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How is maternity pay calculated?


There are three types of maternity pay and they are dependant on national insurance contributions. 

  1. Maternity Allowance (MA)

  2. Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)

  3. Occupational or Contractual (OMP)

MA is the least generous and is paid by the government. It is payable if you have worked for at least 26 weeks in the 66 weeks before your baby is due and earned more than £30 a week. It is paid for 39 weeks during your maternity leave. The rate of pay is 148.68 per week or 90% of your average weekly pay whichever is the lower. Claim MA if you haven’t worked for your current employer since the start of your pregnancy, or if you earn less than £118 per week or if you are self-employed. You may also qualify for some maternity allowance if you work unpaid for your partner.

SMP is paid by your employer if you have worked for them since the start of your pregnancy and you earn more than £118 per week. During the first 6 weeks of your maternity leave you get 90% of your weekly wage. Your average pay during the 8 weeks between the 16th and 24th week of your pregnancy is used to calculate your weekly pay. For the next 33 weeks of your maternity leave you get £148.68 per week or 90% of your weekly pay whichever is lower.

OMP is paid by your employer if you qualify for their occupational scheme. It is more generous than SMP but not every employer offers OMP. Ask your employer if they have a OMP scheme, how it is calculated and if you qualify.

Use our Calculator to find out what your maternity pay will be.