My nanny is pregnant - what do I do?
If your nanny becomes pregnant you have a duty to administer SMP on her behalf. Nannytax will ensure that things run as smoothly as possible and in most cases we will be able to claim the maternity pay for you in advance to make sure you're not unnecessarily out of pocket.
At Nannytax we deal with nannies on maternity leave on a daily basis, and with over 19 years' experience we understand the many different situations parents can find themselves in. To help answer some of the most frequently asked questions, we've put together a Q and A (see below), but if you have more questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch.
Q. Is my nanny entitled to Maternity leave?
A. Any pregnant employee may take 52 weeks leave regardless of their length of service. If they wish to return before the end of the 52 weeks they must give the employer 8 weeks notice.
Q. What about Maternity pay? How long does my nanny have to have worked with me before she becomes entitled to SMP?
A. The employee cannot be pregnant when she starts her new employment. She qualifies for SMP if she has been in the same employment for 26 weeks (i.e. six months) prior to the "notification week". The "notification week" is 15 weeks before the baby's due date.
Q. What is the amount of SMP?
A. The first 6 weeks are at 90% of nanny’s gross wage and the remaining 33 weeks are at the current SMP rate (select text link to view latest rates), unless nanny’s salary is less than that in which case it remains at 90%.
Q. Who foots the bill for SMP?
A. As a small employer you can usually reclaim all the SMP costs involved, although every case is different. At Nannytax we will calculate and apply to HMRC for your SMP rebate on your behalf. Your nanny should provide you with a Maternity Certificate (MATB1) for this purpose. The MATB1 is issued 20 weeks before the baby's due date and your nanny can ask their doctor or midwife for it. We will issue payslips for your nanny throughout the period of maternity leave, showing SMP paid and any Tax and NI deductions.
Q. Is it reasonable to expect a part-time nanny to attend antenatal classes in her own time?
A. She is entitled to paid time off to attend appointments made on the advice of her midwife, health visitor or GP. Except for the first appointment she must be prepared to show her employer the appointment card. She may not be able to arrange appointments on the days of her choice in which case she must be allowed to attend and be paid.
Q. If the pregnant nanny is still in her probationary period and the employer is not happy with her as she has had several days off already, can they legally dismiss her?
A. If the sickness is related to her pregnancy then it would be unlawful to dismiss her and the employer could be at risk of a sex discrimination claim. The best approach here is to discuss with her the reasons for her absence, explain the importance of reliability and see how her attendance can be improved.
Q. Young children forget easily and with the new longer maternity leave many parents are concerned that their children will have forgotten their nanny when she returns a year later.
A. The Government have introduced 10 “Keeping in Touch Days” which means the nanny may work for up to 10 days without bringing her Maternity leave to an end or losing her SMP or MA. This is to enable her to keep in touch during her leave if she wishes to. They can be used for any work related activity which may be a children’s party or special event. Working for part of a day will count as one day’s work. Employers now can also make reasonable contact during Maternity leave, for example, to discuss the nanny’s return to work. Any work during maternity leave must be by agreement and neither the employer nor the employee can insist on it.
Q. Does the nanny qualify for holiday while she is on maternity leave?
A. Holiday entitlement is accrued as normal throughout the maternity leave (including bank holidays) and is at the employers expense. The only occasions where this may not be payable is if nanny is either made redundant or resigns as they go on maternity leave.