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

Your employer's responsibilities

Whether you're a domestic worker or a nurse, you have the same employment rights, and your employers have the same responsibilities. You should never agree to work for an employer who is not willing to carry out these responsibilities.

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