Statutory Maternity Pay SMP and
Ordinary Statutory Paternity Pay OSPP
Additional Statutory Paternity Pay ASPP

What normally applies:

  • Overview and "qualifying week"
  • The pivotal "qualifying week" is the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth.
  • This is established with proof of pregnancy which midwives and doctors usually give 20 weeks before the due date of birth.
  • Statutory Maternity Pay SMP is paid during maternity leave.
  • The employee needs to advise the employer by the "qualifying week".
  • Statutory Paternity Pay SPP is paid during paternity leave.
  • Additional Statutory Paternity Pay ASPP is dependant on Statutory Maternity Pay SMP also being claimed.

Statutory Maternity Pay SMP

  • Who qualifies
  • Employees who have worked for the employer:
  • For at least 26 weeks.
  • Up to the the "qualifying week" - 15th week before the expected week of childbirth.
  • Earnings qualification
  • up to :
  • They have earned an average of more than and
  • from :
  • They have earned an average of more than .
  • This is the National Insurance Lower Earnings Limit NI LEL threshold.
  • What the employee does:
  • Tell the employer that they want to stop work to have a baby.
  • Employee must give notice of least 28 days before the Statutory Maternity Pay SMP is to start.
  • The employer can ask for this in writing.
  • Employee must give proof of pregnancy.
  • This may be:
  • Doctor's letter or
  • MATB1 certificate.
  • Midwives and doctors usually give these 20 weeks before the due date of birth.
  • What the employer does:
  • Confirm within 28 days
  • The amounts of Statutory Maternity Pay SMP
  • When Statutory Maternity Pay SMP will start and stop.
  • Or within 7 days of making an alternative decision:
  • Advise that the employee is not eligible.
  • What the payments are:
  • Payments go with leave.
  • Paid on the normal pay day.
  • Statutory Maternity Pay SMP is paid for up to 39 weeks i.e. 9 months:
  • First 6 weeks - 90% of average weekly earnings AWE
  • From ; Next 33 weeks the lower of:
  • or
  • 90% of average weekly earnings AWE
  • Up to
  • Tax and National Insurance is deducted.
  • Holiday pay entitlement - weeks of Statutory Maternity Pay SMP count towards holiday pay.
  • Three quarters of a year of holiday pay entitlement will accrue during the full nine months i.e. 39 week period.
  • The employee can work up to 10 days, Keeping in Touch KIT days without losing Statutory Maternity Pay SMP entitlement.
  • Otherwise it ends if returning to work before the end of the 39 weeks.
  • Amounts are payable even if the employee leaves the employment.
  • But not after starting a new employment.
  • Unless the employers are associated:
  • By takeover of the business or
  • Ownership.
  • Statutory Maternity Pay SMP starts with leave or
  • Pregnancy-related illness in the 4 weeks before the expected date of childbirth.

What are the payroll calculations?

  • Normally
  • Payable on the 7th day after commencement of the payments.
  • Weekly paid due in the week in which this day falls.
  • Monthly paid in the month in which these days fall.
  • This means that the employee may be paid:
  • Probably an odd number of weeks in the first and last month.
  • Mostly 4 weeks in each calendar month .
  • Sometimes 5 weeks in a calendar month .
  • It may be helpful for the employer to provide a schedule of prospective payments with the first Statutory Maternity Pay SMP payment;
  • bearing in mind that payments could be cut short by a change of employment circumstances with the employee.
  • Where we are preparing your payroll we will normally pay in exact weeks, and 4 or 5 weeks in a month as applicable.
  • Or Pro rata
  • The employer may agree to pay amounts pro rata:
  • i.e. an odd number of days in the first and last week or the first and last month.
  • But this adds an additional layer of complication.
  • Particularly to monthly pay because of the varying number of days in each month.
  • It is far easier to calculate and agree 39 weeks than 273 days.
  • Payments in advance - lump sum payments
  • The employer may agree payment in advance
  • but runs the risk of irrecoverable over-payment if there is a change of employment circumstances with the employee.

Average weekly earnings AWE are:

  • What the actual pay slips say
  • Total gross pay,
  • Before deductions,
  • For the eight weeks preceding the start of applicable pay:
  • Statutory Maternity Pay SMP.
  • Ordinary Statutory Paternity Pay OSPP.
  • Additional Statutory Paternity Pay ASPP.
  • For monthly paid this may be parts of three monthly pay slips.
  • Gross pay includes:
  • Sick pay,
  • Overtime,
  • Bonus payments,
  • Arrears of pay,
  • Holiday pay.
  • HM Revenue & Customs consider manipulation of Bonus or other payments, to increase Average weekly earnings AWE, an abuse of the system.

Employer's Recovery:

Statutory Maternity Pay SMP continues to be recoverable by the employer even though Statutory Sick Pay SSP, paid from 6th April 2014 onwards, is not recoverable.
Deducted from PAYE/NI paid of:
Statutory Maternity Pay SMP and
Ordinary Statutory Paternity Pay OSPP - see details below and
Additional Statutory Paternity Pay ASPP - see details below.

