If your employee becomes pregnant, you will be required to administer Statutory Maternity Pay (if they qualify) to cover their maternity leave. There are also other things to consider such as paid time off for antenatal care and arranging ‘Keep In Touch’ days. Enable Payroll can give you plenty of support when it comes to your employee's maternity but we’ll cover off this topic in more detail below.
Is my employee entitled to maternity leave?
Yes, all pregnant employees are entitled to maternity leave regardless of how long they have worked for their employer.
- A pregnant employee may take up to 52 weeks of maternity leave in total.
- Your employee will retain their employment rights while on the maternity leave. This means they will continue to accrue holiday and you must maintain your employer pension contributions.
- If your employee decides to return before the end of the 52 weeks they must give you 8 weeks’ notice in writing.
- If your employee decides to not return to work, they must inform you within the notice period stated in the contract of employment.
Does my employee qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay?
In order to receive Statutory Maternity Pay, the employee must:
- Have been in continuous employment with you for at least 26 weeks at their 25th week of pregnancy.
- Earn over the lower earnings limit which you can find on our Tax Rates and Thresholds page.
How much is Statutory Maternity Pay?
- The first 6 weeks of Statutory Maternity Pay is at 90% of employee's gross wage.
- The remaining 33 weeks are at the current SMP rate of £151.97 or 90% of the employee's salary, whichever is lower.
- Any additional pay is at the employer’s discretion but note this cannot be reclaimed.
How does Statutory Maternity Pay work?
Statutory Maternity Pay is funded by the Government but you are responsible for submitting the maternity pay claim.
- Employers must obtain a copy of the employee's MAB1 form to apply for SMP.
- As a small employer, you may be able to receive Statutory Maternity Pay advanced funding to cover the cost of your employee’s maternity pay.
- Small employers will usually receive SMP in a lump sum which they will use to continue to pay their employee in the usual way – either weekly or monthly.
If you are a Enable Payroll client please note that we will reclaim the maternity pay from HMRC for you.
- Your employee is entitled to reasonable time off with full pay whilst they attend antenatal clinic appointments or receive antenatal care.
- Please note they may not be able to arrange other appointments with their GP or midwife at times of their choice.
Keeping in Touch Days
Statutory Maternity Leave includes 10 ‘Keeping in Touch’ days (KIT days).
- This means your employee may work for up to 10 days without bringing the maternity leave to an end.
- KIT days must be paid in line with your employee's usual wages. This must be paid by you, the employer. You can not claim this back as part of SMP.
- KIT days will not affect the maternity allowance or the SMP.
- They can be used for any work-related activity and working for part of a day should count as one day’s work.
- You can make reasonable contact during the maternity leave, for example, to discuss the employee's return to work.