Here are the key deadlines you should be aware of and what each date means:
Latest date for starting work in order to qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay
In order to qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay, a woman must have been working for her employer technically for 26 weeks by the end of the 'Qualifying Week' (this being 15 weeks before the expected week of childbirth). In effect, put simply, this is 41 weeks service by the baby's due date.
Maternity Pay Calculation Period
Statutory maternity pay is paid for the first 6 weeks at 90% of average weekly earnings, followed by a further 33 weeks at the lesser of 90% of average weekly earnings or the applicable statutory rate which varies each year. However, in order to calculate average earnings, you need to understand which period you are required to refer. This will be the period of 8 weeks running up to the qualifying week.
Deadline for employee to notify you she is pregnant and wishes to take maternity leave
This is the last date by which the employee must inform the employer of the fact that they are pregnant, their expected week of childbirth (almost always submitted on a form MAT B1) and their intended maternity leave start date.
Earliest Date for starting Maternity Leave
Maternity leave cannot ordinarily commence until this date (which is 11 weeks before the expected week of childbirth). However, if the baby is born before this date, maternity leave automatically starts on the day after childbirth.
Maternity leave automatic trigger if sick
Maternity leave will start automatically if the employee is absent from work for a pregnancy related reason on or after this date (which is 4 weeks before the expected week of childbirth).
Maternity leave obligations
All businesses regardless of the number of people employed have a duty of care to pregnant employees.
- Pregnant employees have the right to take up to 52 weeks maternity leave
- 39 of these weeks could be paid using either statutory maternity pay, maternity allowance or contractual maternity pay.
- Reasonable time off must be provided for antenatal care
- The employee has the right to return to either their original job or offered a suitable alternative
A pregnant employee has the right to both 26 weeks of ordinary maternity leave as well as 26 weeks additional maternity leave.
Tracking maternity leave
Staff Squared allows you to track many different types of absence, including maternity leave. We'll keep on top of making sure your employees take the allowance they're entitled to.
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