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Statutory Maternity Pay

Statutory Maternity Pay PAYROLL

An updated employer guide has been published for employers who are paying Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) for employees.

In order to calculate an employee’s SMP the following information is required:


  • the baby’s due date;
  • the employee’s intended start date for SMP, if she’s given you one;
  • the employee’s gross pay and the dates she was paid;
  • confirmation that the employee’s gross earnings are liable to employer’s Class 1 National Insurance contributions (NICs) or would be but for the employee’s age or level of earnings.

An employee’s entitlement to SMP also depends on their Average Weekly Earnings

(AWE) in the ‘relevant period’. The AWE must include all earnings on which Class 1 NICs are due, or would be due if they were high enough. The relevant period is usually the 8 week period preceding the 15th week before the baby is due, known as the qualifying week. The AWE is currently £112.

SMP is a weekly payment made over a 39 week period. The SMP is payable at

  • 90% of the employee’s AWE for the first 6 weeks with no upper limit;
  • £139.58 (£140.98 from 5 April 2017) or 90% of their AWE (whichever is lower) for the remaining 33 weeks.

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