Statutory Maternity Pay (and Statutory Adoption Pay)

Who is it for?
For SMP, the mother must have worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks by the 15th week before the baby is due and earn an average of £95.00 (gross) or more a week; and still be employed in the 15th week before the baby is due. For SAP, if you are a couple, either partner can be the claimant (with the same criteria as SMP) and the partner can claim Statutory Paternity Pay.

Who pays it?
Employer. Disputes handled by HMRC.

Which leaflet? And how is it claimed?
NI17A. Tell employer you wish to claim, provide maternity certificate and give 21 days’ notice of leaving date.

What are the age limits?
16 and over.

National Insurance based?

Means tested?

How long does it last?
39 weeks.

What is effect on other benefits?
Overlaps with certain NI benefits. Counts in full for all means tested benefits. First £117.18 of SMP/SAP ignored when calculating WTC/CTC.

Is it taxable?

Increases for dependants?

Payable if in EU or other?
Yes, if UK employer in EU.

Points to watch
If you satisfy the conditions with more than one employer you are entitled to SMP/SAP from each. SMP/SAP can be paid even if the mother isn’t going back to work after the baby is born. SMP/SAP is paid at 90% of average weekly pay for the first 6 weeks and £117.18 a week for the next 33 weeks (or 90% of average pay if lower). IS may be due as a ‘top-up’ or at end of SMP/SAP period.

You can view details of benefit amounts on the Community Care Inform website

The A-Z of Benefits 2009 was compiled by Gary Vaux and Community Care Inform


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