Who is eligible for SMP?
To qualify for SMP you must have been:
- employed by the same employer continuously for at least 26 weeks into the 15th week before the week your baby is due (the qualifying week)
- earning on average an amount which at least equals the lower earnings limit which applies on the Saturday at the end of your qualifying week
The lower earnings limit is the amount you have to earn before you are treated as paying National Insurance contributions. This is £111 a week if the end of your qualifying week is in the 2014-15 tax year.
If you have a visa that allows you to live and work in the United Kingdom you may be able to get SMP. If your visa includes the condition that you have “no recourse to public funds” you may still get SMP provided you satisfy the qualifying conditions. The qualifying conditions for SMP depend on your recent employment and earnings history. Because of this SMP does not constitute public funds.
Please read ‘Statutory Maternity Pay – eligibility' for more information.
Your employer must give you form SMP1 if you do not qualify for SMP. If you can't get SMP from any of your employers (if you have more than one) you may be able to get Maternity Allowance (MA) instead.
How to claim SMP
To make a claim for SMP, you must:
- tell your employer when you want your SMP to start
- provide medical evidence of the date your baby is due (your GP will give you a form called a MAT B1)