New Maternity Rates
New Maternity Rates, So How Does The System Work?
Every April, the Maternity Leave allowance set by the government is reviewed and generally increased. But what does it all actually mean to you, a colleague or a friend who becomes pregnant? How does it work?
As this month sees the new rate for Statutory Maternity pay kick in with a figure of £172.48 per week we thought this would be good time to explain exactly what this may mean to you and others.
The rate which annually usually increases every April covers a 39 week period of maternity leave. Any additional maternity leave taken after the 39-week period will go unpaid unless your employer has written enhanced maternity pay into your contract of employment.
There are two types of maternity pay: Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) and Maternity Allowance.
Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) is paid for up to 39 weeks. It starts when staff take maternity leave or if you are off work with a pregnancy-related illness in the four weeks before baby is due. It’s paid in the same way as your normal wages.
There are two rates of pay for (SMP): For the first six weeks employees are paid 90% of their average pay. The average is calculated from the pay you actually received in the eight weeks or two months up to the last pay day before the end of the qualifying week. After that you would be paid a flat rate of £172.48 per week for 33 weeks, or 90% of your average earnings if that is less.
To be eligible for SMP, employees must:
- Earn above the lower earnings limit (above £123 per week).
- You have worked for your employer in the 15th week before your baby is due and have worked for them for at least 26 weeks before that date.
If the criteria listed above are not met, then your employer will not be responsible for your maternity pay. Instead you can claim maternity allowance from the government. Your employer you will need to complete an SMP1 form for you to obtain this.
The Graham Agency, working with you.