What must I pay my employees for a period of maternity leave?

Should an employee be eligible to payment for statutory maternity leave they will be paid statutory maternity pay for up to 39 weeks.   The first 6 weeks is payable at 90% of the employees average weekly earnings, with £139.58 or 90% of the employees average weekly earnings (whichever is lower) for the next 33 weeks.

To qualify for SMP the employee must:

  • Earn on average £112 per week;
  • Give notice at least 15 weeks before their due date;
  • Provide proof that they are pregnant; and
  • Be an employee and have worked for you continuously for at least 26 weeks up to the ‘qualifying week’ – the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth.