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HMRC internal manual

Statutory Payments Manual

Paying and Recovering - SMP/SAP/SPP/ShPP: time and manner of payment

SMP/SAP/SPP/ShPP is a weekly payment so should normally be paid weekly when it becomes due, which is the last day (day seven) of the pay week.

However, as SMP/SAP/SPP/ShPP may start on any day of the week, the last day of the pay week may not be the day wages are normally paid so payment will not align with the normal pay roll pay frequency. In order to pay full weeks of SMP/SAP/SPP/ShPP the payment of some weeks would be delayed until the next pay period.

Employers may choose to align the payments of with the payroll by paying part-weeks of SMP/SAP/SPP/ShPP at each end of the pay period. This is most likely to occur where an employee is paid calendar monthly

For example if the SMP pay week runs from Wednesday to Tuesday and wages are paid on the last Friday of the month, then SMP for the last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of the month can be paid in advance at the end of pay period as 3/7 of a week. The SMP for the Saturday to Tuesday of that week is then paid at the beginning of the next month.

There is no daily rate of SMP so part-weeks should be calculated as follows. Either:

  • multiply the appropriate weekly rate by a multiple of a seventh e.g. 5/7 then round up any part pence, or
  • divide the appropriate weekly rate by seven, truncating the result to five decimal places then multiply by the number of days in the part-week, rounding up any part pence.

Although the SMP/SAP/SPP/ShPP may be paid as part-weeks, it is still a weekly payment so the manner of payment does not affect up-rating or the final amount SP payable. If entitlement to the SP is not confirmed at the end of the SP pay week, that portion paid in advance is not SP and is not recoverable.

The employee and employer may also agree between them for it to be paid as a lump sum. See SPM182500

SMP/SAP/SPP/ShPP is subject to PAYE and NICs like all earnings, whether it is paid on the normal pay days or as a lump sum.

For SMP/SAP/SPP/ShPP paid as part of a compensation or compromise agreement or settlement see SPM220100

The employer can use whatever means of payment they prefer - usually the same way they pay the employee’s earnings. However, payment cannot be made as:

  • a payment in kind
  • board and lodging, or
  • by way of service.