Many agency workers are unsure as to what they are entitled to if they use an umbrella company. We want to make things clear so that you don’t miss out!
In short, you are an employee of our company and due to that, you have rights as a parent. We follow government guidelines for UK employees and our policies are all accessible for you in your contractor handbook, but below is a summary for you:
If you have a baby, you can take up to 52 weeks of statutory maternity leave. While you do not have to take all 52 weeks, you may not return to work during the two weeks immediately following the birth of your child.
The government website states: ‘If you have at least 26 weeks’ service by the end of the 15th week before your child is expected to be born, you may be entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), provided your average weekly earnings are at or above the Lower Earnings Limit for National Insurance.’
This means that if you have been an employee of an umbrella company for 26 weeks (just over 6 months), you will be entitled to SMP.
You are required to notify us in writing by or during the 15th week before the expected week of your child’s birth.
You must include the following:
You’ll need a MAT B1 form in order to claim for maternity pay and benefits, whether you’re unemployed, self-employed, full time or part time. The form enables a pregnant woman to claim for:
Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) from us as your employer, or Maternity Allowance (MA) from Jobcentre Plus.
Your midwife or doctor should give you your MATB1 form when you reach your 20-weeks or soon after when you have your routine appointment. They cannot issue the form any earlier than this.
If you don’t receive your form, it’s worth giving your healthcare professional a nudge as you’ll need to get it to your employer in time to claim for Statutory Maternity Pay.
Our payroll department will process your claim and notify you of the calculation given for your SMP Payments.
The amount will be calculated by the payroll system using your information. SMP is payable for 39 weeks. For the first six weeks, SMP will be paid at 90% of your average weekly earnings. For the remaining 33 weeks, SMP will be paid at the standard rate which is prescribed by regulations and is adjusted from time to time. The Company will inform you of the applicable rate. If your average weekly earnings fall below the standard rate, SMP will be paid at 90% of your average weekly earnings throughout.
SMP will be paid subject to the umbrella margin and deductions for tax and National Insurance contributions in the normal way.
If you do not meet the criteria, you can apply for Maternity Allowance. This is paid by the Jobcentre Plus for up to 39 weeks. The rate is dependent on recent National Insurance contributions.
Full details can be found at: www.GOV.UK – Maternity Allowance. You can complete their online form here.
You can work up to 10 days work during your maternity leave. It is up to you if you wish to work these days and your right to maternity leave and SMP will not be affected, but please let us know if you are participating in Keep In Touch (KIT) days or doing some work.
During Maternity Leave, you will continue to receive your contractual benefits and your normal terms and conditions will continue to apply, except for those terms relating to wages and salary. You will continue to accrue holiday.
Parallel arrangements are available for the adoption of a child.
As with Statutory Maternity Pay, you must have worked as our employee for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the due date.
Statutory Paternity leave must be taken within 56 days of the birth.
At least 15 weeks before the baby is due, write to us and tell us:
The amount will be calculated by the payroll system using your information. SPP is payable for 2 weeks. Statutory Paternity Pay is paid at a fixed rate per week (determined in legislation) or 90% of average earnings if that is less.
SPP will be paid subject to the umbrella margin and deductions for tax and National Insurance contributions in the normal way.