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Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) in QuickBooks Online Standard Payroll

SOLVEDby QuickBooks84Updated September 21, 2023

If your employee is expecting–congrats!–and is eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), you have a legal requirement as an employer to pay them. 

Here's how to pay SMP to your employees in QuickBooks Standard Payroll, we'll also explain what happens to pension contributions while they're away on maternity leave.

An employee qualifies for SMP if they:

  • Earn on average at least £120 a week
  • Give you the correct notice and proof of pregnancy
  • Have worked for you continuously for at least 26 weeks continuing into the qualifying week–this is the 15th week before the expected due date

If your employee has the correct MATB1 form, we'll check to make sure that the employee is entitled to maternity pay and calculate when the maternity leave can start. If applicable, we'll also calculate the taxes and NICs on the SMP.

Standard Payroll doesn't calculate the employer's contribution when the employee is on maternity leave. You'll need to change this manually once their leave starts. To do so:

  1. Go to the employee's profile.
  2. Select the pencil icon to open Workplace Pension.
  3. Change employer contribution from percentage to fixed amount. Note: This amount needs to be calculated based on the normal wages the employee receives before going on maternity leave.
  4. Save.

How to enter SMP in Standard Payroll

Click to enlarge image
  1. Go to Payroll and select Employees (Take me there)
  2. Choose the employee you want to enter SMP for.
  3. Select Actions, then Employee's leave.
  4. Choose Statutory maternity pay.
  5. Select the first day and last day of leave.
  6. Enter the baby's due date and birth date. Note: If you need to make changes to this, you can do so in Leave periods section on the employee's profile.
  7. Enter the average weekly earnings (AWE). QuickBooks calculates this automatically unless:
    • You're switching from another payroll software. Be sure to enter the correct AWE as QuickBooks doesn't have the employee's payroll history to accurately calculate this.
    • You haven't run payroll in QuickBooks for at least 23 weeks before the baby's due date.
  8. Save your changes.

How's SMP calculated?

SMP is calculated based on a weekly basis, rather than the employee's regular pay dates. For example, if the employee is on a monthly pay schedule, their SMP will be calculated based on a weekly schedule. It's not possible to change the SMP calculation method in Standard Payroll. Here's how to manually calculate SMP.

How's SMP calculated?

For new employees, or if you switched from another payroll, we use the starter declaration to calculate how much leave the employee is due. As well as the amount they're entitled to and the taxes and NI contributions owed.

See also

How to enter Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP)

Standard Payroll hub

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