The Nannyplus Blog

FACTS – Maternity Leave

May 14th, 2013

Fact sheet – information supplied by PAYE FOR Nannies.

If your employee became pregnant after she started working for you, and
continues to be employed by you into the 25th week of pregnancy, she will be
entitled to the full amount of SMP – 39 weeks of maternity pay.   She
is also entitled to a further 13 weeks of unpaid maternity leave.
If she was already pregnant when she started working for you she will not be
entitled to SMP but will be able to apply for Maternity Allowance from the Job
Centre.

In either case she could be away from work for up to 52 weeks, but she
may wish to return to work before the end of the maternity leave
period.   If she wishes to return to work early from her Maternity
Leave (before the 52 weeks have expired) she must give you at least 8 weeks
notice of her intended date of return. (She cannot return from maternity leave
until at least two weeks after the birth.)   If she intends to return
immediately after the 52 weeks leave have been taken, she does not need to give
you any notice at all.   She can just turn up for work!

You will still officially employ her during the Maternity Leave Period
(52 weeks) and she will continue to accrue holiday entitlement during this
time.  Following a ruling in the European Court of Justice, which is
expected to be incorporated into UK law in the near future, if her holiday year
ends during her maternity leave, she will NOT lose all accrued holiday up to
point the holiday year ends (unlike all other employees).  It is suggested
that you allow her to take the remainder of the CURRENT year of holiday
entitlement before the maternity leave starts. If UK law has changed by the
time of  her resignation date (if she does not return to work after her
maternity leave), or if she returns to work, she will be allowed to take any
untaken accrued paid holiday in the holiday year of the date of her return even
if this relates to a previous holiday year.  If she has not come back to
work, if UK law has been amended to require it, you will need to pay her for
untaken accrued holidays from the start of her Maternity Leave up the the date
of termination of her employment.  If the law has not been amended, she
will lose any accrued leave from the start of her maternity leave up to the end
of her holiday year and will only need to be paid for holiday accrued from the
start of her holiday year up to the date of termination of her employment.

She has an absolute right to return to her job at the end of her
maternity leave.   If the job has changed in any way (for example in
scope, duties, hours or pay) she has the absolute right to return to any
alternative job and if you have employed someone else during her leave, the
employment of the new employee must be terminated and the returning employee
given the position.   If she decides the new job is not suitable, you
are effectively making her redundant and must follow the full redundancy
procedure.

If the job ceases to exist during the employee’s maternity leave and no
job at all will be available for her when she returns from maternity leave, you
should consider making her redundant at the point the job actually ceases to
exist (not before).   This will not affect her maternity pay which
will continue as normal for the remainder of the 39 weeks (unless she requests
a P45 or starts another job) but will stop the accrual of any further holiday
entitlement.   If redundancy does occur, you must follow the full
redundancy procedure.

Statutory Maternity Pay is 6 weeks at 90% of her average gross weekly
wage in the eight weeks before her 25 week of pregnancy, then a further 33
weeks at £136.78 gross, or a further 33 weeks at the 90% average gross wage if
this is less than  £136.78.   Payments are made each week or
each month in the same way as she was paid prior to Maternity
Leave.  .   If she does not qualify for SMP an  SMP1 form can be issued so she can apply for Maternity Allowance from the Job
Centre.

Maternity Pay is a weekly payment that runs from Saturday to the
following Friday and we calculate the payments for this in whole weeks.
If the employee is monthly paid, she will therefore receive either four or five
weeks SMP in any given month, depending on the number of Fridays in the month.

It is essential that she gives you a MAT B1 certificate which she will
obtain from her midwife at around 21-24 weeks pregnant and this needs to be
sent to us immediately.   We will need to have the original MAT B1
form and you should keep a copy of it for your records as it is very difficult
to replace if it gets lost in the post.

The earliest date she can start her Maternity Leave is 29 weeks and the
latest date to start her leave is the date the baby is born.   She
can choose her dates for Maternity Leave and you cannot make her start her
leave early.   However, she must give you at least 4 weeks notice of
the date she wishes to start her Maternity Leave, although you can choose to
waive this requirement if you wish.  We would strongly recommend that you
ask her to put the date for the start of Maternity Leave in writing rather than
accept a verbal request.

If she takes sickness absence for a pregnancy related reason at any time
after the 36th week, she MUST start her Maternity Leave
immediately.

When she notifies you of the date on which she wishes to start her
Maternity Leave, you MUST write to her within 28 days to give her the date on
which her Maternity Leave will end and on which she will be expected to return
to work.   This is a legal requirement.   You should write
to her with this date even if she has informally told you she will not be
returning, as she is entitled to change her mind on this at any time during her
Maternity Leave.

Any absence due to illness (pregnancy related or not) prior to 36 weeks
is treated in the same way as illness prior to pregnancy and Statutory Sick Pay
rules apply in the normal way.

You may ask her to arrange ante-natal appointments outside working hours
if this is possible and reasonable.   However, if she needs to go to
these appointments during working hours, you must treat these as paid time off
and pay her as normal.

The Statutory Maternity Pay you have to pay to her (for the 39 weeks)
will be refunded to you in advance by HM Revenue, therefore it will not cost
you any money.   This claim can be made by the payroll company on your behalf and
this money will usually be sent to you prior to starting the payments of
SMP.   It normally takes 2-3 weeks to get the SMP funding to you.


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