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Nine Months : Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)

Statutory Maternity Pay 'SMP' is maternity pay lasting 26 weeks. For the first six weeks you receive 90% of your average pay. After that you receive a 'basic rate' for 20 weeks.

You will be entitled to SMP if:

- you have been employed by your present employer for at least 26 weeks by the end of your 'qualifying week' (the 15th week before your baby is due)

- you are still employed in the 15th week before your baby is due - even if you are off sick or only work part of the week, and

- you actually receive some money at least per week before tax on average in the eight weeks (if you are paid weekly) or two months (if you are paid monthly) before the end of your qualifying week.

To claim SMP you must give your employer 28 days notice and give them your MATB1 maternity certificate which your midwife will give you when you are about 20 weeks pregnant.

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