Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)

When an employee informs you that they are pregnant, they should do so at least 15 weeks before the baby is due and they must inform you of when they want to start their maternity leave.

Statutory Maternity Leave is 52 weeks and is made up of the first 26 weeks being Ordinary Maternity Pay and the second 26 weeks being Additional Maternity Pay. Employees don't have to take 52 weeks of Maternity Leave.

Statutory Maternity Pay is payable for up to 39 weeks.

To pay Statutory Maternity Pay you need to go to the 'Employee's Details' > 'Statutory Payments'. If you click the 'Add' button it will bring up the SMP context panel.

In the context panel you need to select the leave category 'Statutory Maternity Leave'. 

You then need to select the start date of the Maternity leave and the date that the baby is due. When you complete these dates the other boxes will automatically pre-populate.

You will see your Average weekly earnings and the override button. You will see a message saying 'the employee is eligible for SMP' if they are eligible. You can click on view log.

You will also be able to see the weeks payable, the weeks already paid (if applicable) and the calculation type. The calculation type can either be 'Weekly payments' (This option will apply SMP in full weeks. If leave starts on a Tuesday, SMP will be applied the following Wednesday) or 'Align with pay period' (SMP will be paid according to your pay period dates). 

You will see the 'Offset SMP' box. You should tick this if you would like the payment to be offset against basic pay. If unticked then only the statutory payment will be made.

In the column next to the amount due, you have the status of the payment i.e., pending or processed. Below this table showing the payments you will see there is an advanced settings drop down. Here you can:

  • Set Employer Pension Protection: Setting up how much you want the employer pension to be. Whatever figure you put in here will override the figure calculated in the pay run.
  • Do Not Pay: If you select this you will see a drop down menu that you will need to select a reason as to why you are not going to pay SMP. This will apply the SMP 1 form to the employee.
  • Pay Lump Sum: If you have an employee that you want to pay all of the SMP in one lump sum then select this option.
  • SMP Adjust: If you need to put an adjustment in or if you have given the employee a pay rise that will affect the calculation you can make that adjustment here.

Next you will see an option to add attachments. Here you could attach a pdf of the Mat B1 form.

There is the functionality to add notes.

Once you are happy with the set up you can press save which will create a record in the employees details on the Statutory Payments page that you are on. You can delete the record if no payment has been made by clicking on the bin icon and you can edit the record by clicking on the pencil. If you click on payment record you will be able to download a payment record at any stage as a pdf or you can send it to the employees portal as a report. It lists out all of the payments they are due to get, as they get paid the payments will say paid instead of pending. It updates after every pay run.


The SMP will automatically be added to the pay runs.


If you wish to edit the SMP within the pay run you can do things like offset the individual weeks to pay extra or you can include additional weeks in the pay run by ticking the include box for the weeks you want to include in the pay run.


To view your Statutory Maternity Pay NI Deductions Summary go to Reports > P32 Report > then click on NI Deductions Summary tab.

For details on Keeping In Touch (KIT) days please click here. 

When your Statutory Maternity Pay spans a tax year the new rates will be changed automatically for the new tax year.  It is worth checking when these are applied and the previous payments you have made.  If the new SMP rate is higher than the 9/10ths earnings (first 6 weeks payments) of SMP HMRC rules are that the lower rate is applicable.  You would need to make the appropriate adjustment using the SMP adjust field as referred to earlier.

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