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Maternity pay

I was wondering if anyone else has this problem, I found out today by a colleague that our maternity pay is based on how many hours we work leading upto taking maternity leave. Can businesses do this, or do they have to follow the recommendation £145 a week?

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Depends what there policy is but they have to at least pay statutory maternity pay.

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So they cannot give me less than smp?

I haven’t looked into the policy yet as only 15 weeks, but I was just talking to a colleague today and she was saying about it.

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Not unless you earn less than £145 a week no x

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You get 90% if your wage for 6 weeks then £145.18 or 90% whichever’s lower for 33 weeks. Have a look on gov.uk

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To qualify for SMP you must:

earn on average at least £116 a week

give the correct notice

give proof you’re pregnant

have worked for your employer continuously for at least 26 weeks continuing into the ‘qualifying week’ - the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth

That’s from the gov website so they have to pay you the SMP rate if all these apply x

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Thank you so much, I have been on gov.uk website and I qualify for smp, but was just concerned that my employer works the pay out by how many hours you have worked leading upto maternity leave.

But they can’t pay you less than smp, surely not, as that’s law you you qualify for it.

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Yeah they definitely can’t pay you less than that. I’ve never heard about the hours thing unless they have their own policy but you’ll at least get the government amount anything more is a bonus x

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If you're counting SMP as £145.18 pw then yes I'm afraid they can pay you less than that. If you earn £116 pw (minimum amount to qualify for SMP) you will receive 90% of that amount per week for SMP, so £101.40.

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Ask them to see a written copy of the family policy ... read it properly... if you have issues ask CAB, they should be able to help.

At my work the smp/omp is calculated on how much you earn during the 25th week. However you cant start maternity until the 29th week.

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are you referring to statutory maternity pay or occupational maternity pay? OMP is different if your company offer it, mine was worked out on my average last 12 weeks hours. But that was additional to SMP... Not all companies offer OMP so depends where you work (I'm NHS)

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I’ve just been on citizens advice and says you should never get less that the normal smp. I will get a copy of the maternity policy this week, so can get my head round it. I’m a carer, but our boss will do anything to get out of paying out

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Yes they can unfortunately I had 1 week off sick 8 weeks up until my maternity and I get £140 a week wages should get £126 a week maternity of I don’t have that week off now I get £114.45 a week 😞😒xx

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Oh no, that’s awful, sorry to hear it. It should just all the same depending on how long you been working the company for. I take it still have too pay NI tax and pension on top of maternity aswell

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Thank god no I’m just under the tax bracket. The thing was before I was pregnant my boss still paid me normal if I was ever off with my daughters used to say you have bills to pay I know you can’t help it then when I fell pregnant he was lovely about it perfect boss so I thought 😒 didn’t even have a full week off with sickness and bad spd when I returned he hit me with it because you’ve had 4 days off in the 8 weeks between now and maternity you’ll get sick pay £46 and it’ll effect your maternity pay 😏I’ve been working for him 2 years and never taken my full holiday entertainment because he was loyal and well I only ever need 3dyas here and there . So now I’ve found out I’m still racking up my holidays whilst on maternity so I’ll be taking that the month I’m due back on full pay finger up to him 😂xx

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Maybe that’s what my colleague meant then, if I was too take time of sick then the pay would be different 🤷🏼‍♀️ il just have too find out in the week. I won’t be paying tax on mine as need to earn over 1180 and somehow I don’t think il be getting that for maternity, how nice would it be, full pay. Wishful thinking x

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Be brill wouldn’t it . It only affects you if you take time off 8 weeks before your due to go on maternity they take the earning for the 8 weeks up to it. Plus don’t forget you should get Normal Pay for every appointment that’s to do with the baby 😃xx

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I’m not due till feb 2019 and I have been off with sciatica for almost 12 weeks. Do you think I will get stat mat pay? X

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I would think so you have to be employed for 26 w before to get maternity, on the sick you’re still employed. Better look into because if your off so long I think near the end they can start your maternity pay early.

If you’ve not been employed by them that long but have worked you can still get maternity allowance.

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Shouldn’t effect you but like gcw says when you get to 29 weeks the employer can leagal start you on maternity pay. It’s pants because I’ve now to go back earlier then I wanted x

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Hey KT I would look into that. The 8 weeks that count to the best of my knowledge are the 8 weeks running up to you being 25 weeks pregnant, not the 8 weeks immediately prior to you going of on maternity leave, so unless you took your maternity before 33 weeks then it shouldn't have affected what you get?

For example, I'm due on the 25th Oct so my SMP is calculated based on the pay I received between the 1st May and 30th June (I get paid monthly at the end of the month) so I just made sure I was in full attendance for those 8 weeks!