  • Two levels of repayment:
  • Regular Employer Relief or
  • Small Employer Relief
  • Regular Employers have National Insurance payments over £45,000 in the latest tax year.
  • National Insurance payments are:
  • The total of:
  • Employees National Insurance and
  • Employer's National Insurance contributions.
  • The latest tax year is:
  • The last complete tax year, to 5th April.
  • before the the "qualifying week".
  • employee's 15th week before the week the baby is due.
  • Regular Employer Relief:
  • 92% of Statutory Maternity Pay SMP paid.
  • Small Employer Relief:
  • 103% of Statutory Maternity Pay SMP
  • The extra 3% compensates is for employer's National Insurance payable on Statutory Maternity Pay SMP.
  • Where we are preparing your payroll the recovery of SMP, OSPP, ASPP calculations are already made within the service; automatically recovering SMP, OSPP, ASPP as you pay your PAYE/NI contributions.
  • Using your own purchased payroll software, the calculations may be included.
  • The software needs to be set to Regular Employer Relief or Small Employer Relief as applicable.
  • File an Employer Payment Summary EPS with HMRC to achieve the set-off against your PAYE/NI liabilities.
  • Set-off also applies against Construcion Industry Scheme CIS liabilities.

This summary relates only to payment of Statutory Maternity Pay SMP Ordinary Statutory Paternity Pay OSPP and Additional Statutory Paternity Pay ASPP - see details below. There are wider issues of employment law and employee leave which may apply.

Ordinary Statutory Paternity Pay OSPP

  • What leave qualifies
  • For leave taken:
  • between the date of birth and
  • 56 days, i.e. 8 weeks, after the date of birth
  • Who qualifies - as for Statutory Maternity Pay SMP
  • Employees who have worked for the employer:
  • For at least 26 weeks
  • Up to the the "qualifying week" - 15th week before the expected week of childbirth
  • Who qualifies - additionally for Ordinary Statutory Paternity Pay OSPP
  • Be employed up to the date the child is born.
  • Be taking time off to look after the child.
  • Be responsible for the child's upbringing.
  • Be the father or partner of the mother.
  • Earnings qualification - as for Statutory Maternity Pay SMP:
  • up to :
  • They have earned an average of more than .
  • from :
  • They have earned an average of more than , and
  • This is the National Insurance Lower Earnings Limit NI LEL threshold.
  • What the employee does:
  • Give the correct notice by the "qualifying week" at least 15 weeks before the week the baby is expected.
  • Employees may use form SC3 Ordinary Statutory Paternity Pay/ordinary paternity leave - becoming a parent to request leave and pay.
  • Must give 28 days notice of when they want Ordinary Statutory Paternity Pay OSPP to start using form SC3.
  • What the employer does:
  • Confirm within 28 days:
  • The amounts of Ordinary Statutory Paternity Pay OSPP.
  • The two applicable weeks.
  • Or within 28 days of making an alternative decision:
  • Advise that the employee is not eligible using form OSPP1 Non-payment of Ordinary Statutory Paternity Pay (OSPP).
  • What the payments are:
  • Payments go with leave.
  • Paid on the normal pay day.
  • Ordinary Statutory Paternity Pay OSPP is paid for 2 weeks:
  • the lower of:
  • From or
  • 90% of average weekly earnings AWE.
  • Up to
  • Tax and National Insurance is deducted.
  • Holiday pay entitlement - weeks of Ordinary Statutory Paternity Pay OSPP count towards holiday pay.

Additional Statutory Paternity Pay ASPP

  • What leave qualifies:
  • 2 to 26 weeks
  • Starting from 20 weeks after the date of birth
  • Finishing on the baby's first birthday.
  • Who qualifies - as for Statutory Maternity Pay SMP
  • Employees who have worked for the employer
  • For at least 26 weeks
  • Up to the the "qualifying week" - 15th week before the expected week of childbirth
  • Who qualifies - additionally for Additional Statutory Paternity Pay ASPP:
  • Be employed up to the start date of Additional Statutory Paternity Pay ASPP.
  • Employee whose partner has returned to work
  • And whose partner has at least two weeks of Statutory Maternity Pay SMP entitlement unclaimed.
  • Earnings qualification - as for Statutory Maternity Pay SMP:
  • up to :
  • They have earned an average of more than , and
  • from :
  • They have earned an average of more than .
  • This is the National Insurance Lower Earnings Limit NI LEL threshold.
  • What the employee does:
  • Give the correct notice by the "qualifying week" at least 15 weeks before the week the baby is expected.
  • Give 8 weeks notice using form SC7 Additional Statutory Paternity Pay and Additional Paternity Leave - becoming a parent.
  • Employee and partner complete and sign the same form.
  • What the employer does:
  • Confirm within 28 days
  • The amounts of Additional Statutory Paternity Pay ASPP
  • When Additional Statutory Paternity Pay ASPP will start and stop.
  • Or within 28 days of the request, an alternative decision:
  • Advise that the employee is not eligible and include form ASPP1 Non-payment of Additional Statutory Paternity Pay (ASPP).
  • The employer may ask for:
  • A copy of the birth certificate.
  • Contact details of their partner's employer to check when their partner's Statutory Maternity Pay SMP ends.
  • This needs to be supplied by the employee with 28 days or
  • if not supplied the employee will not qualify.
  • What the payments are:
  • Payments go with leave.
  • Paid on the normal pay day.
  • Additional Statutory Paternity Pay ASPP is paid for 2 to 26 weeks.
  • lower of:
  • From per week or
  • 90% of average weekly earnings AWE
  • Up to per week .
  • Tax and National Insurance is deducted.
  • Holiday pay entitlement - weeks of Additional Statutory Paternity Pay ASPP count towards holiday pay.

Contact us about Statutory Maternity Pay SMP, Ordinary Statutory Paternity Pay OSPP, Additional Statutory Paternity Pay ASPP and your payroll in general