How your maternity pay is calculated

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If you are planning to go on maternity leave from your employment, it is important to be aware of the dates which affect how much statutory maternity pay you will receive.

The basic rules of pay are 90% of you average weekly earnings for the first 6 weeks and then the statutory figure of £145.18 or you average weekly earnings, whichever is lower, for the remaining 33 weeks.

SMP is calculated for the period 8 weeks prior to the last pay date before the qualifying week. The qualifying week is 15 weeks before the baby is due.

Therefore if you were, for any reason, to do reduced hours during that 8 week period, your SMP for the whole period of maternity leave will be affected. Similarly, any additional pay receive during the 8 week period, can result in higher SMP due.


As with all of our tax tips and web pages this information is necessarily summarised and of a general nature.  If you would like detailed specific advice please contact us.