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Hi I had to take it from 29weeks as I’m a dog walker and had very bad spd and it Came impossibly to walk the dogs xx

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Aw that really sucks - you must've been off during the qualifying period then.

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Unfortunately the way SMP works is your employee has to pay you 90% of your weekly earnings within the qualifying period (8 weeks prior to the 25th week of your pregnancy off the top of my head) and thereafter 90% of your average weekly earnings or £145 pw, WHICHEVER IS THE LOWER. you will ONLY receive £145 per week if you earn over about £165 pw within the qualifying period.

I rang citizens advice and their advice was to go to the gov website and use the EMPLOYER stat mat calculator to work out which weeks would count for qualifying and if poss to take on extra hours or overtime during those 8 weeks so that you get a good amount for first 6 weeks and the £145 pw thereafter if you don't earn over £165 pw.

Here's the link for the calculator:

gov.uk/maternity-paternity-...

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I have just been on the website and it’s 90% of your wage for 6 weeks then after SMP which is £145.18 per week.

I wonder if my colleague was doing more overtime in the 8 weeks leading upto it so she would get more pay in the 1st 6 weeks of maternity. That’s why she said it depends on how many hours you work.

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Hey Anna the first half is right (90% of your normal pay for 6 weeks), but after that it's 90% of your normal pay OR £145.18 per week, whichever is the lower. So as long as you earn over £160 odd per week yes you'll get £145.18, it's if you earn between £116 and £160 pw you'd be entitled to less. So yes in theory if your colleague earnt say £800 pw during her qualifying period she'd have gotten £720 (I think less tax, NIC etc for 6 weeks) then £145.18 per week (not sure if that amount is taxed) thereafter.

Also, some employers offer an enhanced maternity scheme provided you meet their requirements, so she may have been benefitting from this?

My issue was I'm both employed and self-employed and I had to work out whether I was better off on SMP or Maternity Allowance, so I've been through the info with a fine tooth comb lol.

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I have just been on the website and it’s 90% of your wage for 6 weeks then after SMP which is £145.18 per week.

I wonder if my colleague was doing more overtime in the 8 weeks leading upto it so she would get more pay in the 1st 6 weeks of maternity. That’s why she said it depends on how many hours you work.

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145 per week is not even a third of what i would usually earn a week, it's the standard for everyone unfortunately!

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Ruth has pretty much hit the nail on the head here for you with regards to maternity pay (I do this as part of my job).

When talking about statutory maternity pay, assuming you qualify because you have the right level of service and NI contributions, then you are entitled to 90% of your AVERAGE WEEKLY EARNINGS for the first 6 weeks and £145.18 for the remaining weeks thereafter (assuming your earnings are above the thresholds already mentioned above).

It is important to note that average weekly earnings can be different to your normal salary/pay. The way it is worked out is that you take your expected week of confinement/childbirth (this is the Sunday at the start of the week you are due) and then count back 15 weeks which tells you your qualifying week (as they call it). Once you know your qualifying week, you look at your earnings for the 8 weeks directly before the qualifying week (this is called the reference period). The amount you earned over those 8 weeks is averaged out and this is the average weekly earnings amount that will be used for your statutory maternity pay.

As this is based on actual earnings in that period, if you were paid for additional hours/overtime during that period you could end up averaging at a higher weekly rate than normal, or if you were lucky enough to receive a bonus or commission payment in those 8 weeks, this would also have to be included in the calculation (employers don’t get a choice in this, they have to include all earnings).

I have had some maternity cases that have been lucky enough to get their annual bonuses during their 8 week reference period and have ended up receiving more than 5 times what they would normally get per week the lucky so and so’s (no such luck myself).

I hope that helps and apologies if I haven’t explained it very well, maternity leave and pay can be very confusing, especially with all the different terms that are used :)

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I feel lucky that i got 6 months maternity leave + pay. Thanks to my government.:)

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I have been talking to a girl who hasn’t been back from maternity long and she said 1st 6weeks was 90% of wage, then after upto 6 months was smp, then the remaining 12 weeks was lowered. I am waiting for the maternity policy and all that paperwork. But this is correct, can they drop the pay after 6 months??

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Mine wasn’t dropped after six months. I’ve been on the same amount since the 6 weeks ran out x

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Well I’ve been in gov.uk and says il be getting normally 90% of wage for 1st 6 weeks, then 145 a week for 33 weeks. So I don’t know if it’s just our work policy. Il have to wait and see

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You should at least get the statutory pay which is what I’m on x

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You only get back 39 weeks altogether from the government and then if you want from 39 weeks until 52 weeks you don’t get anything.

So like you say 90% of wage for 6 weeks and then £145 a week unless you earn less than that a week then you’ll be paid that instead of the £145 for the rest of your maternity x

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