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HMRC internal manual

Decisions and appeals for National Insurance Contributions and Statutory Payments

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Notices of decision: Wording of statutory payments decisions: Period covered by entitlement to statutory maternity pay decisions

General

DANSP36100 explains the general principles to apply when wording decisions about entitlement to statutory payments.

Statutory maternity pay (SMP) can be paid from the start of the maternity pay period (MPP) which, from 1 April 2007, can start any day of the week. Where, therefore, a decision is about a person’s entitlement to SMP and the dispute

  • affects the whole of the MPP - the period should start with the first day of the MPP and end with the last day of the MPP, or
  • is about part of the MPP - show the disputed period, not the whole MPP.

Show periods which have passed, do not include future periods.

Maternity pay period has not ended when decision is made

Where a decision is issued before it is known that entitlement to SMP has ended, for example, during a MPP, do not issue an open ended decision. Instead, the decision should show that entitlement may continue. This is reflected in example 3 below.

Example 1 - Decision issued after entitlement ends, whole period of entitlement disputed

On 14 April 2010 the following decision is issued:

My decision is that:

Angela Jones is entitled to statutory maternity pay of £623.08 per week for six weeks from 1 July 2009 to 11 August 2009 and £123.06 per week for thirty three weeks from 12 August 2009 to 30 March 2010, which ABC Limited is liable to pay.

Commentary on example

It would also be acceptable to present the decision as follows:

My decision is that:

Angela Jones is entitled to statutory maternity pay of

* £623.08 per week for six weeks from 1 July 2009 to 11 August 2009, and
* £123.06 per week for thirty three weeks from 12 August 2009 to 30 March 2010
  
which ABC Limited is liable to pay.
  
You should explain in a covering letter how the amounts have been calculated.
  
The decision also shows who is liable to pay the SMP. For guidance about liability to pay decisions see [DANSP36900](https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/decision-and-appeals-for-national-insurance-contributions-and-statutory-payments/dansp36900).
  
Example 2 - Decision issued after entitlement ends, part of period of entitlement dispute 
  
On 14 August 2010 the following decision is issued:
  
My decision is that:
  
Angela Jones is entitled to statutory maternity pay of £623.08 per week for six weeks from 1 July 2009 to 11 August 2009, which ABC Limited is liable to pay.
  
Commentary on example
  
In this example, the MPP ends 30 March 2010 but the facts show that the employer paid the right amount of SMP for the 33 weeks from 12 August 2009, so the period in dispute is the first six weeks of the MPP. The decision has been restricted to the first six weeks.
  
Example 3 - Decision issued during the period of entitlement
  
On 7 August 2009 the following decision is issued:
  
My decision is that:
  
Angela Jones is entitled to statutory maternity pay of £623.08 per week for five weeks from 1 July 2009 to 4 August 2009, which ABC Limited is liable to pay.
  
Angela Jones’ entitlement to statutory maternity pay and the liability of ABC Limited to pay it, will continue until the maximum amount of statutory maternity pay has been paid or until Angela Jones no longer satisfies the conditions for entitlement.
  
Commentary on example
  
In this example, entitlement will end on 30 March 2010 if Angela Jones continues to satisfy the conditions for entitlement. She will be entitled to the higher rate until 11 August 2009 and the standard rate from 12 August 2009 for a maximum of 33 weeks or until Angela Jones no longer satisfies the qualifying conditions. This should be explained in a covering letter.

For guidance about how to show the amount of SMP a person is entitled to see DANSP36700.

### Employer declared bankrupt or in liquidation during disputed period of entitlement

If an employer is declared bankrupt or in liquidation during a disputed period of entitlement to SMP, the period covered by the decision should end with the last day of the week before the employer was declared bankrupt or date of liquidation. Do not include the week that included the date of bankruptcy or the date of liquidation. SPM70305 explains that HMRC is liable to pay any SMP payable from the start of the week following the date of bankruptcy or date of liquidation, whichever is appropriate.