What are the rules concerning maternity/paternity/adoption pay and shared parental leave?

What are the rules concerning maternity/paternity/adoption pay and shared parental leave?

Statutory Maternity Pay, Ordinary and Additional Statutory Paternity Pay or Adoption Pay and Shared Parental Pay

Employees who become parents – either through birth or adoption – are entitled to pay and time off work, provided they meet certain qualifying conditions.  As an employer you must make the appropriate payments to qualifying employees. See www.hmrc.gov.uk for further information. The following shows who is entitled to what benefit payments.

  • Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) is payable for 39 weeks to mothers who are absent from work to have a baby.
  • On the birth of a baby, Ordinary and Additional Statutory Paternity Pay (OSPP and ASPP) are payable to the father or to the mother’s partner (male or female). OSPP and/or ASPP is also payable on adoption of a child either to the partner of a person adopting or, where a couple adopt, to the partner who doesn’t apply for Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP).  ASPP is not available for births and adoptions after 5 April 2015.
  • SAP is payable when a child is adopted. Where a couple adopt together, only one person is entitled to SAP . For entitlement to OSPP and ASPP, mother’s partner  must have or expect to have main responsibility for the upbringing of the child (apart from the mother).
  • Shared Parental Pay may be available for parents whose children are expected to be born or placed for adoption on or after 5 April 2015 and take shared parental leave (see page 16 – Shared Parental Leave). You must only pay SMP, OSPP, ASPP or SAP if the employee meets certain qualifying conditions.  You should pay these in the same way as you would make normal payments of wages and salaries.  You should be able to recover some or all of the SMP, OSPP, ASPP or SAP that you pay from HMRC.  There is a helpful guide and calculator at www.hmrc.gov.uk/payerti/employee/statutory-pay/smp-calc.htm