Pay arrangements for maternity, paternity and adoption leave

Information about leave entitlements is at Maternity leave and leave for sole or main adopters, or in the family leave arrangements document (see right hand column).


Maternity pay

Statutory maternity pay (including adoption)

Statutory maternity pay (SMP) and statutory adoption pay (SAP) are provided by the state.

A female staff member is eligible for SMP if she: 

  • has been continuously employed by the University for 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before her expected week of confinement; and
  • pays National Insurance contributions on her earnings.

A sole or main adopter is eligible for SAP if s/he:

  • meets the criteria for statutory adoption leave* and
  • pays National Insurance contributions on his/her earnings.

SMP and SAP are paid for the first 39 weeks of the 52 week statutory leave period. The remaining 13 weeks of the statutory leave are unpaid.

The value of SMP is: 

  • 90% of the staff member’s average weekly earnings for the first six weeks; and 
  • A lower, flat weekly rate determined each April by the Department of Work and Pensions for 33 weeks (or 90% of her average weekly earnings if that amount is lower than the flat weekly rate).

SAP is paid at the lower weekly rate for the full 39 weeks.

University maternity and adoption pay

Female staff who have at least one year’s continuous service prior to their expected week of confinement, and sole or main adopters with at least one year's continuous service prior to being matched*, who agree to return to work for three months following their chosen leave period (subject to their contract enabling them to do so), are entitled to University maternity pay or adoption pay respectively.

Subject to these criteria, the first 18 weeks of statutory leave are paid at full pay, followed by 21 weeks at the lower SMP rate and 13 weeks of unpaid leave.

The 18 weeks at full pay are inclusive of any SMP/SAP you may be entitled to.

*See Family Leave Arrangements for full details.


Paternity pay

Statutory paternity pay (including for partners of main adopters)

A member of staff who is eligible* for statutory paternity leave for either a birth or an adoption will be paid at full pay for the two weeks of the statutory leave period.

Pay during additional paternity leave

If additional paternity leave (APL) is taken during what would have been the paid statutory maternity or adoption leave period, the person taking APL will receive the equivalent SMP/SAP rate provided that: 

The person taking APL has average weekly earnings at or above the lower earnings limit for National Insurance contributions in force at the end of the qualifying week; and 

There are at least two weeks of the mother's or adopter's SMP/SAP or Maternity Allowance period remaining at the start of the APL. 

Any APL taken after the 39th week of the statutory leave period will be unpaid.

*See Family Leave Arrangements for full details.

Shared Parental Leave pay

Where staff share their partner's maternity or adoption leave, they may be entitled to shared parental leave pay at the statutory rate. Please see the Family Leave Arrangements for further information.



Family Leave Arrangements

Related links

Parents and Carers Information