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Understanding maternity pay

Maternity rights: What you need to know so you get what you’re due

The lowdown on maternity pay

What you need to understand about your maternity pay rights

maternity pay lowdown 474

In the UK, working mums can take up to a year of maternity leave to look after their baby, but you’ll probably find the main issue is working out how to finance it. The good news is, you will get maternity pay from the government to keep you going for a few months, and a new approach to family finances can make a big difference too:

What do I get?
The government pays Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) for up to 39 weeks. You get:

90% of your average weekly earnings (before tax) for the first 6 weeks
£136.78 or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower) for the next 33 weeks

Do I qualify?
To qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) you need to:
earn on average at least £109 a week
give enough notice (see below)
prove you’re pregnant (yes really!)
have worked for your employer continuously for at least 26 weeks up to the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth.

Timing is everything when you’re claiming your maternity rights, but if all the dates are making your head hurt, check out the helpful calculators on the government website.

Budgeting brilliance
You can save thousands a year by cutting costs and boosting income – check out our advice for improving family finances the easy way.

Find out more
This is only a quick summary of the highlights – check out more detailed information on Money Advice Service, or the government’s website to see what you qualify for, how to apply and the deadlines you need to hit.

Top tip: Make sure you do things by the book to ensure you get everything you’re entitled to - missing deadlines can mean you miss out!

Understanding maternity pay