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HMRC internal manual

Decisions and appeals for National Insurance Contributions and Statutory Payments

Notices of decision: Wording of statutory payments decisions: Liability to pay

The type of decisions that can be made under section 8(1)(g) of the Social Security Contributions (Transfer of Functions, etc.) Act 1999 or article 7(1)(g) of the Social Security Contributions (transfer of Functions, etc.) (Northern Ireland) Order 1999 (SI 1999 no 671) include those about who is liable to pay statutory payments.

In most cases the person liable to pay statutory payments is the employee’s employer. For guidance about this see

  • SPM10210 - Statutory sick pay,
  • SPM20205 - Statutory maternity pay,
  • SPM30205 - Statutory adoption pay,
  • SPM40205 - Ordinary statutory paternity pay (previously called statutory paternity pay).
  • SPM – Additional statutory paternity pay

Decisions about liability to pay should be made with decisions about entitlement. See the example below. If a decision tells an employee that they are not entitled to statutory payments, nobody is liable to pay statutory payments to that employee, so do not include a decision about liability to pay.

Example 1 - Employee entitled to statutory sick pay

On 14 August 2009 the following decision is made:

My decision is that:

Thomas Phillips is entitled to statutory sick pay amounting to £63.32 for the period from 6 July 2009 to 14 July 2009, which ABC Limited is liable to pay.

Example 2 - Adoption pay period has not ended when decision is made

On 14 August 2009 the following decision is made:

My decision is that:

That Angela Jones is entitled to statutory adoption pay of £123.06 per week for six weeks from 1 July 2009 to 11 August 2009, which XYZ Limited is liable to pay.

Employer declared bankrupt or in liquidation during disputed period of liability to pay statutory payments

If an employer is declared bankrupt or in liquidation during a disputed period of liability to pay statutory payments, 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 - applies to statutory maternity pay (SMP), ordinary statutory paternity pay (OSPP) (previously called statutory paternity pay), statutory adoption pay (SAP) and additional statutory paternity pay (ASPP); or
  • period of incapacity for work before the employer was declared bankrupt or date of liquidation - applies to statutory sick pay (SSP) only.

SPM70305 explains that HMRC is liable to pay any statutory payment payable from the start of the week following the date of bankruptcy or date of liquidation, whichever is appropriate. Where an employer’s liability to pay

  • SSP is disputed do not include the date of bankruptcy or the date of liquidation in the decision; or
  • SMP, OSPP, SAP or ASPP is disputed do not include the week that included the date of bankruptcy or the date of liquidation.