If you are expecting a child sometime soon (or just had one) a question which is going to be on your mind is maternity pay. When it comes to maternity pay, there are essentially three different types of pay available; these being;#

Statutory Maternity Pay – if you are eligible for this pay, then this is what your employer will tend to pay you. This usually amounts to at least the minimum amount of pay your employer must pay.

Contractual Maternity Pay – some employers offer this type of pay instead of statutory maternity pay. It usually consists of either higher payment than statutory maternity pays, else the payment period is extended for over a longer period of time.

Maternity Allowance – if you aren’t able to get either of the other two forms of maternity payment, then this is payment which the government gives instead.

It should be mentioned that how much maternity pay you to get from your employer shouldn’t in anyway reflect the amount of time which you are allowed off work – up to one year from the birth of your child.

So What Are The Rules Regarding Statutory Maternity Pay?

There are a few basic rules which determine if your employer (or previous employer) owes you any payment due to your maternity leave. These deciding factors are

1. If you worked for your employer in the 15th week before your due date – and before that, have worked for this company for at least 26 weeks.

2. Whilst working for your employer, your average weekly pay (before tax) was above £113.

It should be mentioned that some employers may decide to pay you a contractual maternity pay instead of the standard maternity pay, partly as a benefit of working for them. If your employer does decide on this option, it is worth pointing out that you shouldn’t be worse off than if you were to receive statutory maternity pay!

A question which may come to mind is how much per week will your employer pay you whilst you are on maternity leave? And will it be anywhere near the amount you would have earned had you stayed at work? Well, the way your weekly maternity pay is worked out (assuming it is statutory maternity pay) is to look at how much money you earned between the 23rd week and 15th week before your due date.

Having got the amount you earned each week, an average is then worked out, and this average is the amount you will be paid per week during your maternity leave.

How does Statutory Maternity Pay compare to Maternity Allowance?

In order to get maternity allowance (where the government pays your maternity) you would need to fit one of the following criteria

1. Out of the 66 weeks, you were pregnant, you were self-employed for at least 26 of those weeks; and out of those 26 weeks, you must have earned more than £30 for 13 of those weeks

2. Instead of being employed or self-employed, your partner runs a business and you’d been helping them with the day-to-day operations.

What If I Can’t Get Maternity Allowance

If you can’t get maternity allowance, it is worth seeing if you are entitled to Employment & Support Allowance (ESA). This can be done by using our benefits calculator to see what you can claim;

Department Call Connection Phone Numbers
Maternity Grant 0843 509 2417
Statutory Maternity Pay 0843 902 8133
Social Fund 0843 506 0283
Crisis Loan 0843 509 2336
Jobcentre Appointments 0843 509 2322
Job Seeker’s Allowance Claims (New Claims & Existing) 0843 509 2383
Employment & Support Allowance 0843 509 2374
Income Support 0843 509 2374
Incapacity Benefit 0843 504 0374
Universal Credit 0843 509 2382
Universal Credit (New Claims & Appointments) 0843 509 2382
Maternity Allowance 0843 504 9433
Personal Independence Payment 0843 509 2380