Statutory Maternity Pay for hair and beauty employees

You may think that everyone who goes on maternity leave in your salon will receive SMP, but in fact, there are a number of conditions that need to be fulfilled.

The employee must:

  • have worked for you continuously for a minimum of 26 weeks when they reach the 15th week before the expected week of the child’s birth
  • given you the right amount of notice
  • provided evidence of their pregnancy
  • earned at least £113 a week in the last eight weeks (if paid weekly) or two months (if paid monthly) before the end of the qualifying week. The qualifying week is the 15th week before the week the baby is due. 
  • be pregnant 11 weeks before the start of the expected week of the birth or they have already given birth 
  • not be working.

Under the statutory scheme, they are entitled to up to 39 weeks of pay. They will be paid 90% of their average weekly earnings for the first 6 weeks. For the next 33 weeks, they are paid either to £140.98 or 90% of their average weekly earnings, whichever is lower.
SMP is paid by employers, but you can reclaim 92% to 103% back from HMRC.

Maternity Allowance

Employees in the salon who do not fulfil the criteria necessary for SMP may be eligible for Maternity Allowance.
This is different to SMP in a number of ways:

  • It is paid by the government, not employers. 
  • The eligibility requirements are different. To be eligible for Maternity Allowance, they must have been employed or self-employed for a minimum of 26 weeks of the 66 weeks before the expected week of the birth and have earned, on average, at least £30 a week in any 13 weeks of those 26 weeks. 
  • There is no staggered timetable. They receive 90% of their average weekly earnings or£140.98 per week (whichever is lower) for up to 39 weeks.

Let us help you today

If you require any further advice if an employee of your salon or barbershop is due to take maternity leave from your business, please contact the NHF legal helpline on 01244 687 600 (for NHF members).

Alternatively, if you are looking to become a member to access this legal advice from our 24/7 employment law advisors, then you can become a member today

Please note that the information within this blog reflects the law as of July 2017.