Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) and Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) are key regulations and it’s important to know how each of them work and how they impact employees.
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
SSP applies to all employers, regardless of their size and represents the minimum payments which should be paid by law. It is possible to opt out of the scheme but only if an employer’soccupational sick pay scheme is equal to or more than SSP. There would still be a requirement to keep appropriate records by both the employee and the employer.
All employees of whom at the beginning of a Period of incapacity of work, has had average weekly earnings above the Lower Earnings Limit (LEL) of £116 for 2018/19 should have notified their employees about their sickness either within your own time limit or within seven days.
The weekly rate of SSP is £92.05 for 2018/19 but it is computed at a daily rate. The daily rate may vary for different employees. It is calculated by dividing the weekly rate by the number of qualifying days in a week. For example an employee with a five day working week would have a daily rate of £18.41 for 2018/19. Employers should monitor sickness absence and maintain detailed records as these will be required for PAYE (pay as you earn) purposes.
Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)
SMP is paid to female employees or former employees who have had or are about to have a baby. The payment of SMP is compulsory where the employee fulfils certain requirements.
SMP is payable provided the employee has:
Started her maternity leave, given 28 days notice of her maternity leave (unless with good reason), provided medical evidence with a form (MATB1), been employed continuously for 26 weeks up to and including her qualifying week.
It is important to note that mothers have a legal entitlement to take up to 52 weeks off around the time of the birth of their baby, whether or not they qualify for SMP. This means that mothers can choose to take up to one year off in total. The rates of SMP, SPP, statutory shared parental pay and statutory adoption pay are £145.18 per week (or 90% of the person’s average weekly earnings if that is less than £145.18 for 2018/19.
SMP is payable for a maximum of 39 weeks. The date the baby is due, as shown on the MATB1 certificate, determines the maternity pay period entitlement and not the date the baby is born. The rates of SMP is £145.18 for 2018/19.
Ordinary Statutory Paternity Pay (OSPP)
OSPP is paid to partners who take time off to care for their baby or support the mother in the first few weeks after the birth. OSPP was previously known as SPP. Examples of a partner include: a biological father, a husband or civil partner who is not the baby’s biological father, a mother’s female partner in a same sex couple.The partner must have:
- Given 28 days’ notice of their paternity leave (unless with good reason).
- provided a declaration of family commitment on form SC3.
- been employed continuously for 26 weeks up to and including their qualifying week.
- had average weekly earnings above the LEL in the relevant period.
- The mother (or the person getting adoption leave) must either: return to work, which ends any maternity or adoption leave
- give their employer ‘binding notice’ of the date when they plan to end their leave (you cannot normally change the date you give in binding notice)
- The mother (or the person getting adoption pay) must give their employer binding notice of the date when they plan to end any maternity or adoption pay.
- If they get Maternity Allowance, they must give notice to Jobcentre Plus instead.
OSPP is payable for a maximum of two weeks: it must be taken as a block either one week or a complete fortnight but not two single weeks at the rate of £145.18 for 2018/19.
To qualify for Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP), an employee must meet the same earnings and service criteria as an employee seeking to qualify for SMP. An employee must provide his or her employer with evidence of the adoption and a declaration that he or she has elected to receive SAP. HMRC form SC4 provides a declaration form that can be used. A matching certificate from the adoption agency must also be produced to the employer. SAP is paid at the lower rate of SMP and follows the same rules with regard to recovery.
You and your partner may be able to get Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) if you’re having a baby or adopting a child. You can share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay between you. You need to share the pay and leave in the first year after your child is born or placed with your family.
You can use SPL to take leave in blocks separated by periods of work, or take it all in one go. You can also choose to be off work together or to stagger the leave and pay. Some other things to be noted in regards to hstatutory pay rates; You can only start Shared Parental Leave (SPL) or Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) once the child has been born or placed for adoption.For SPL to start:
You can start SPL while your partner is still on maternity or adoption leave as long as they’ve given binding notice to end it. You can give binding notice and say when you plan to take your SPL at the same time. The mother or adopter must end any maternity pay, adoption pay or maternity allowance so that they or their partner can get SPL.
For ShPP to start:
They cannot restart maternity pay, Maternity Allowance or adoption pay once it’s ended.
You can start ShPP while your partner is still on maternity pay, adoption pay or Maternity Allowance as long as they’ve given binding notice to end it.
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Tom Street qualified as a solicitor in 2003 and has over 20 years experience in employment and litigation law. He studied law at the University of Manchester before undertaking the legal practice course at the College of Law in Guildford, going on to complete his legal training at a firm in Chancery Lane, London. Once fully qualified, he moved to a niche litigation practice in the City of London.
In 2010, Tom set up his own legal practice, Tom Street & Co Solicitors and as part of this, in accordance with his strongly held objective to provide everyone with an easy pathway to justice he established the online portals Do I Have A Case? and Tribunal Claim. These websites are trading names of Tom Street & Co Solicitors.