Maternity leave for nannies
'Ask the Nannytax Expert'
For our first 'Ask the Nannytax Expert' Q&A, we've called on our Payroll Team Manager Tiare to help answer all your questions about nanny maternity pay and leave.
Are nannies entitled to maternity leave?
Tiare says: Just like any employee, nannies are entitled to 52 weeks of maternity leave, regardless of their length of service. It's also important to remember that nannies will be entitled to their contractural benefits such as accruing holiday and pensions. This is because the nanny remains in the same contract of employment whilst on maternity leave.
When should a pregnant nanny notify their employer?
Tiare says: Pregnant nannies should inform their employers at least 15 weeks before the baby's due date - this is known as the notification date. They should also advise their employer when they intend to return to work after their baby is born. This return date can be changed providing 28 days notice is given in writing.
What is SMP?
Tiare says: SMP stands for Statutory Maternity Pay which is a benefit that's part of the provision of parental leave in the UK. Simply put, SMP is a sum of money provided by the government to support those on maternity leave before and after their baby is born.
Do nannies qualify for SMP?
Tiare says: If the nanny has been in continuous employment for 26 weeks prior to the notification date and earns over an average of £118 gross per week, she will qualify for SMP. The nanny doesn't have to intend to return to work after the baby is born to be eligible for SMP.
How much is SMP and how long does it last?
Tiare says: SMP is paid for up to 39 weeks. The first six weeks of SMP will be 90% of the nanny's average gross weekly earnings. The remaning weeks of the maternity pay period - up to a maximum of 33 weeks- will be £148.68 per week or continue at 90% of the average gross earnings, whichever is the lowest figure. SMP is taxable like any usual salary so deductions including national insurance and pension contributions will still be made.
Who puts in the claim for SMP and how does it work?
Tiare says: The employer is responsible for putting the claim in for SMP. Nanny employers must submit a MATB1 form along with their bank details to HMRC - who will then pay SMP to the employer in a lump sum. The employer should use this sum of money to continue to pay their nanny in the usual way whether that's each week or month.
What is a MATB1?
Tiare says: A MATB1 is a maternity certificate which acts as medical evidence of a pregnancy - this is given on or around the 20 week scan. The MATB1 form will need to be completed by the nanny's Doctor or Midwife before behand handed over to the employer so they can put in the claim for SMP.
What if the nanny doesn't qualify for SMP?
Tiare says: There are other ways nannies can receive financial suport through their maternity leave. For example, they may be eligible for maternity allowance instead. It's best to seek professional advice on this from HMRC.
Are nannies entitled to paid leave when attending medical appointments?
Tiare says: All pregnant employees are entitled to paid time off to attend appointments made on the advice of their midwife, health visitor or GP. The employer should be told about these if they fall into the nanny's hours of work as far in advance as possible, so that any cover needed can be arranged. The nanny must be allowed to attend her prenatal appointments and be paid as usual.
How can an employer find maternity cover for their nanny?
Tiare says: There are many agencies who offer temporary nanny placement to cover maternity leave. The best approach is to start sorting this as soon as possible, ensuring that all the SMP arrangements are in place and establishing when cover will be required for upcoming prenatal appointments. It can also be beneficial to involve the children in the search and make them aware of what will be changing for them.
What are KIT days?
Tiare says: KIT stands for Keeping in Touch - KIT days mean nannies can work up to 10 days without bringing their maternity leave to an end or losing SMP or maternity allowance. They can be used for any work-related activity and working for part of a day can count as one day's work. This allows the employer to make contact with their nanny during her maternity leave to discuss things like their return to work. KIT days are payable at the usual daily rate but this will not be covered by the SMP funding.
Can a nanny employer reclaim maternity pay from the government?
Tiare says: If the nanny is eligible for SMP then usually yes - but every case is different. The employer still needs to follow the same process in submitting a MATB1 to HMRC. However, any extra money on top of the SMP amount that the employer has chosen to pay cannot be claimed back.
We will continue to provide payslips for your nanny throughout her maternity leave and provide comprehensive Payroll Services for any replacement and/or temporary nanny.
Advice is available at every stage of the process as well as assistance in recovering the Maternity Pay.