Should one of your employees be expecting a baby, she may be entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP). SMP will replace her normal earnings to help her take time off around the time of the birth. She will also have a statutory right to a minimum amount of maternity leave.
Payment of SMP to an expectant employee depends on how long they have worked for you and how much they earn. They’ll have to provide you with evidence of when the baby’s due and give you notice of when they want you to start paying their SMP.
SMP counts as earnings in the normal way so you will have to deduct tax and National Insurance contributions from the SMP payments.
You’ll normally be able to recover some or all of the SMP you pay.
In order to be entitled to SMP your employee must meet certain conditions:
• They must have worked for you continuously – full or part-time – for at least 26 weeks up to and into the 15th week before the week the baby is due
• Average weekly earnings have to have at least been equal to the Lower Earnings Limit for National Insurance Contributions (NICs) – £107 a week or £464 a month for 2012-13