3. Pay

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) is paid for up to 39 weeks. You get:

  • 90% of your average weekly earnings (before tax) for the first 6 weeks
  • £139.58 or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower) for the next 33 weeks

SMP is paid in the same way as your wages (eg monthly or weekly). Tax and National Insurance will be deducted.

Use the maternity pay calculator to work out how much you could get.

If you take Shared Parental Leave you’ll get Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP). ShPP is £139.58 a week or 90% of your average weekly earnings, whichever is lower.

Start date

SMP usually starts when you take your maternity leave.

It starts automatically if you’re off work for a pregnancy-related illness in the 4 weeks before the week (Sunday to Saturday) that your baby is due.

Problems and disputes

Ask your employer to explain your SMP if you think it’s not right. If you disagree about the amount or your employer can’t pay (eg because they’re insolvent), call the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) enquiry line.