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Government Monetary Benefit of Having a Baby in the UK

Government Monetary Benefit of Having a Baby in the UK

The advantages of having a kid in the UK and the compensation for giving birth there will be covered in this article. We’ll go over the entire procedure, including how to check your eligibility and how to claim yours.

The UK government rewards new mothers each month. Let’s go over how to get yours, how to see whether you’re eligible, and what to do to be eligible.

The Department for Work and Pensions offers the Maternity Allowance as a benefit. It is granted to individuals who are either self-employed or pregnant and are unable to get statutory maternity pay from their employers. Depending on your situation, you may receive a different amount of maternity allowance.

Statutory Maternity Pay

Maternity Allowance may be substituted with Statutory Maternity Pay if you are employed. While on maternity leave if you are working while pregnant, you are eligible for maternity pay. Most workers, including freelancers, agency employees, and casual and zero-hours workers, are eligible for some maternity leave. These can’t be purchased simultaneously.

Types of Maternity Pay

Maternity compensation comes in two primary forms:

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP): paid by your employer, who will then be able to recover the majority of it from the government.

Maternity Allowance (MA): If you don’t qualify for SMP, then you may get MA from the UK government.

Statutory Maternity Pay Requirements

When applying for Statutory Maternity Pay, you must:

  • First and foremost, have at least 26 weeks’ worth of employment with your employer.
  • Also, have made at least £120 each week on average (during some weeks).
  • Additionally, be still working for the same job 15 weeks before the week in which your baby is due.

Speak with your employer as soon as you can if you are unsure if you qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay. Your employer is required to provide you with an SMP1 form if they are unable to pay you Statutory Maternity Pay. You cannot receive maternity pay from your employer, as stated in the SMP1.

Maternity Pay Calculator

For up to 39 weeks, statutory maternity pay (SMP) is paid. It begins when you go on maternity leave or if you are unable to work for four weeks before the due date because of a pregnancy-related sickness. It is paid in the same manner as regular earnings, with tax and NI deducted at the point of payment.


SMP is paid over 39 weeks at one of two rates:

You receive 90% of your typical weekly pay for the first six weeks. The pay you got in the 8 weeks or two months leading up to the last payment day before the conclusion of the qualifying week is used to compute the average.

After that, you receive a flat rate (£156.66 per week) for 33 weeks, or, if that amount is less, 90% of your average earnings (numbers accurate as of the review date of 1 June 2022).

Employers request SMP reimbursement from the government. Therefore, you are not required to pay it back if you choose not to return to work after having a child.

Maternity Pay Eligibility Requirements

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) is available to you if:

  • You’ve been working nonstop for at least 26 weeks and are still working in the 15th week before the due date of your child.
  • Also, in the roughly 18 to 26 weeks of your pregnancy, you make an average income of £123 (data accurate as of review date: 1 June 2022).
  • Next, you must inform your employer in writing, if necessary, at least 28 days before the start of your SMP to provide the proper notice. Within 28 days, they must confirm the amount of SMP you’ll receive as well as its start and end dates.
  • Additionally, at least 21 days before the start of your SMP (or as soon as feasible if the baby is delivered early), you provide your employer with documentation of your pregnancy. This should be your MATB1 maternity certificate, which you can get from your GP or midwife starting 20 weeks before your due date.
  • Lastly, you leave your employment after the 15th week before the due date of your child

Within a week of making their decision, your employer must supply you with form SMP1 and explain why they believe you are ineligible.

Corporate Maternity Policies

You might be wondering how that can work given SMP is such a leveler after hearing friends talk about how “good” maternity packages are offered by corporations. Therefore, some businesses do provide maternity benefits that are more substantial than SMP. These benefits are commonly referred to as Occupational Maternity Pay or Enhanced Maternity Pay. To find out what yours is, check your contract or contact your HR division.


The drawback of a fantastic maternity agreement is that you’ll have to pay back anything beyond SMP if you opt not to return to work. Fortunately, you can request to pay back any contractual maternity pay in tiny installments if you must.

Maternity Allowance

You might be able to apply for Maternity Allowance (MA) if you are not qualified for SMP. Maternity Allowance is typically given to women who are expecting and who:

  • You work for yourself
  • Also, have lately quit their jobs
  • Additionally, who work but whose employer is unable to give them statutory maternity pay.

Depending on the work you did during your test period, your Maternity Allowance claim receives approval or denial.

Self Employed

The number of Class 2 National Insurance contributions you made in the 66 weeks before the due date will determine your MA if self-employed. For up to 39 weeks, this will cost between £27 and £156.66 every week.

When you file a claim for MA, you will have the chance to update your Class 2 National Insurance contributions if self-employed with no history of filing a self-assessment tax return.

After making your Class 2 contributions, you are eligible for MA at the rate of £156.66 per week. As long as you meet all other eligibility requirements, you will receive £27 per week for 39 weeks even if you haven’t paid enough Class 2 National Insurance to receive the full amount.

Once you’re pregnant for 26 weeks, you can file for MA. MA might begin as early as 11 weeks before the due date of your child. Typically, MA will begin on the day you decide to begin your maternity leave. You will require an MA1 claim form, your doctor’s or midwife’s MATB1 maternity certificate, and form SMP1 from your employer if they rejected your SMP claim.

Agency, Casual, or freelancer

You qualify for SMP from the organization or employer even if tax and National Insurance withhold at source from your PAYE paycheck. If not, the Maternity Allowance details are above. MA is also available to self-employed women, some freelancers, and some contractors who operate their businesses and contribute their tax and National Insurance.

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Maternity pay rights

You should get in touch with the HMRC Statutory Payments Disputes Team if your employer has declared bankruptcy or is refusing to pay SMP.

How to Apply

You must finish a form called the MA1 to apply for Maternity Allowance. Visit to get it online.

Required Documents

The Department for Work and Pensions needs some supporting documentation in addition to your completed MA1 claim form to decide on your application. This may consist of:

  • Evidence of the due date of your child’s birth, such as a MATB1 form from your doctor.
  • Also, an SMP1 from your employer (if they are unable to provide Statutory Maternity Pay).
  • Lastly, paystubs or any form of income documentation.

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