Statutory Maternity Pay

This is a weekly benefit available to women who are on maternity leave. It is a taxable, non-means tested benefit.

Basic eligibility

Below is the qualifying criteria for SMP

  • You must have worked continuously for 6 months for the same company by the time you reach 15 weeks before the baby’s due date
  • You must on average earn over £113 per week
  • You may not qualify if you have unusual working patterns (such as working abroad)

How much will I get?

Paid for 39 weeks in total

First 6 weeks

90% of your weekly pay before deductions

After 6 weeks

90% of your weekly pay before deductions OR £148.68 (whatever is lower)

Couples may share leave if one person does not use up all their entitlement

How do I apply?

Firstly you need to give your employer a minimum of 28 days notice, preferably in writing. You will also need to show them a MATB1 certificate, which your local doctor or midwife can issue no earlier than 20 weeks before the due date.

How will I get paid the money?

The money is paid via your normal PAYE wages. Your employer can claim the money back from the government.

The soonest you can claim SMP is 11 weeks before the baby is due, with the latest being one week after the baby is born. You can chose which date you want to receive your SMP in between these dates.

If you encounter any pregnancy related sickness 6 weeks or less before the baby is due your SMP will begin. Any non-pregnancy related illness will not have an impact on your payment start date.

Impact on other benefits

Counted as income when calculated alongside other means-tested benefit claims BUT not included as part of the Benefits Cap.