If you become pregnant and you have been working for the same employer for 26 weeks (i.e. six months) or more prior to the 'notification week’ (NW), you will qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP).

If you become pregnant and you have been working for the same employer for 26 weeks (i.e. six months) or more prior to the 'notification week’, you will qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP). The 'notification week' is 15 weeks before the baby is due. If you qualify for SMP then it is your employer’s statutory obligation to pay it.

The actual period of maternity leave can begin any time after 14 weeks before the baby is due, but the maternity pay period will not commence until the 11th week before the due date.

SMP is payable for a maximum period of 39 weeks. The first six weeks of SMP are at 9/10ths of average gross weekly earnings (which you will receive net of tax and employee's NI). The remaining weeks of the maternity pay period (up to a maximum of 33 weeks) qualify for maternity pay at the current SMP rate or continue at 9/10ths of the average gross earnings, whichever is the lower. Please see the rate and thresholds page for up-to-date SMP rates.

Because your employer is classed as a small employer they can usually reclaim all the costs involved. You should provide your employer with a Maternity Certificate (MATB1) for this purpose. The MATB1 is issued 20 weeks before the baby's due date, and you can ask your doctor or midwife for it. Stafftax will calculate and apply to HMRC on your employer's behalf to receive the SMP rebate. We will also issue payslips for you throughout the period of your maternity leave, showing SMP paid and any Tax and NI deductions.

You should advise your employer during your Notification Week of when you intend to start your maternity leave. However you can change this date providing 28 days notice is given in writing. To qualify for SMP, you do not have to intend to return to work after your baby is born.

All domestic employees have a right to return to work on the same terms as you were previously employed. If you are not returning to work then Stafftax will send you a P45 at the end of your period of SMP. You are technically still employed until then. If you want to return, you are entitled to an additional 13 weeks unpaid leave before returning to work.

information for domestic workers

Redundancy pay

There is a lot of confusion with regards to domestic employees and redundancy. Many people assume that because of the unique circumstances that exist between a domestic employee and their employer, they don’t qualify for redundancy pay. But providing they meet the requirements they are entitled to redundancy pay just like any other employee.

To qualify the employee must be 18 or over and have at least two years continuous employment. This means that they must have been working for the same household, without any breaks, apart from maternity, paternity, sickness and unpaid leave, for at least two years. They must also be working as an employee under an employment contract and have a PAYE scheme set up. This does not mean that they need to have a written contract, as some employers unfortunately don't provide this. They are still considered an employee working under a contract even if there is nothing in writing.

If an employer's circumstances change and they no longer have a full-time job to offer their employee and they want to employ someone on a part-time basis, the employer is required to first offer the "new" position to the existing employee. If they choose not to continue working for the employer under the new conditions they are still entitled to redundancy pay, unless they are on a fixed term contract.

The employee will also qualify for redundancy pay if their employer moves to a different part of the country, providing there is no relocation clause in the contract.

For current redundancy pay rates, please refer to the rates and thresholds page.

As long as the employee is on PAYE, they are legally entitled to these amounts; however, the employer is free to pay more than the statutory minimum at their discretion. The employer cannot claim any part of these costs back from the state. The employee does not have to pay tax on redundancy payments up to £30,000.

Please contact Stafftax if you wish to clarify any of the above points.