A3.1 To qualify for SMP you must have average earnings at least equal to the Lower Earnings Level for National Insurance purposes. The rate for 2015/16 is £112.00 per week. You can find this on HMRC website (HMRC.gov.uk) under the heading “Rates and Thresholds”.
Q3.2 The calculation period is the eight weeks, if you are paid weekly, up to and including the 15th week before your baby is due. If you are paid monthly, the calculation period is usually based on the last two monthly payments received before the end of the 15th week before your baby is due. To work out the weekly average if you are monthly paid, add up the pay on the payslips, divide by 2 , multiply by 12 and divide that number by 52. Pay can include holiday pay, bonuses, overtime, sick pay and any previous periods of SMP but not Maternity Allowance. National pay awards, usually effective from 1st April, which fall due after the assessment period will result in the reassessment of SMP based on values derived from the increased salary. The revised SMP will be payable from the start of the maternity leave or from the effective date of the pay award (usually 1st April), whichever is later.
A3.3 If you do not qualify for SMP, you may still be able to receive Maternity Allowance. You must forward your MATB1 to the payroll department who will then return it to you with the relevant documentation (i.e. Form SMP1 – Statutory Maternity Pay Exclusion Form). You should take this to the Department of Work and Pensions who in turn will advise you if you qualify for Maternity Allowance.
A3.4 You will receive your pay on your normal pay day. SMP is paid in complete weeks. If you are monthly paid, some months will have four weeks SMP and others will have five. The number of weeks is determined by the number of Saturdays in the month. Your pay slip will be sent to your home address from your department.
A3.5 The payment for Occupational and Statutory Maternity Pay run concurrently and the amount you will be paid depends on your entitlement to each.
a). If you are eligible for occupational maternity pay and SMP :
8 weeks @ full pay
18 weeks @ half pay + SMP (£139.58 effective from 6 April 2015 or 90% of average weekly earnings, whichever is less) provided the total receivable does not exceed full pay.
13 weeks @ SMP only (£139.58 effective from 6 April 2015 or 90% of average weekly earnings which ever is less).
13 weeks @ no pay
b). If you are not eligible for occupational maternity pay but you do qualify for SMP :
6 weeks @ 90% of average weekly earnings.
33 weeks @ SMP only (£139.58 effective from 6 April 2015) or 90% of average weekly earnings, whichever is less).
c). If you are eligible for occupational maternity pay but do not qualify for SMP :
8 weeks full pay less **Maternity Allowance
18 weeks half pay provided half pay plus **Maternity Allowance does not exceed full pay
13 weeks **Maternity Allowance
**Maternity Allowance is not paid by NHSGGC but by Dept of Work & Pensions
Generally, Maternity pay starts on a Sunday. It is paid out in whole weeks.
e.g. If you start your maternity leave on Sunday 6th September 2015. you will receive:
5 days basic pay 1st to 5th September
3 weeks mat leave 6th September to 26th September
The 27th to 30th September is not a full week therefore it will be added to your October pay.
A3.6 OMP is calculated using your earnings in the same fixed pay periods described for the SMP calculation. National pay awards and annual increments which fall due after this assessment will result in a reassessment of OMP based on values derived from the increased salary. Revised OMP resulting from a national pay award or increment will be applied from the start of the maternity leave or from the effective date of the pay award/increment, whichever is later.
A3.8 Maternity Pay, by prior agreement with your employer, may be paid in a different way such as equal weekly values spread over the maternity leave period of up to 52 weeks. However, HMRC regulations state employees must receive at least 90% of their salary for the first 6 weeks of their maternity leave; therefore, equal payments cannot be applied to this period.
If you wish to apply for equal payments of your Occupational Maternity Pay, you can do so via section 18 of the Maternity Leave Application Form. This option, if selected, must be made prior to the commencement of your maternity leave and this cannot be changed afterwards.
A3.9 Your entitlement to both Statutory and Occupational Maternity Pay are calculated on the payments received during the 8 week period prior to the Qualifying Week. If your earnings during that period have been reduced because you were receiving half pay or you were on unpaid maternity leave then OMP / SMP for the second period of leave will reflect these reduced earnings.
A3.10 The qualifying criteria for both OMP and SMP are the same whether you are returning to work or not. Therefore, providing you satisfy the qualifying conditions you will receive 6 weeks pay at 90% of your average weekly earnings followed by 33 weeks at the standard rate of SMP. These payments will be made on an ongoing basis and, if you are paid monthly, will be blocked into a number of weeks each month depending on the number of Saturdays in that month.
Q3.11 You will be treated initially as if you do not intend to return to work and will be paid 6 weeks at 90% of average earnings followed by 33 weeks at the standard rate of SMP. If you subsequently decide to come back to work, and work for a minimum of three months, you will be paid the difference between what you have been paid under the leaver entitlement and the amount which would have been paid to you if you had declared your intention to return at the outset.