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HMRC internal manual

Decisions and appeals for National Insurance Contributions and Statutory Payments

Evidence required to make statutory payments decisions: Statutory maternity pay

Before making a decision about statutory maternity pay (SMP) or whether an employer is entitled to recover any part of SMP paid to employees and National Insurance contributions compensation under the small employers relief scheme (SER), evidence and representations must be collected from both parties to make a decision.

There may be conflicting evidence or interpretations of events by the employer and employee. Before the decision can be given the evidence must be considered objectively. Evidence must be collected from both parties. Depending upon the nature of the dispute, the evidence may include a selection of the following

  • date and method employee used to notify start of statutory maternity pay, see SPM120400,
  • evidence of pregnancy, usually maternity certificate MAT B1, see SPM120500,
  • details about employment
    • whether there is a dispute about employment status and the outcome, see SPM220300,
    • whether the employee satisfies the continuous employment rule, see ,SPM250100
    • whether the employee was employed in the qualifying week, see SPM120200 and SPM120300 ,
    • any periods the employees worked for the liable employer during the maternity pay period, see SPM200100,
    • whether the employee started working for a new employer after the baby was born, see SPM200400,
  • wage records
    • all details required to calculate average weekly earnings, i.e. every payment of earnings and dates of payment in the relevant period SPM171100, see continuous employment rule, see SPM171000
    • all details required to calculate whether the employer qualifies for SER, see SPM182100.

The decision maker will have to decide what evidence is required based on the nature of the dispute. They will have to establish all relevant facts and where possible obtain documents and/or extracts from relevant records to substantiate those facts.