30 August 2017
All those employed under a contract of employment – regardless of how long they’ve been with you – and give the correct notice, are entitled to Statutory Maternity Leave.
The correct notice is at least 15 weeks before the expected week of childbirth (EWC). When an employee notifies you of their pregnancy, they must provide the baby’s due date, as well as the date they want to start their maternity leave.
Statutory Maternity Pay
To qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay, employees must have continuously worked for you for at least 26 weeks prior to their qualifying week (i.e. the 15th week before the EWC) and:
Proof of pregnancy
An employee must provide proof of pregnancy before you pay Statutory Maternity Pay.
Normally, proof of pregnancy is provided in the form of a doctor’s letter or a maternity certificate – otherwise known as a MATB1. Either of these documents are usually provided 20 weeks prior to the due date.
The employee should supply you with their proof of pregnancy within 21 days of their Statutory Maternity Pay start date. However, at your discretion, you can agree to accept proof at a later date if you wish.
If you still haven’t received proof of pregnancy 13 weeks after an employee’s Statutory Maternity Pay start date, you no longer have to provide them with pay.
Remember to keep records
You must keep the following records for HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC):
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