Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Paternity Pay & Leave 2013 / 2014

New Dads (or the partners of new mothers) are entitled to 2 weeks Ordinary Paternity Leave when the baby is born and may be entitled to Ordinary Paternity Pay while they are away from work.

To qualify for Ordinary Paternity Leave, he must have been with his employer for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the baby is due.

He must also be either the:
Biological Father


Mother's husband or partner (including same-sex relationships)

He needs to let his employer know he wants to take paternity leave by the
fifteenth week before the baby is due.
A Self Certificate (form SC3) to pass to his employer can be printed off from the HMRC website:  

Ordinary Paternity Leave should either be taken as 1 week or 2 consecutive weeks. It can not be split.

Paternity leave can not start until the baby is born and must be taken within 56 days of the baby being born.

Ordinary Statutory Paternity Pay (OSPP)
If the father/partner qualifies for Ordinary Paternity Leave, and earns more than £107 a week, he qualifies for Ordinary Statutory Paternity Pay (OSPP) too.
This is paid at £136.78 per week or 90% of his average weekly earnings if they are less than this.

Your Employer may offer additional Paternity benefits so check your contract and speak to your HR department.

Additional Paternity Leave & Pay
Since April 2011, fathers/partners also have the right to up to 26 weeks' Additional Paternity Leave if the child's mother has returned to work before the end of her Statutory Maternity Pay period. This is in addition to the 2 weeks Ordinary Paternity Leave they are entitled to.
He may also receive Additional Statutory Paternity Pay if the child's mother has returned to work before the end of her maternity pay period.
Additional Paternity Leave can be taken from 20 weeks after the child is born.
It must finish before the child's first birthday.
Additional Statutory Paternity Pay is paid at the same weekly rate as the OSPP and can be paid for a maximum of 19 weeks (to complete the Statutory Maternity Pay period of 39 weeks for the mother).  For more info see:

Self Employed New Dads
Unfortunately, there is no paternity pay equivalent for self employed dads (which is rather unfair
I think!).

For more information visit:

Great websites for dads-to-be and new dads are:

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Work Uniform Maintenance Tax Rebate

Have you worn a uniform as an Employee in the last 6 years?

Were you paying tax at that time?

Did you wash, mend or replace it yourself?

Then you could be eligible for a tax rebate!

If you have had to wear a uniform for work in the last 6 years and you are responsible for keeping that uniform washed and repaired, it is worth contacting HMRC to ask if you are eligible for a Work Uniform Maintenance tax rebate.

Even if your uniform doesn’t have a recognised logo but you only wear the clothes at work, it is worth putting a claim in.

Have a look at the original post for more information.

I have put together a couple of draft letters for people to download, edit and send to HMRC to make a claim.

If you currently wear a uniform and have had no other employment that you may be eligible to make a claim for in the last 6 years click HERE.

If you have had more than 1 job in the last 6 years where you have worn a uniform and may be eligible to make claims click HERE.

Please feel free to download, amend and send it to HMRC, but PLEASE let me know by commenting below and come back and tell me how you get on in a couple of weeks.

Good luck!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Statutory Maternity Pay 2013 - 2014

To help you take time off work with your baby, if you are an employee, you may be entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) which is a payment from the government and is paid to you via your employer. 

(You may also be lucky enough to have this enhanced by a Company maternity scheme).

Do I qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)?
To qualify for SMP you must meet the following criteria:

Have been in your current employment continuously for at least 26 weeks prior to the 15th week before the week your baby is due (the qualifying week). In plain terms, you should have started the job before you fell pregnant and still be in the same employment at approximately week 26 of your pregnancy. 
If you are made redundant or resign from your job after the qualifying week but before your maternity leave was due to start, your employer will still be obliged to pay your maternity pay if you are eligible.

You must be earning on average an amount which at least equals the lower earnings limit (LEL). The LEL for 2013/2014 is £109 per week or £473 per month.
This must be the case on the Saturday at the end of your qualifying week.

You must give your employer evidence that you are pregnant. This is the form MATB1 that you will receive from your midwife around week 21 of your pregnancy.

You must give your employer notice of your intention to take maternity leave in writing on or before the qualifying week (ie by week 26 of your pregnancy.) 

For help working out your qualifying dates and weeks, visit:

How is SMP calculated?
SMP is calculated over an average of 8 week’s (if you are paid weekly) or 2 month’s (if you are paid monthly) worth of gross earnings before the Saturday at the end of your qualifying week. 
The more eligible pay you receive during these periods, the more SMP you will receive for the first 6 weeks of your payments. 

The payments used must be eligible for national insurance deductions.
Examples of these are:
Salary or basic pay/hours
Bonus payments
Sick pay
Holiday pay

The qualifying payments are added together and multiplied by 6 to get an annual average. 
This is then divided by 52 to find an average weekly amount.

How much SMP will I get?
SMP is paid as follows:
6 weeks at 90% of the average weekly amount
followed by 33 weeks at the statutory amount
(for the 2012/2013 tax year this is £136.78 per week)

39 weeks at 90% of your average weekly amount if your average weekly amount is less than £136.78

Some companies offer additional occupational maternity pay, so please check your contract.

(SMP is subject to tax and national insurance.)

NB    If you are due a pay rise while you are on your maternity leave, your average weekly amount will need to be re-calculated to include it.

Keeping in Touch (K.I.T.) Days
You are allowed 10 K.I.T. Days during you maternity pay period (while you receive your SMP).  These are days when you can go into work to stay in touch with what’s going on or for training.  It could just be for half an hour or a full day.
You are not usually paid extra for these days, but you do not lose any of your SMP for that week.  (Some employers may offer additional payment on top of the week’s SMP so please check your contract.)
Don’t exceed the 10 days though as you will lose the whole week’s worth of SMP, and don’t do a K.I.T. day in the same week (seven day period) as you go back to work as you will also lose the SMP for that week.

I don’t qualify for SMP – what can I do?
If you do not qualify for SMP from your employer or you are self employed, you may be entitled to Maternity Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance which is paid to you directly by the government. 
For more information visit:

For further help and information, I recommend the following websites:

If you have a question, please do leave a comment or contact me via email if it is of a more personal nature.