Statutory Maternity Pay

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) is paid for up to 39 weeks. You get:

  • 90% of your average weekly earnings (before tax) for the first 6 weeks
  • £156.66 or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower) for the next 33 weeks

SMP is paid in the same way as your wages (for example monthly or weekly). Tax and National Insurance will be deducted.

You can use the maternity pay calculator to work out how much you could get.

If you take Shared Parental Leave you’ll get Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP). ShPP is £156.66 a week or 90% of your average weekly earnings, whichever is lower.

Start date

SMP usually starts when you take your maternity leave.

It starts automatically if you’re off work for a pregnancy-related illness in the 4 weeks before the week (Sunday to Saturday) that your baby is due.

Problems and disputes

Ask your employer to explain your SMP if you think it’s not right. If you disagree about the amount or your employer cannot pay (for example because they’re insolvent), contact the Statutory Payment Disputes Team.


Statutory Maternity Leave

You qualify for Statutory Maternity Leave if:

  • you’re an employee not a ‘worker
  • you give your employer the correct notice

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)
To qualify for SMP you must:

  • earn on average at least £123 a week
  • give the correct notice and proof you’re pregnant
  • have worked for your employer continuously for at least 26 weeks continuing into the ‘qualifying week’ - the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth

If you usually earn an average of £123 or more a week, and you only earned less in some weeks because you were paid but not working (‘on furlough’) under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, you may still be eligible.

You cannot get SMP if you go into police custody during your maternity pay period. It will not restart when you’re discharged.

Early births or you lose your baby

You can still get Statutory Maternity Leave and SMP if your baby:

  • is born early
  • is stillborn after the start of your 24th week of pregnancy
  • dies after being born

If you’re not eligible for SMP

Your employer must give you form SMP1 explaining why you cannot get SMP within 7 days of making their decision. You may be eligible for Maternity Allowance instead.

How to claim

At least 15 weeks before your due date, tell your employer when the baby is due and when you want to start your maternity leave. Your employer can ask for this in writing.

Your employer must write to you within 28 days confirming your start and end dates.

Use the maternity planner to work out when you must claim your maternity leave.

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)

Tell your employer you want to stop work to have a baby and the day you want your SMP to start. You must give them at least 28 days’ notice (in writing if they ask for it) and proof that you’re pregnant.

Your employer must confirm within 28 days how much SMP you’ll get and when it will start and stop.

If they decide you’re not eligible, they must give you form SMP1 within 7 days of making their decision and explain why.

Proof you’re pregnant

You need to give your employer proof of the pregnancy to get SMP. You do not need it for maternity leave.

Within 21 days of your SMP start date (or as soon as possible if the baby’s born early) give your employer either:

  • a letter from your doctor or midwife
  • your MATB1 certificate - doctors and midwives will give you this no more than 20 weeks before the due date

You will not get SMP if you do not give your employer proof that the baby is due.

One small example I could find for you is given below :

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