found in the leaflet NI17A 'A Guide to Maternity Benefits'.

The earnings rule

To qualify for SMP, you must have been earning on average:

The lower earnings limit (LEL) is the amount you have to earn before you are treated as paying National Insurance contributions. This is £102 a week if the end of your qualifying week is in the 2011-12 tax year.

If you satisfy both the continuous employment rule and the earnings rule, your employer must pay you SMP. They must pay you SMP even if your contract ends at any time after the start of the 15th week before the week your baby is due.

There are no age limits to qualify for SMP. For example, if you are under 16 and satisfy the rules you can qualify for SMP from your employer.

Your Expected Week of Childbirth (EWC)

The important date for working out if you can get SMP and how much you can get is:

The week in which your baby is due is referred to as the Expected Week of Childbirth (EWC).

Each time you get pregnant you must use the date your baby is due to work out your SMP for that pregnancy.

If your employer can't pay you SMP

If your employer can't pay you SMP they must:

You may be able to claim Maternity Allowance (MA) instead. If you want to claim MA you'll need to send the form SMP1 to Jobcentre Plus along with your MA claim form.

More information can be found in the leaflet NI17A 'A Guide to Maternity Benefits'.


About Us | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | ©2011 The Office Concept